PUCHOV, Slovakia—Slovakian tire maker Matador A.S. is making moves domestically and internationally, upgrading the mixing department at its Puchov factory and expanding its relationship with Ethiopia´s Addis Tyre Co.
At home, Matador is investing $520,000 in a new line anchored by a new internal mixer. The line, which includes a Shaw Intermix K7 mixer and the ancillary weighing and mixer feed equipment, should be operational by May, according to Chronos Richardson Ltd., supplier of the materials-handling machinery.
The project, the fourth mixing line at Puchov, is Matador´s fifth in the past 10 years for Chronos Richardson.
A major part of the project will involve integrating a new carbon black storage, weighing and handling system using an "air slider" system into the plant, Chronos Richardson said. Additional equipment includes powder weighing and feeding systems for zinc oxide, silicas, calcium carbonate, special grades of carbon black, polymers, oils and waxes.
Recent developments at Matador include November´s signing of a renewed agreement under which the Slovakian firm will make tires for Finland´s Nokian Tyres P.L.C. This off-take agreement is for 500,000 to 1 million tires a year.
In Ethiopia, Matador is supplying technology and equipment to Matador Addis Tyre Co., its Ethiopian joint venture, with the intent to raise capacity and add radial capacity to the Addis Ababa plant.
The venture produced the first of a new line of bias-ply truck tires—designed for the African market—in November. These tires are being made at the original Addis Tyre plant while reconstruction takes place. The project will raise capacity to 500,000 tires a year in 2005 and add radial capacity.
Matador also has moved into automotive supply, buying majority control in Slovakian automotive metal parts supplier Pal-Inalfa A.S.