Modernisation presents companies with multiple benefits, in terms of performance, agility, flexibility, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), total cost of ownership (TCO) and – of particular importance in this modern data-rich era – connectivity. Contemporary solutions also help to address major concerns, including legislation, safety, obsolescence and compatibility.
For these reasons many companies embark on programmes, replacing aging, legacy, black-box solutions with modern, data capable, fully integrated automation and information systems, with rapid payback across all operational parameters very quickly justifying the investment.
The tyre industry is one realm that is seeing rapid adoption of new connected technology and new techniques, as it seeks to both streamline and speed up manufacturing operations. Indeed, many of the major players are undertaking huge investment campaigns to modernise and expand existing capabilities, with global demand for passenger car and light commercial vehicles tyres in 2018 estimated to be some 1.63 billion units. According to the TechSci Research report, “Global Tyre Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2022”, the global tyre market is forecast to surpass $ 319 billion by 2022 on account of anticipated rise in vehicle sales and expanding vehicle fleet.
It was the desire to leverage the capabilities of modern control solutions – while also addressing product variety, market expansion and compliance challenges – that prompted one of the world’s largest tyre producers to approach INDAS Tech, a Romanian Rockwell Automation Recognised Systems Integrator, to modernise its stage one and stage 2 tyre building machines at its plant in Romania. The company was also looking to incorporate new features in its productions systems that would deliver much more flexibility in terms of tyre-size changes and product handling.