Kit Loong started its retread range with Kayel, which is still their highest-quality flagship retread tyre. However, the market has continued to change rapidly. As people are looking for more variety in their retreads, there is now massively more variety in new tyres being produced, especially when it comes to construction, technology and quality.
Kayel Retread Range Taken Forward
“We realised that what made a good retread, was not just about the material used, but it is as much about the state of the casing and the retread process. So, when our competitors were focused on PPT only, we created the SIGMA retread range,” said Kit Loong Commercial Tyre (KLCT) Group Marketing Manager Michael Hutt.
Step-by-step, the company expanded their product range as they learned more about what their clients required and how they can address these needs safely. Kit Loong is dedicated to quality retreads, Michael said, so all of their retread tyres are Malaysian Standard (MS) certified (MS224:2005) as well as being certified for individual components, for the pre-cured tread (MS1208:2010) and cushion gum used (MS1348:2010).
“We use Shearography for all our top three master tiers to make sure there are no casing deformities that we cannot see. We reserve the Kayel brand for only the best. But, we recognise the variety of usage situations of our customers, which means that not everyone is purchasing new tyres that are meant for 2+ lives. Thus, we have to support our customers and offer a solution that still allows for a multi-life strategy in their tyre purchases while ensuring the highest levels of safety.”
Having this in mind, he said, the company has introduced three master tiers to their offer of Stock Retread tyres - Kayel X-Rayted, Kaymile X-Rayted and Kaytech X-Rayted.
“Kayel is our longest life casing, due to its durability. This means the original casing needs to be extremely well maintained. There is less than 10 per cent of quality casings in the market. Currently, around 70 per cent of the casings we receive are lower-technology, cheaper brands with poor ability to be retreaded. 60 per cent of these casings would not be qualified for Kayel as the Kayel brand has a longer life than these brands do in their first life,” he claimed.
Kaymile may create the best available retreads in the market, he said, other than Michelin, Bridgestone and Kayel. This brand has been created to supplement Kayel and is focused on second life retreads.
To improve the longevity and performance of Kaymile, he pointed out the company has further reduced the acceptance levels for casings. That means only 40 per cent of casings will qualify for Kaymile, but one can be confident and assured in the quality of the product.
“We are left with 50 per cent of casings that do not qualify for Tier A (Kayel) and B (Kaymile), but we recognise that there is still a lot of life left in this 50 per cent haul and the casings can still be used for many applications. So, we created Kaytech,” he added.
Even for a ‘good grade’ cheaper casing, he explained, because of the original casing technology, after its ‘new’ life there may still be bubbles or separation in the casing structure.
“That is why we implemented new processes for this tier to create safer, better retreads. We now put the tyre through a Shearography scan and clean out any internal injuries through skiving. We have tested these tyres in overseas markets, selling tens of thousands, so we are confident of the quality and safety of this product.”
KLCT now has developed a clearer segmentation policy based on the condition of the original casing sent to them, as well as the longevity of the tread they are using to match. So, he said, their customers know where they stand with a Sigma range tyre.
According to him, this new three tier structure is supported by PneuPro Shearography, PneuTread, Recapro and Ecosteel depending on channel (Fleet or Dealer), again, all MS Certified retreads and all designed to the highest standards of safety.
“We are finding, with the effects of MCO, many fleet operators are starting to look more at retread tyres as part of their overall strategy. Kayel can help them work out what is best for their fleet and offers 3R packages, where we would retread their casings and recycle their tyres at the end of usable life.”
KLCT Group is Malaysia’s only full-service fleet tyre solution provider. With 88 years’ experience in new, retread and tyre-related services. All their solutions are awarded with the international accreditation for service methods certified by UKAS for ISO certification and Standards Malaysia.