02/21/2011

www.gupta-verlag.de/rubber

Winners of Tire Technology Awards 2011 announced

The winners are listed below together with the statement from the jury.Yokohama Rubber Company
Environmental Achievement of the Year
"It has been a remarkable year for Yokohama in terms of environmental initiatives, which have not gone unrewarded. Among its environmental work over the past 12 months that impressed the jury, the company has formulated guidelines for the preservation of biodiversity. These guidelines involve investigations to determine whether its activities adversely affect the natural environments around its business locations, and any remedial actions that may be needed. The company is also seeking to reduce the environmental effects of its use of natural rubber and mineral resources. A major project for Yokohama continues to be its Forever Forest Project, which aims to plant 500,000 seedlings at seven domestic and 11 overseas production sites. The past 12 months have seen Yokohama hold tree-planting ceremonies at all of its 18 sites. Overall, approximately 183,000 trees - 36.7% of the goal of 500,000 - have already been planted.Further initiatives include the embracing of solar power. At Hangzhou Yokohama Tire, the company's Chinese subsidiary and factory, 729 100W solar panels have been installed, which will supply about 67,000kWh of electricity annually, about 0.3% of the facility's requirement, cutting CO2 emissions by about 94 tons per year. Yokohama has also installed solar power at the Research and Development Integrated Centre (RADIC) at its Hiratsuka factory in Japan, where 120 87W panels will supply about 8,000kWh of electricity annually, cutting CO2 emissions by about three tons per year. Photovoltaic power generation systems have also been introduced at the company's Mishima and Shinshiro-Minami plants in Japan.In addition, Yokohama's tire manufacturing plants in Thailand and the Philippines have achieved 'complete zero emissions' status - that is, no waste subject to direct landfill disposal - and Yokohama's Salem plant in the USA has been recognised as an 'Extraordinary Environmental Enterprise' in the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program. Looking forward, Yokohama has announced a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020 through the use of natural energies, adopting highly efficient equipment, and otherwise conserving energy." Goodyear UltraGrip Ice
Tire Technology of the Year
"Winter tires are gaining unprecedented levels of public interest, so it is fitting that our Tire Technology of the Year is the Goodyear UltraGrip Ice+ stud-less ice tire. This impressive tire has been engineered to master some of the world's most challenging roads - freezing Nordic winter roads - and features, among other technologies, ActiveGrip Technology, which combines a dual cap compound with hybrid sipes. If this tire can cope with these conditions, it can cope anywhere.The extreme Arctic cold this tire can withstand affects rubber, making it lose its elasticity. Therefore a special winter tread compound was developed. The Dual Cap Compound features a combination of two different types of compounds that enable it to perform in icy and snowy winter conditions, as well as on dry roads at higher temperatures.Both layers of compound also feature hybrid sipe patterns that help deliver optimal grip over the tire's life. The tread features two layers of compound, each with its own specific sipe pattern. These hybrid sipes, a combination of the waffle sipes found in the upper compound layer and zigzag sipes found in the base compound layer, have been designed to offer longitudinal tread stiffness over the entire tread depth, thus contributing to excellent grip on both snow and ice throughout the tire's lifetime.The UltraGrip Ice+ also has a V-shaped tread design with wide transversal grooves for strong water and slush evacuation, minimising aquaplaning. The sharp tread design elements, called the Snow Grasper, provide improved traction and braking in snow. The tire is designed with a wide footprint for more even pressure distribution, and improved road contact and mileage levels. The high tread depth also provides improved aquaplaning resistance and better traction on snow and ice, while the variable tread block angles deliver reduced noise frequency peaks for a more quiet and comfortable ride."  Oerlikon Saurer
Tire Industry Supplier of the Year
"With a market share of about 70%, Oerlikon Saurer's Allma Product Line division is the tire industry's main supplier of machinery for the production of tire cord. Indeed the company claims that 50% of all automobile tires benefit from Oerlikon production solutions. To indicate how well our supplier of the year has been doing, 2010 saw the company's overall orders expand by some 33%, up to CHF2.1 billion, while sales figures were up 10% and CHF1.6 billion - all amid a global recession.Energy is the primary cost driver in this segment and accounts for approximately 50% of overall cabling costs; in the case of machinery already depreciated, energy costs can account for up to 80%.Allma's latest invention, the CC4, is claimed to allow customers to save up to 40% energy costs and thus up to 20% cabling costs. With the CC4, the outer yarn (creel yarn) forms a balloon, which, if controlled and its diameter reduced, reduces energy consumption. Users can control the thread balloon and reduce its diameter by simply touching a few buttons on the screen. This is made possible by advancements in electrical engineering, and has a positive impact on the environment." CureSense
Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year
"CureSense is a new measurement system for cure time control of moulded rubber goods, claimed to reduce cure time by 20-30%. The system monitors the rubber curing on-line in the mould and, depending on the variations in the process and compound, the cure time will be adjusted automatically in each shot. The result is a 20-30% shorter cure time and more consistent product quality. A shorter production time also means energy savings on each item produced.The high-temperature ultrasound sensor in the mould controls the press so it opens when the curing is complete, instead of opening after a fixed cure time containing a safety margin. The first system has been delivered to ABB in Sweden, which has reduced the cure time on one of its rubber products by 20%. Another benefit with the measurement of the curing process is a more efficient-thinking personnel, according to ABB. CureSense has also been used on a tire mould with promising results."Supplier of the system is the Swedish company Reosense. Hankook
Tire Manufacturer of the Year
"Looking to jump from being the world's seventh-largest tire company, Hankook has made some major advances over the past 12 months that it hopes will take the company to fifth position over the coming years. These advances so impressed the jury that the company has taken the coveted Manufacturer of the Year title.Hankook showed continuous financial growth for every quarter in 2010, with sales generated from Korea, China and Hungary again marking the company's highest ever quarter records, despite rising raw material prices. Sales from Korea, China and Hungary showed 10.1%, 6.6% and 13.7% YoY growths, respectively.
This financial strength has enabled Hankook to begin work on its US$954 million, 530,000m2 global sixth manufacturing plant, situated in Chongqing, China. The plant, which will be Hankook's third in China, is expected to solidify the company's position globally, particularly in the Chinese market, and to boost its production scale to become the world's fifth-largest tire company within a few years. The agreement also signifies Hankook Tire's global strategy to achieve ongoing growth by establishing a solid production platform. Upon completion, the plant will produce 11.5 million passenger car and truck-and-bus tires per year, generating sales of US$1 billion annually. It will also create about 4,600 new jobs in the region.Hankook's ambitious growth targets also include a doubling of annual production in Europe, and business with truck tires expected to grow by about 8% by the end of 2011.At its European production site in Rácalmás, Hungary, Hankook Tire operates one of the world's most advanced tire production plants. The company consistently invests in the development of the site, with an additional €230 million being invested over the past 12 months, and annual tire production due to be doubled to more than 10 million tires. Further expansion of the facility, and the inclusion of truck tire production, are planned for the medium term.To ensure that the staff grow with the company, Hankook has also established a Global Education Centre to collaborate and foster the company's production system around the world. The centre, located within the company's Korean Daejong plant, the manufacturer's biggest global production site, is intended to enhance the capabilities of employees for production and functional posts at all existing plants in Korea, China and Hungary, as well as plants to be established in the future. Through the Global Education Centre, Hankook Tire expects to strengthen the global production network collaboration, establishing standardised production quality of highest levels." The runners up:Clean Lasersysteme GmbH, Continental Carbon Company
Environmental Achievement of the Year
"Clean-Lasersysteme GmbH for its cleanLaser system, which cleans tire mould surfaces using bundled light. This type of laser cleaning uses no abrasives, chemicals or liquids. Unlike grit blasting or chemical cleaning, the laser process uses no media so there is no secondary waste. The method vaporises and immediately vacuum-captures removed coatings and dirt, ensuring a reduction in waste disposal and environmental pollutants compared with conventional ways of cleaning and de-coating.Continental Carbon Company, for the real-time performance monitoring system it implemented at its carbon black manufacturing plant in Ponca City, Oklahoma, USA. This system provides a level of production efficiency that can only be attained through continuous monitoring of key performance indicators and improving every aspect of the manufacturing process." Ecosil, TMSI, Continental
Tire Technology of the Year
