Bandvulc Celebrates 50 years with its eyes firmly on the Future
Retreading experts Bandvulc mark its 50th anniversary this year, and while the successes of the past are celebrated, the organisation has its eyes firmly on the future.
Bandvulc is Britain’s foremost commercial retreader. The Devon-based operation began re-using rubber to make retread tyres back in 1971, retreading just 30 tyres a week for local use. Acquired by Continental Tyres in 2016, Bandvulc now produces a premium quality retread tyre every three minutes to serve commercial vehicle customers across the country.
Its 50th anniversary is marked by the introduction of the next generation of quality retread products, with major investment planned for their facility at Lee Mill, just outside Plymouth.
“We believe in the old saying that ‘standing still is going backwards’,” says Bandvulc Operations Director Tony Mailling. “So we keep innovating, we keep developing and creating new products, and we look at changes in manufacturing and technology that will make us more effective and more energy efficient, into the next 50 years.”
Bandvulc pioneered retread technology, which prolongs the lifespan of tyres and contributes to lower carbon emissions in tyre production. Its Ivybridge plant unites tyre recycling and retreading under one roof, setting new benchmarks in sustainability.
The 2016 Continental acquisition saw mutual benefits for both brands, who had existing 25 year working relationship, including a five-year investment plan, with projects designed to increase efficiency at the Bandvulc plant aligned with predicted increase in demand for retreads.
Tony Mailing says, “Sustainable manufacturing developments and legislative changes are being driven at an accelerated pace,” he says. “We are well ahead of the game and remain at the forefront of sustainable tyre manufacturing – the reuse and recycle approach is in our DNA.
“This year we’ve made a £1 million investment in automation in one of our build cells which is due to be on stream later this winter. It’s a huge investment, the biggest for many a year, and we plan more investment next year with a further robotics project.”
And for Mailling, such investment is only half the story, crediting the development of its 300 strong manufacturing workforce as another key to the brand’s success. He says, “We mark our 50th anniversary with many employees able to count their association with the company in decades rather than years.
“We invest to ensure the tyres we produce deliver exceptional levels of quality and performance, we are quick to respond to customer needs, and we invest in training to ensure our people have the right skills for each area of production.”
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In addition to recognising their history within the business, Bandvulc also used its milestone birthday as an opportunity to say thank you to its local community. The company has given away a series of £250 grants to charities and community groups that shared the same Devon postcode – PL21. Read the full article here.