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Top contact for testing solutions

Top contact for testing solutions

From the days when it offered aircraft and jet engine testing solutions, mainly to the US Air Force, under the name of Komtron, to the current status as leading providers of equipment for tyre R&D, especially testing of quality of tyres, Altracon has been ardently focusing on technology development. Quality improvement in tyre industry does not only mean quality of tyres, but it also stands for quality of testing and the development process, says Ralf Berres, Altracon’s CEO and R&D Director

TA News Bureau

How significant is Altracon’s contribution to quality improvement in tyre industry?

We are a pioneer in the field of quality testing for tyres and actively contributing with technology development in this field since more than 30 years. Our roots come from aircraft and jet engine testing. We supplied testing and technology solutions in this field in early times of the company mainly to the US Air Force under the name of the Germany-based Komtron that I owned. Tyre and elastomer testing technology was then supplemented step by step during the years, exploiting the experiences in the field of high dynamic measurement solutions and the development of suitable testing equipment, and has meanwhile completely superseded it.
Altracon itself was founded in 2009, bundling together the competencies of Komtron, which held the R&D competency, as well as companies owned by third parties for machine building and sales.
Altracon makes a big contribution to quality improvement in tyre industries.
The high quality standards from aircraft and jet engine testing are thereby still embossing our understanding of quality which is reflected in the reliability and the accuracy of the offered equipment.
Today the main part of our product portfolio is focusing on equipment for tyre R&D, especially testing of quality of tyres, including the measurement of tyre characteristics such as wear, rolling resistance, endurance, high speed uniformity or other standardised tests, as well as the measurement of elastomer material properties or the preparation of tyre sections for visual analysis.
While there are various suppliers for tyre testing equipment and drum tyre test stands at the market Altracon characterises by being an innovation centre with a significant part of new customised solutions to better understand the tyre and its behaviour. Altracon is the first contact to discuss the feasibility and to develop technical solutions to test or measure something new independent if it is in the lab, on the road or test track. Therefore we are even taking influence on the development of the quality testing itself.
Quality improvement in tyre industry does not only mean quality of tyres. It also stands for quality of testing and the development process.

What are Altracon’s challenges in the area of tyre testing machine manufacturing?

Altracon develops testing technology for tyre makers and the performance of the tyres is significantly improved with the machines and test-methods developed by us. It is obvious that tyre test stands which are requested by the R&D Centres for the industry combine more and more functionality. With this it gets technically more and more demanding. The development of tyres for global sales requires the consideration of the various international standards and these often should be performed at only one test stand. This goes along with the trend to larger tyres and often results in a balancing act to combine precise measurement equipment for small and big tyres to prevent the purchase of multiple machines. However, this is not always possible.

As new quality improvement norms come into play in tyre industry, how is Altracon benefiting from it?

Altracon is prepared with the company set-up that testing solutions and configurations may be developed which do not yet exist. We are specialised in machine technology and has major experience in tyre testing.
We are associate partner for the standardisation committees for testing in our fields of competency. Based on the involvement in R&D and parent bodies Altracon has the advantage to be early involved in the development of new testing standards.

(Full text of the interview in TA June/July issue)

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