“But that is totally nonsense,” he said. “You need to realise that if you produce tires you don’t produce yarns, you don’t produce tire-building machines, rubber or moulds.”
“There are mould manufacturers that specialise in making moulds, yarn manufacturers specialising in yarns. They can make the yarns and also make the fabrics at a quality vastly superior to what any tire company could make for themselves. So it is ridiculous to do it yourself.”
Tire manufacturers could, likewise, do without compounding and without distribution, storage and logistics, because these items are not directly related to their production of tires.
“Many tire companies would disagree completely with this, but Goodyear, since probably many years ago, have very quietly in the US allowed other companies, large logistics companies, to handle their tires,” said Peled.
In other words, he said, from the time they have finished and tested the tire, it goes into the hands of the people who were distributing them and storing them.
“Many people say we need to have control over where the tires are going. But you do not need to do it physically in order to have control,” insisted Peled.
Similarly, the Pelmar boss said some companies, including again Goodyear, have realised that factories can do without a mixing department.
“Mixing departments produce compounds, good compounds, but they do not need to be produced by the tire manufacturer,” said Peled. “In fact, it would be better if they didn’t produce compound themselves.”
The same applied to the manufacture of components, such as inner liners, which is a major undertaking in any tire company. But, said Peled, some of these will become superfluous with time.
These parts, he forecast, will be replaced by special films that don’t need all the equipment, calendaring, extruders and mills use to produce interlining.
Another feature of future tire plants will be that they will have fully automatic material handling systems, according to the Pelmar Engineering leader – noting Mesnac’s and Cimcorp’s progress in this space.
“Companies are now dedicating a lot of resources to develop the right solution for automated materials handling and communications between machines,” he commented.
Curing systems and procedures are also in line for a radical overhaul, not least because the basic process has not changed in 100 years – and developments in tire-building technology.