"Ecosil, for developing a process involving silanes, which has led to the design and testing of a new type of radial tire. The process bonds steel to rubber through the use of silanes, and during tests Cooper Tire, a partner in the project, has found that the performance advantages of the silane-treated steel cords in the belt include greater longevity and safety. By bonding rubber to metals using a silane instead of brass, the corrosive properties of brass coatings on steel cords in radial tires can be solved. Further, the formulation of the natural rubber in the tire, which is optimised for adhesion, makes that rubber sensitive to heat ageing, the underlying cause of the tires failed by tread separation. With this advance, designers can optimise rubber compounds for tire performance, not for rubber: tire cord adhesion. The use of additives can also be reduced, benefiting costs and the environment.TMSI's OnLevel tire testing machine is a flat-road-surface dynamic tire test rig that is unique in its ability to test forces and moments, rolling resistance, rpk/rpm, high-speed uniformity, conicity and ply-steer, ply-steer residual aligning torque, and rolling radial spring rate, all on one machine, with variable and programmable test conditions for load, inflation, speed, steer angle and camber angle. This development represents a big step forward in tire testing capability and efficiency, and gives more accurate stress and strain data compared with round wheel machines.The ContiSportContact 5 P from Continental is designed to offer maximum support to high-performance cars in both wet and dry driving situations. To help make the tire as effective in the wet as the dry, Continental's engineers used new carbon blacks and resins, and also used a mixture of aramid and nylon threads in another bid to improve the flexibility of the tire's surface. Two rugged central ribs in the asymmetrical tread pattern mean the rear axle tires provide optimum grip, and also ensure that no propulsion power is lost, while at the same time the 45° lugged structure on the tire outer shoulder means good transmission of lateral forces. To reinforce this effect, Continental's engineers dispensed with one of the two central ribs on the front axle tire, to widen the lug structures for handling. The cap is designed to ensure maximum grip for fast, safe transmission of braking and steering commands, as well as for high acceleration, while the base is now formed to cause as little rolling resistance as possible. By combining the two elements the developers managed to achieve low rolling resistance without having to sacrifice driving performance." Münch Chemie, Mesnac
Tire Industry Supplier of the Year
"The past 12 months have seen Münch Chemie carry out intensive research for its clients in the tire industry. Two notable products have been developed, the first of which, Release Agent MK-444, is a water-based, ready-to-use release agent, forming a coherent release film on the mould. Though this film is micro-thin, it is very resistant after cure, even to abrasive materials, and temperature stable up to 300°C. The second development is a cleaning compound for screw extruders and injection moulding machines. The main goal of this innovation is to create a cleaning agent that can help save time and cut down on expenses, complemented by superior cleaning performance.Chinese producer of rubber machines Mesnac, which is now in fifth place in the Rubber Machinery Producers World Ranking, has made large investments to bring it closer to its European customers. After establishing a sales agent for Europe and the Middle East - Rubber Point - Mesnac now has its own European design centre too: the Mesnac European Research and Technical Centre (MERTC). Employing many former engineers and designers from Matador Machinery (later Conti Machinery) with long-term experience in the rubber machinery business, the centre will follow European market demand and the requirements of European customers. MESNAC will be able to fulfil tasks in the demanding EU market, especially the reliability, safety, quality and environmental aspects of Mesnac products. European customers will also benefit from more flexible communication with MERTC experts. The centre has also made an important advance: it has developed and successfully started up a unique system of final compound mixing. The single-stage, low-temperature, fully automatic system offers many technological, logistical and cost-saving advantages." Collmann, LMI
Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year
"Collmann was nominated for its VerTiX tire x-ray machine with Coll-Tech x-ray ADR. Collman's new tire handling equipment allows for automatic feeding of any tire size, with the newest x-ray sensors now producing very sharp images in a fraction of the time that it once took to capture a digital x-ray photograph. The high-resolution x-ray image is inputted to a sophisticated automatic defect recognition (ADR) product that uses proprietary data mining and analysis techniques to qualify the tire cord integrity. These techniques are able to input and analyse pixel-to-pixel differences in an x-ray photograph of a complete tire that is megapixels in size. The newest high-speed industrial computers are used to run ADR, enabling this inspection to occur in seconds. By combining the newest improvements to x-ray equipment with sophisticated ADR, the Collmann VerTiX machine with Coll-Tech x-ray ADR is the only commercial system that can distinguish up to four different cord layers within one tire x-ray.With the development of the Gocator 3D line-based measurement sensor, LMI has emphasised ease of use through a built-in web browser, measurement