Pirot, Serbia – Tigar Tyres is employing Cimcorp’s Dream Factory concept for automated material handling at its recently expanded factory in Serbia, Cimcorp has reported in its latest company newsletter.
The technology, it said, is helping Michelin-owned Serbian tire maker to achieve a planned 50-percent increase in annual production capacity – from 8 million to 12 million tires by the end of 2016.
The Pirot plant manufactures entry-level passenger car and light truck tires, which are sold under Michelin’s Tigar, Kormoran, Riken and Taurus brands.
The €215-million expansion project was launched in 2012 as the entry-level market segment grew – especially in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS countries.
Once completed the investment will create 500 new jobs, bringing the total number of employees to 2700 by the end of 2016.
Tigar Tyres commissioned Cimcorp to automate the material flows in the tire-building and curing areas, as well as in the finishing and palletising area for three production lines.
“Cimcorp was already on our radar, in fact, as the company has delivered several robotic systems to the Michelin Group over the years for the storage and palletisation of finished truck and bus radial tires in France, Spain, Brazil, Italy and China,” said Gary Scheide, Plant Director.
“Cimcorp’s automation,offered us a complete and efficient solution that would mean quality, speed, flexibility and cost control, thereby helping us reach our production targets and satisfy client demands,” he added.
Implemented in 13 months, the Cimcorp project at Pirot is based on its Dream Factory concept and features conveyor, monorail and robotic technologies.
Green tires are transferred by conveyor from the building machines to the spraying stations and then to an automatic green tire buffer.
This is served by gantry robots, which store the green tires in a single layer on a mezzanine. When specific tires are required by the curing presses, the robots pick them from the buffer and they are transported via monorail to the curing presses.
After curing, tires are collected from the trench conveyor and placed on the cooling conveyor, and then transferred to the visual inspection area.
They then enter the testing buffer and are transferred to the testing machines before proceeding to the labelling area, the palletising buffer and the palletising area. Here, the Cimcorp system automatically calculates the optimal palletising method for each product type and robots arrange the tires in a space-optimised rick-rack pattern.