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Is Your Tire Plant Steam System Smart Enough to Optimize Production?

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For the global tire industry, taking a lead role in sustainability and energy efficiency is nothing new.

Over the past decade, tire producers have adopted innovative designs and materials that support vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce the overall environmental impact of their end products.

Now, with global demand expected to increase about four percent each year through 2019, tire manufacturers are challenged to ramp up production – and keep their own environmental footprint in check.

There has never been a better time for tire producers to take a long hard look at their steam systems. Critical to tire curing and other processes, an inefficient steam system can have a dramatic impact on both uptime and energy usage.

With life expectancy extending 20 years or more, steam system boilers are among the most long-lived equipment in a typical tire plant.

However, in many cases those existing boilers run on outdated control systems – and have not been optimized for today's multivariable production environments.

To help ensure reliability, virtually all steam systems include multiple boilers configured for redundancy. However, many systems are not using production information to manage load requirements most efficiently.

The Connected Enterprise provides the framework for boiler optimization and a cost-effective load management strategy. Simply put, The Connected Enterprise links data from production lines, utilities and enterprise IT and delivers contextualized information where and when it is needed.

For many tire producers, improving steam system data quality is an important first step. A Rockwell Automation control system retrofit can include power and energy monitoring products to help capture the right data on boiler power consumption, major loads, power quality and energy costs.

But obtaining the right data is just part of the equation. To improve steam system performance and energy utilization, the right data must be analyzed – and presented in the right context.

Our manufacturing intelligence software provides connectivity to multiple real-time and historical data – including energy monitoring information – in a single solution.

To better contextualize the data, these applications can extend to include cycle times or information from other devices on the plant floor, such as sensors.

What's more, all manufacturing data is available in real time – on any mobile device whenever it is needed.

By analyzing contextualized information, tire producers can more easily identify patterns of boiler use – and energy and cost-saving opportunities. Contextualized information also enables predictive maintenance and boosts productivity. It makes steam systems smarter and supports better decisions.

Learn more about why The Connected Enterprise makes good business sense for tire manufacturing.

Co-authored by Stefano Villa, Oil & Gas Application Manager, Rockwell Automation

Paolo Butti
Paolo Butti
Director Industry and OEM - EMEA, Rockwell Automation
Paolo leads a team of highly experienced Industry Managers and OEM Segment Leaders, as well Strategic Account Managers. He coordinates our strategy and execution plan, driving key plays, selecting key focused accounts and balancing short term goals with mid-long term achievements within core industries and segments. Paolo has a discrete manufacturing background across a wide range of industries and functions. He joined Rockwell Automation in 2012, after 5 years in Comau (part of Fiat Chrysler Group), working as an automation domain expert on vehicle production systems and robotics. He received his PH.D in Electronics Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano in 1997.

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