Selection of leading-edge technologies highlighted at last week's Tire Technology Expo in Hanover, Germany:
Versalis BDSPs net innovation award
Versalis has won the Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year title at the Tire Technology International awards for its development of butadiene di-block stereoregular polymers—which the company claims will enable the preparation of compounds with improved properties compared with those of today, such as tires usable to a high level in both summer and winter seasons. These polybutadienes have a structure that displays the properties of a thermoplastic elastomer without undergoing a crosslinking process. The resulting products with non-crosslinked compounds will be more easily recyclable.
Talking tires help put Pirelli on top
At the Tire Technology International awards, Pirelli was named Tire Manufacturer of the Year in large part for its leadership in technical innovation. Accepting the award, Marco Spinetto, Pirelli's head of strategic innovation and knowledge management, government regulations and industry standards, pointed to the launch of Connesso as one of the tire maker's greatest achievements last year. The system allows a tire to 'talk to' the driver via data analysis through the cloud and an app: providing information about tire pressure, temperature, and wear. "This year we're going to present an evolution of this system, in line with our digital focus," Spinetto said. "Our main partners, the world's most important car manufacturers, have shown that they really appreciate our approach, and the growing number of premium and prestige homologations proves that."
MegaRide is a model innovator
Italian start-up MegaRide earned the TTE Award for Excellence in Tire Technology for its development of the complementary thermoRIDE and adheRIDE modeling tools. The software allows researchers to predict, in real time, the temperature of the different tire layers based on telemetry data-processing techniques. The model is able to provide local temperature distribution, with particular reference to the deep layers usually unreachable by measurement instruments. AdheRIDE is a physical-analytical tire grip model that calculates the power dissipated in a polymeric material indented by road asperities, taking into account the adhesive/hysteretic effects, treadwear phenomena, road roughness and the grip-temperature relationship.
Bartell Machinery Systems
Bartell is demonstrating several products live at TTE, including its BeadView optical non-contact bead measurement system, the SWS-7000 single wire bead winding system, and examples of advanced material applications that are leading to improved machine design, ergonomics and maintenance. The BeadView non-contact bead inspection system is said to precisely and repeatedly measures critical bead characteristics leading to improving overall quality and reduced scrap. bartell is also highlighting its new 7000 series bead winding system, available for both PCR and TBR beads. This, it said, is designed to produce an 33,400 beads per day resulting in at least a 16% increase in productivity over other systems,.
At TTE, Beumer is presenting an automated tire-handling system, designed to offer higher throughput with less equipment. By automating the handling of green tires, the ‘tire tray system’ is said to “virtually eliminate” the risk of tires being damaged or deformed during the build and finishing processes. The design combines transportation, sortation and storage of green tires in a single system. Each tire is loaded into an individual-controlled tray as it leaves the tire building machine for storage or transportation direct to the curing press while remaining in the same tray. This avoids any need to grip, lift or reposition the tire.
At TTE, BST Eltromat International is focusing on the challenges of obtaining high-precision length and angle measurements in tire manufacturing as well as quality assurance in areas such as a web-width. Features will include the company's visualisation and operating platform ‘PROSolutions’, which links different quality assurance systems, and a new system for measuring the thickness of materials. The platform is said to enable customers to link numerous monitoring and measurement stations and provide a unified user-interface for visualising, configuring and controlling the systems. Read more
The Italian machinery maker's TTE presentations, this year, include several innovative products specifically developed around a shared R&D concept for high quality and flexible calendering or mixing production processes. Features also include smart factory dedicated service packages, designed to “support and orient customers towards Industry 4.0, new digital product systems and connected process/technologies for the competitive innovation challenge.” Read more
At TTE, HF TireTech will showcase its development of a tire building machine to meet market demands for larger sizes, smaller batches and enhanced quality. Labelled PLT2-SD-Flex, the TBM features a flexible drum concept, which is said to facilitate diversified production of highly complex tires. With just a tool-change, the machine can build all tire constructions currently on the market, in a flat or high-crown building process, according to HF. "Tire constructions, especially in the layer area, can be built ranging from a C-envelope to ply-down tires," the company said . These capabilities, it added, offer advantages in the sidewall area—which HF said is a critical part in determining tire-performance. Read more
At TTE 2018, KraussMaffei Berstorff is showcasing its new CompoundRework system 1000 for processing scrap material generated during rubber extrusion processes. It is said to offer ease-of-operation and be suitable for a wide range of different materials. Most extrusion processes inevitably involve the production of a certain amount of recyclable scrap, according to Joachim Brodmann, key account manager at KraussMaffei Berstorff. The, he said, includes "residual material that remains in the extruder or in the extrusion head in the event of compound or extrusion tool changes. In order to maximize added value, tire producers strive to recycle this scrap material by returning it to the production process." Read more
MonTech GmbH is exhibiting its online testing cell during TTE. Global advances in smart factories and increasing demand for efficiency throughout the tire manufacturing process propelled the design of the online testing cell. Montech says its technology links all necessary testing instruments for batch release into a single, compact and modular enclosed frame that can be integrated directly into the mixing line. In doing so, the online testing cell automatically receives slab samples for testing, and its internal robotics prepare the sample, label, bin and position each specimen on the integrated moving die rheometers, rubber process analyzers, and bulk density testers.
Rodolfo Comerio sales and marketing manager Nicola Fedele reviews the current developments within the Italian rubber machinery sector and the latest technical developments at his company, ahead of its participation in the Tire Technology Expo 2018 in Hanover, Germany: Read more