Medina-Med: Success Through Quality and Power of Innovation

The Bulgarian company Medina-Med has been writing a success story for 30 years. The cooperation partner KRAIBURG Austria has played a decisive role in this for almost 25 years. The retreading specialists from Upper Austria supported Medina-Med in the installation of the first retread plant for cold retreads in 1996. Since then they have joined forces on various projects. KRAIBURG Austria is currently supervising the expansion of the retread plant with the first hotcured truck retreads. “In addition to last year’s planning and installa­tion, we have been training the team over the last few weeks”, Roland Buholzer, Technical Service KRAIBURG Austria explains. “We are very pleased that we are now able to supply Medina-Med with our high-per­formance compounds for the company’s own hot-cured retread brand REMEDINA in addition to our KRAIBURG designs,” Holger Düx, Sales Manager KRAIBURG Austria adds. Medina-Med holds a market share of about 30 per cent in Bulgaria. “This encouraged us to invest in the new plant. This ensures that we get the much-needed, high quality carcasses for the hot-cured retreads”, Medina-Med owner Ivan Panchov goes on to say. The plant equipment includes an extruder, five presses and seven moulds. The 1.3 million Euro project was subsidised by the EU within the scope of the Poncho “EU Innovation and Competitiveness” programme.

The biggest OTR tyre in the world will soon be running off the line

This year, Medina-Med also started building a new, light-flooded factory hall to assure quality and competitiveness. A new buffing machine and an EM-autoclave are being added to the existing OTR (= Off the Road) production plant. The biggest OTR tyre in the world will here soon be running off the line. The investment of around 1.5 million Euro is being subsidised to 55 per cent by the Innovation Norway (business develop­ment and innovation in Bulgaria).

Sights set on quality and customers

Medina-Med was founded in 1992 by Ivan Panchov and his wife Iliana in Stara Zagora. The company is registered as a trader for truck spare parts. This also includes tyres. The aim of the smart entrepreneur: To supply customers with premium quality. Ivan Panchov has invested continuously in plants to achieve this. In the retread sector, the first plant for cold retreads went into operation in 1996. In 2002, the company invested in the first OTR machines. In 2005, a larger, modern truck retread plant was added as well as a buffing machine, a building machine, three autoclaves – and an inspection machine to improve the quality. This can retread 100 types per day. Parallel to this, Medina-Med has expanded its service station network – from one in 2003 to eleven nationwide today. They collaborate with all notable brand manufacturers and, naturally, for all lines of business, private vehicles, trucks, agriculture or OTR. Medina-Med is certified in accordance with ISO 9001 and homologated in accordance with ECE-109.

Their high-quality consciousness is accompanied by a keen ecological awareness. Together with a major tyre dealer, the company founded the die Eco Mediana in 2014 and built up a recycling plant with a capacity of 27,000 tons of used tyres per annum. “We always have our customers in focus and guarantee the best cost-benefit ratio with our premium retreads,” Ivan Panchov explains. “In order to assure the best possible quality additionally to our initial inspection via shearography we have integrated a second shearography and high-voltage spectra into the final inspection. This makes us one of the few retread companies in Europe to make such huge efforts.”

Well-equipped for the future with KRAIBURG

In all projects concerning retreads, Medina-Med has been working in close cooperation with KRAIBURG Austria since 1996. “We are convinced that KRAIBURG makes no compromises in quality and has the best patterns and compounds in their portfolio”, Ivan Panchov emphasises. By their participation in the stereography European legislation committees, KRAIBURG are also active in the drafting of new standards and specifications for products and processes. With this partner by our side, we feel well-equipped for the future.” Intensive support was provided in all planning processes from the very beginning. In addition, KRAIBURG’s more than 70 years of experience helps the company in its further development.

Constant growth and sustainable success

Medina-Med has developed very successfully over the last three decades: Last year they achieved sales of almost 35 million Euro with a team of 211 employees. By comparison: Sales in 2006 were around twelve million Euro. Approximately 17,000 retreads (cold and hot) are produced or sold to customers annually, mainly in their own country. The company is full of confidence for the coming years. The sons Ivelin and Nikolay have already taken over different areas of responsibility. Medina-Med is therefore well-prepared for future challenges.

The team also managed this year’s Covid 19 situation excellently. All employees observe the strict hygiene regulations – constantly with the goal of being at their customers’ service at all times as a system-relevant company. Independently of this, Ivan Panchov already has his eye on the next project: In 2021, a plant for forklift truck tyres is to be added to the hot retread plant and the Coved OTR plant is to be expanded for hot retreads up to 25 inches. “We are investing constantly in our competitive­ness in order to survive against the established factory retreads. We are the leading company in our field in Bulgaria and intend to remain so,” the owner of Medina-Med sums up.