tools, and rich I/O for a complete solution in a sensor. The Gocator can be used as a single sensor, dual 'buddy' configuration, or up to 24 sensors in a synchronised system. The value is that any level of process technologist or engineer can easily use the system. The system is standalone, not requiring additional control boxes, amplifiers, external controllers, PCs or cabling. A flexible configuration also means that users can define the field of view, MR, exposure and trigger rate. Triggering can be configured to be time-based, encoder-based or via an external hardware trigger or software control. Full 3D inspection performs cross-section measurements defined by the operator, measuring key metrics such as width, thickness (range), edge detection, surface angle and many more through an easy-to-use and intuitive GUI interface." Apollo, Bridgestone
Tire Manufacturer of the Year
"Apollo's remarkable rate of expansion is showing no signs of abating. Following its acquisition of Vredestein Banden in 2009, the Indian company is entering Europe with an initial range of passenger car tires with speed ratings from T to Y, 4x4, summer and winter tires, primarily comprising the top 50 sizes by volume. The Apollo passenger car brands that will be available in Europe are Amazer 3G Maxx, Acelere, Aspire and the 4x4 range of Hawkz in summer tires, as well as the Acelere Winter and Hawkz Winter ranges. Also, the company's latest plant, in Chennai, India, shows the company's drive towards being a Top 10 manufacturer, having been fitted with extensive automated technologies for tire building and inspection. Apollo now exports to more than 70 countries across the world, and has manufacturing facilities on three continents, with four plants in India, another four in southern Africa, and another in the Netherlands.It has been an impressive year for Bridgestone. In addition to significant research and production advances, the company has taken a global view of the environmental impact of tires - the so-called cradle to grave approach - covering the whole product lifecycle, from raw materials, production and distribution, to tire usage and end-of-life disposal. A key element of this has been the NanoPro-Tech (Nanostructure-Oriented Properties Control Technology), which is claimed to further reduce heat generation in the top tread compound, as applied to the new Ecopia ranges. To aid further research, Bridgestone has also commenced work on a USD 100 million state-of-the-art Technical Center in Akron, Ohio. The investment will keep hundreds of jobs in the community. Meanwhile Bridgestone Europe is expanding production at its PCR plant in Poznan, Poland, with EUR 105 million earmarked for the investment, which will result in an increase of 5,600 tires per day of production. In addition, to address the continuing increases in global demand for large and ultra-large OTR radial tires used on construction and mining vehicles, Bridgestone is expanding production capacity of its Kitakyushu plant in Japan. The company will also expand the production of steel cord used in large and ultra-large ORR tires manufactured at its Saga plant. The total investment for both expansions will be approximately JPY 24 billion. The Kitakyushu plant will be the environmental model for future Bridgestone factories by incorporating designs and construction methods that minimise the plant's impact on the environment. The plant will help conserve energy by using solar panels, making use of natural light in the factory and thereby limiting the need for electric lighting, and reducing paper consumption by using an electronic paper product developed by Bridgestone." The juryMassimo Cialone, materials and compounding R&D, Marangoni, ItalyFederico Mancosu, R&D manager, Pirelli (and consultant), ItalyVictor Underberg, manager, drive, brake and stability management systems, Audi AG, GermanyProf. Dr. Pim van der Jagt, managing director, research & advanced engineering, Ford Research Centre, GermanyShunichi Yamazaki, president, Intelligent Vehicle Research Institute, JapanFranco Annunziato, CQO & senior vice president, technology, Bridgestone Technical Center Europe, ItalyRoger Jenkins, managing director, Kumho Europe Technical Centre, UKDr Burkhard Wies, tire line development worldwide, Continental, GermanyDr Alan Gent, professor emeritus of polymer physics and polymer engineering, University of Akron, USADr Oluremi Olatunbosun, mechanical engineering, University of Birmingham, UKDr Joachim Neubauer, standards and regulations, Michelin, FranceChristoph Kalla, Performance Butadiene Rubbers business unit, Lanxess International SA, SwitzerlandSaied Taheri, associate professor, mechanical engineering, VirginiaTech, USAHans-Georg Meyer, vice president of sales, KraussMafffei Berstorff, GermanyManfred Haider, Austrian Institute of Technology / Tyrosafe, AustriaGuy Edington, director of technology, STL (former MD of Kumho America Technical Center), USAHarm J. Voortman, president & CEO, VMI, The NetherlandsDipl.-Inf. Oliver Scholz, Fraunhofer Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen IIS, GermanyMichael Staude, tire expert, Tüv Süd, GermanyDr Joe Walter, adjunct professor, mechanical engineering, University of Akron, USAAdam Gavine, editor, Tire Technology International


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