Continental Tire the Americas is expanding its Sumter, US plant to accommodate production of the ContiSeal puncture-sealing and ContiSilent noise-absorbing passenger tyre lines. As Continental produces the ContiSeal and ContiSilent tyre lines at two plants in Europe, the US production will increase the supply of tyres on hand and simultaneously reduce the order-delivery turnaround time for customers across the region.
The project will add 290,000 sq-ft. of manufacturing space to Sumter’s current 2 million sq-ft.; the company expects the expansion to create some 50 jobs dedicated to the new production lines. Continental plans to begin installing equipment in September 2019, and is targeting the start of production for May 2020. The new lines will be rated at one million tyres per year at full production.
Sumter Plant Manager Ahmed Boualam has said: “In celebration of Continental’s trust in the Sumter facility to continue delivering quality products to our customers, Continental is excited to offer products and solutions designed to ensure a quiet and comfortable ride, which will become increasingly important in autonomous vehicles in the market.”
Juan Botero, Continental’s Vice President of Key Account Management for passenger and light truck tyres, has noted that the production will expand their portfolio in the Americas for new mobility solutions. There is also a strong focus on the needs of its OE customers.
ContiSeal is a tyre-sealant technology designed to seal a damaged tyre tread by building a polymer layer on the tyre’s innerliner to envelop foreign objects such as nails, and prevents air loss, even if the object is removed. ContiSilent is a tyre noise-reducing technology that involves the application of polyurethane foam to the tyre’s innerliner to absorb interior noise. Continental developed and launched both products in 2007 and 2013 respectively.