3 Key Innovations Shaping the Tire Retreading Landscape
Tire retreading market continues to be influenced by various factors, ranging from growing focus on cost-effectiveness, growing automobile industry, and regulations pertaining to environmental conservation.
Commercial fleet owners continue to show a marked preference for refurbishing, owing to its cost-saving benefits. Market players, such as MICHELIN, Bridgestone Corporation, Easters Treads, MRF Tyres, and JK Tyres are using advancements and innovative technologies to make the process of tire retreading simpler and cost-effective.
Adoption of Better Synthetic Rubber
The tire manufacturing industry is aware that it needs to do more to ensure compliance with environment conservation regulations. To adopt more sustainable solutions, several companies investing in R&D on developing commercially-feasible synthetic rubber.
Recently, Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied Polymer Researchers in Germany came up with a polyisoprene synthetic rubber named Biskya that undergoes around thirty to fifty percent less tearing as compared to natural rubber. Abrasion characteristics of latest rubber makes it ideal to be used in truck tire treads. To further prove their point, researchers conducted tests to compare Biskya with conventional natural rubber tires.
Tests result showed that at the end of testing, natural rubber tires lost around 850 grams of weight and 0.94 millimeters of tread, whereas, Biskya tires lost around six hundred grams of weight and 0.47 millimeters of tread.
Automating the Tire Retreading Process
Automation is enhancing both quality and speed of the end product. Automation has replaced several processes performed by hand, like performing quality control inspection and buffing away old tread. Although retreated tires are still examined visually, automated computer systems are used to aid in the examining the quality. For instance, sensors located on the buffer are used to examine appropriate buff depth and radius depending on the information fetched from the tire. These sensors are able to spot inconsistencies that can be oversighted.
Tyre Retreading Machinery (TRM), an Italian manufacturer, in 2018, introduced Latitude, a line of automated retreading equipment in the US. Robotic buffer, an integral component of Latitude, significantly improves productivity. When the robotic arm smoothens the tire on the first chuck, worker can work on the second one loading and unloading tires, and installing machinery for the next tire to be worked upon. The firm’s motive by launching Latitude Series of equipment is to make retreading more competitive with inexpensive new tires by automating the method of retreading.
Adoption of Smart Tire
The adoption of smart tires has grown considerably in the recent past. Michelin, a leading player in the market, recently introduced a range of smart tires -- every single ‘smart’ tire has an implanted radio frequency identification tag, which is a sensor that observes conditions like temperature and tire pressure. Most of the Tier 1 tire manufacturers are experimenting or have already launched RFID-equipped smart tire for commercial fleets.
Smart tires send real-time information to a database, mostly cloud-based. Fleet handlers or drivers can get alerts if a tire needs to be replaced or requires more air. Constant efficiency improvements lead to decreased maintenance of tire and ownership prices. Firms are searching for various ways to installing sensors on a tire so that it is not affected during the process of retread.