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Future Tire: Game changers map the way forward

COLOGNE, Germany — The Future Tire 2018 conference concluded May 31 with a high-powered discussion led by a panel of leading players in the introduction of digital technologies in the European tire industry.

Moderated by industry veteran Jacob Peled, executive chairman, Pelmar Engineering, the panelists 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.

Jyrki Anttonen, technology director at Cimcorp Oy, presented a vision of an IoT and Industry 4.0 in a paper titled “Autonomous Vehicles – Autonomous Tire Plant.” He called for new thinking within the established tire industry to realize the opportunities of autonomous vehicles (AVs), smart tires and digitalization.

Mr. Anttonen said AVs not only will 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.

Mr. Anttonen explored how automation and digitalization could improve tire plant efficiency and cut costs, in particular using artificial intelligence to organize production autonomously.

In his paper, 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 used increasingly in the tire industry to enable people to share and put knowledge into action by creating access, context, infrastructure, and simultaneously reducing learning cycle.

Game-changing technologies panl mambers are (from left): Jyrki Anttonen, Cimcorp Oy; Henk Van Tuyl, Goodyear S.A.; Philippe Lallement, Michelin; Jose Silicani, tire and rubber consultant, Lorenzo Alleva, Bridgestone EMEA; and moderator Jacob Peled, executive chairman, Pelmar Engineering

“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,” Mr. Silicani said.

For many delegates, the “star-turn” on the panel was provided by Philippe Lallement, tire electronics pre-development team leader at Group Michelin. The Clermont-Ferrand-based R&D specialist provided some insights into the French tire maker’s approach to the development and introduction of innovative technologies.

In his presentation, Mr. 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 and technology initiatives for Goodyear S.A., 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 A.G.

In his talk, Mr. 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, Tire Business will run a series of reports on the presentations and discussions at the Future Tire Conference 2018, held May 30-31 as part of the inaugural Tire Cologne international trade fair.

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