Cologne Germany – The Future Tire 2018 conference concluded 31 May with a high-powered discussion led by a panel of leading players in the introduction of digital technologies within the European tire industry.
Moderated by industry veteran Jacob Peled, executive chairman, Pelmar Engineering, the panel were asked to identify new technologies that will have the biggest impact on the global tire industry over the next 10 years.
The ensuing presentations, discussions and exchange views with the audience yielded wide-ranging opinions around how the industry is responding and should respond to developments such as RFID, Industry 4.0, electric vehicles and autonomous driving.
In his fascinating paper, Autonomous Vehicles – Autonomous Tire Plants, Jyrki Anttonen, technology director at Cimcorp presented a vision of an IoT and Industry 4.0. He called for new thinking within the established tire industry to realise the opportunities of autonomous vehicles (AVs), smart tires and digitalisation.
According to Anttonen, AVs will not only be capable of self-driving, but also of adjusting autonomously. Future tires communicate with the autonomous vehicle’s control system, sense road and weather conditions and adapt to them. They also monitor the wear as well as tire pressure and temperature.
Turning to issues around autonomous tire plants, the Cimcorp director said tire makers needed to rethink their manufacturing processes to avoid being left behind in the era of IT-led change.
Anttonen explored how automation and digitalisation could improve tire plant efficiency and cut costs, in particular using artificial intelligence to organise production autonomously.
In his paper, highly regarded knowledge management (KM) expert Jose Silicani, recently retired from Bridgestone, explained how a KM strategy could help tear down traditional cross-functional boundaries.
The KM approach, he said, is being increasingly used in the tire industry to enable people to share and put knowledge into action by creating access, context, infrastructure, and simultaneously reducing learning cycle.
“Increased trust leads to a reduced desire for secrecy, motivating data sharing and facilitating greater collaborative communication. Involvement of higher levels of co-ordination could be required to accelerate this process,” said Silicani.
For many delegates, the ‘star-turn’ on the panel was provided by Philippe Lallement, tire electronics pre-development team leader at Michelin. The Clermont-Ferrand-based R&D specialist provided some fascinating insights into the French tire-maker’s approach to the development and introduction of innovative technologies.
In his presentation, Lallement focused on progress with the introduction of ISO TC31 WG10 as an industry-wide standard for RFID tire tags. He went on to offer new insights into how the technology presented opportunities throughout the tire lifecycle – from the delivery of new services and functionalities on connected and autonomous vehicles.
Henk Van Tuyl, director strategic product & technology initiatives EMEA, Goodyear SA presented top-level insights in a paper titled Artificial Intelligence in Tires in The Future. He explored issues around how to engage with users and promote information-sharing as well as developments to relationships within the triangle of manufacture, retailer and product user.
The Game-changers session also featured an important presentation by Günter Lanzer, product sales development, process industries and drives division, process automation at Siemens.
In his talk, Lanzer explained how tire plant performance starts with knowledge, with identification as a key technology within digitalisation As industrial processes in the digital enterprise demand total transparency, He explained how the ability to gather and process data at strategically relevant points is an increasingly crucial factor for tire manufacturers going forward.
Over the coming weeks, ERJ will run a series of in-depth reports on the presentations and discussions at the Future Tire Conference 2018, held 30-31 May as part of the inaugural Tire Cologne international trade fair.