ERJ: Please identify one significant development in the tire industry in the last 2-3 years, and explain its importance.
PS: Car owners and car manufactures both call for tires with lower rolling resistance and even higher safety and handling properties. In fact, both features are target conflicts in tire development. To overcome this target conflict high engineering and testing effort is required.
Additionally, tailor made solutions for enhanced run-flat performance have been introduced, such as SSR tires which provide high comfort while still offering good rolling resistance, self-sealing tires, and next generation mobility kits.
ERJ: What do you see as main obstacles to the development of the tire manufacturing industry in the coming years?
PS: The biggest challenges in the tire manufacturing area are clearly processing technologies realization of extreme design and recipe concepts.
ERJ: Which technologies will play the biggest role in shaping the ‘tire factory of the future’, and why?
PS. Tire factories of the future have to realize the needed product and component complexity while maintaining low production costs. In addition, complete traceability of all materials and components throughout the manufacturing and supply chain will be mandatory in the future.
ERJ: What major changes do you expect to see in tire manufacture and supply over the next few years?
PS: Faster time-to-market of new products and more flexible availability of requested articles for both OE and replacement applications.
ERJ: Any other points?
The tire of the future will be equipped with an a "information tool" as a chip or another device to give information about the tread depth, tire age, inflation pressure, tire temperature and its deformation while cornering, braking and other details. Thus will enable to react driver assistance systems faster and better.