The introduction, in part, reflects trends in the passenger car tire market, which has seen moves by ambitious emerging companies to become true tier 1 players and credible suppliers to OEM car manufacturers.
This has led them to invest in world-class automation technology to meet the highest quality standards required by global automotive players.
Similar trends are now evident in the truck tire sector, according to Adwin de Vocht, VMI’s global account manager MILEXX.
“We can see the same processes at work in the truck tire market, as well, and companies that aim to be global players also need to access high quality automation technology in order to succeed,” said de Vocht.
MILEXX is a technology platform, designed for truck tire manufacturers with tier 1 status today and those aiming to become tier 1 players in the near future, he explained.
VMI’s design approach is based on identifying areas where variations in quality and performance levels traditionally occur, then focusing on delivering consistency and quality improvements through the use of automation technology.
On day one, therefore, a MILEXX unit will be capable of building close to 700 truck tires a day with only two operators, with cycle times optimised as a result of time studies on the different process steps and motions, the company said.
The technology, it added, uses many of the principles that have become familiar in the passenger tire market through MAXX technology. For a start, it uses a great many servo-controlled actions, with fewer manual settings than are needed for VAST or for any other open-market truck tire building machine.
According to VMI, the use of MAXX technology in MILEXX also leads to a higher accuracy of component application and stitching qualities. For example, VMI’s proprietary vision technology is a central element in the new platform, using camera monitoring at the breaker side.
Key components within MILEXX are controlled by the tire recipe, which makes it possible to move from one size and specification of tire to another at much higher speed than is normal today.
Tire manufacturers will, therefore, be able to make smaller production runs, meeting market demand precisely, while safeguarding their margins, claims VMI.
“The years ahead will see major changes in the truck tire building market as tier 1 manufacturers move towards the vision of a highly-automated factory of the future, or Industry 4.0 model,” commented de Vocht. “We can see many of the same pressures at work as those transforming the passenger car tire market.
“The need to achieve greater product consistency, improved productivity, higher quality and lower cost per tire produced: these all require higher levels of automation across the entire tire-building process.”