MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala.—Robbins L.L.C. has developed a rubber sealing ring system for the retread market that company officials say will allow shops to save money and time.
The Accu-Fit Sealing Ring System comes in two parts: the sealing ring base and the sealing ring insert. By having a separate base and insert, company officials said, users will save money by needing to replace only the actual part of the sealing ring that is worn.
Hugo Sandberg, director of sales and marketing for Robbins, a subsidiary of Malmo, Sweden-based Hexpol A.B., said the system could cut users' expenses in this field by 25 percent per year.
"Plus, because of the ease in which the replacement is done, they will save time in the shop for the replacement process," Sandberg said. "In addition to that, they will save landfill because they will have less rubber waste that they need to landfill. So they are saving the environment and landfill costs."
Sandberg added that the system reduces the risk of a potential mis-cure, "which can happen if they don't replace the sealing ring in time and allow the bead to go flat and potentially slipping off the tire."
According to the company, the patent-pending insert is easy to install on envelopes, easy to handle and is outfitted with a wear indicator that shows the user when to replace the insert.
The product, manufactured at Robbins' facility in Muscle Shoals, comes in a variety of sizes, from 14 to 24.5 inches, making it suitable to fit over all the popular existing metal rings used with traditional, single-piece rubber sealing rings.
"Installing the Accu-Fit sealing ring base and insert is extremely easy with minimal effort," Sandberg said.
Robbins, which has manufactured envelopes, curing tubes, retreading accessories and rubber compounds since it was founded in 1921, said it expects the insert to outperform existing sealing rings in terms of number of cures. When wear-indicator bands show replacement is suggested, the user replaces the insert with a new insert. Sandberg said an insert should last between 400 and 600 cures.
Users save money not only because the inserts are priced lower, he said, but also will have saved money versus buying two regular rings.
Testing for the sealing-ring system began in August 2017, with production following in May of last year.
"We wanted to make sure we had a premium rubber compound to be able to offer, as well as we wanted to be able to offer all sizes to the end users," Sandberg said. "So we found a way to make it available in all sizes that are currently being available in the retread industry."