Tread rubber manufacturer Eversafe has announced that it has invested a total of USD 6 million in upgrading its manufacturing facilities at its factory in Malaysia and is currently in the process of investing a further USD 1 million in expanding its product range. This was revealed by General Manager Cheah Siang Tee during a discussion at the recently held Tyrexpo Asia exhibition in Singapore and reinforced during a visit to the company’s plant on the Tasek Industrial Estate in Ipoh, Perak. In addition, the company has announced that it is going public with an IPO scheduled for April 21 which comprises of a public issue of 48 million new ordinary shares of RM0.25 each in Eversafe Rubber and offer for sale of up to 30 million existing Eversafe Rubber shares.
According to Cheah, recent investments at the 1,200 tonne capacity plant include the acquisition of a new larger-volume extruder, which is currently waiting to be installed and which will help increase capacity, the purchase of an additional automatic buffing line, and the purchase last year of a new OTR pre-cure press from Taiwanese supplier Panstone.
Says Cheah: “one of the key areas we are expanding into is the OTR pre-cure market. We are now able to make OTR treads up to 700mm treads in width with a new formula.”
During 2015 the company upgraded to ISO 9001:2015 certification and last year also achieved certification under the environmental standard ISO 14001.
“In 2016 we also achieved the Malaysian MS 1097/98 standard for treads, cushion gum and camelback. This, when combined with the Malaysian retread standard MS 224 allows retreaders to achieve a level of certification that holds even more strength than ECE 109 due to the nature of the combined standards.”
According to Cheah, Eversafe’s next major project, which will be ongoing until the end of 2018, involves the upgrading and automation of the production process at the Ipoh plant with a particular focus on achieving a reduction on the reliance on manual labour. This will include investment in an auto stacking system for rubber slabs and an upgrade of the mixing area.
Cheah also plans for Eversafe to expand into the custom mixing market, both locally and internationally, and with that in mind the company will also be looking to upgrade its laboratory and R&D facilities.
It has been widely reported that Eversafe is looking to expand significantly beyond its ASEAN base, and in particular into Latin America, where the company has been reported to be planning a joint venture. This was confirmed by Cheah, who said; “We are looking at both South and Central America, and we aim to have a presence in the region by the end of the year.”
According to Cheah, next year Eversafe will also start to look at other areas that are of interest such as India and Africa. The company, meanwhile, will continue to be active in the China market and hopes to be able to expand more into that area following the recent increase in new tyre prices.