It’s an exciting time in tire manufacturing. New advances in sensor technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) have swiftly expanded the capabilities of “intelligent tires.” And global demand for new – and especially replacement – tires is expected to remain stable or increase in the years to come.
At the same time, tire manufacturers must ramp up production capacity quickly, shorten overall delivery cycles, contain costs – and address an ever increasing range of tire types.
For the OEMs who serve the industry, today’s business climate represents an unprecedented opportunity for growth, as well as significant challenges. Simply put, tire OEMs must deliver smarter, smaller and more efficient machinery faster than ever before.
Contemporary control and information technology can pave the way for smarter equipment that easily connects with a tire company’s network infrastructure to deliver an extraordinary level of operational data.
For example, these IO-Link-enabled smart sensors provide a continuous flow of information from the production line to monitor machine health and enhance productivity. And expanding analytics capabilities – available through FactoryTalk® Analytics and other software tools – are making smart machines even smarter.
Choosing an On-Machine™ control architecture to apply and integrate these new technologies is one of the most cost-effective ways to realize the benefits.
In any tire plant, floor and cabinet space are at a premium. Yet to help protect components from harsh conditions, OEMs typically rely on bulky cabinet-based control systems. Control components are mounted either in centralized cabinets or distributed junction boxes at a distance from the machinery.
These systems not only consume a significant amount of space – they also feature complex wiring that is time-consuming to install and difficult to troubleshoot.
An On-Machine approach moves the industrial controls and hardware closer to the application or onto the machine. The result? A reduced machine footprint and a simplified system architecture that minimizes wiring and speeds installation and maintenance.
On-Machine design is becoming the preferred approach for OEMs serving a wide range of industries. And thanks to new industrially-hardened controls, On-Machine design is now a viable alternative for equipment installed in unforgiving tire plants as well.
Take a look at the rugged IP67-rated Allen-Bradley® Armor™ GuardLogix® controller and ArmorStratix™ 5700 industrial Ethernet switch from Rockwell Automation. To help OEMs streamline machine installation and maintenance further, these components also include time-saving features – such as pre-configured quick connect systems.
Across the tire production landscape – from extrusion lines and curing presses to tire building machines – an On-Machine approach can help OEMs design, develop and deliver equipment faster. For end users, an On-Machine architecture is a simpler solution that enables a lower total cost of ownership – from initial installation to troubleshooting and component replacement.
Discover more about Rockwell Automation solutions for tire OEMs and manufacturers.
Co-authored by Paolo Butti
Tire & Rubber Industry Sales Manager, Rockwell Automation