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Michelin wins two award at Tire Technology Expo 2015

Global tyre manufacturer, Michelin has won Tire Manufacturer of the Year award, along with the Tire Technology of the Year award for its EverGrip technology at the Tire Technology Expo 2015 held in Germany recently.

Michelin was crowned Tire Manufacturer of the Year after beating off stiff competition from Goodyear, Kumho, and Yokohama. The independent judging panel of tire technology experts from across the globe chose Michelin following the successful launch of its groundbreaking Premier A/S tire with its EverGrip technology in 2014.

In addition, the company’s progress with the Tweel airless tire concept was noted, with Michelin having recently opened a new factory and announced OEM supply deals for the technology.

The company’s EverGrip technology also scooped its own award, winning the Tire Technology of the Year category in a field featuring Bekaert’s TAWI (ternary alloy wire coating), the Pit Stop Line from Trelleborg and Yokohama’s achievement of aeroacoustic simulation around a rolling tire. Michelin’s EverGrip technology works by maintaining tire tread pattern – and therefore safety – as the tires wear down, so directly addresses the effects of tire wear on wet and snow traction. EverGrip was launched with the Premier A/S all-season tire, of which new sizes have recently been announced, and whose first OE fitments will follow soon.

Apollo Vredestein picked up the Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year award on the back of its Tandem mixer Mixer 8 project, created following a vast expansion project at its facility in Enschede, the Netherlands.

The Tandem Mixer for UHP compounds now occupies an entire building, with a tandem structure consisting of two mixers fitted above each other.  Whereas conventional mixing sees the rubber compound left in the machine during the second (silanization) mixing phase, Vredestein’s Mixer 8 allows these two processes take place in the two separate parts of the mixer, enabling a silica compound, for instance, to be ready roughly twice as fast.  This means the output of Mixer 8 is at least 80% higher on average than that of a conventional mixer, with the machine’s efficiency claimed to translate into energy savings of more than 7,000GJ per year, for a financial gain of almost €200,000.

Other nominees in this category were 4Jet’s SCANNECT laser process, the new Uni-Stage TBM active guiding system from Intereuropean and the NEO-T01 fully automated tire production technology from Sumitomo Rubber Industries.

In the Environmental Achievement of the Year category Lehigh Technologies’ Micronized Rubber Powder won in a field including Bridgestone’s TPMS, the Biological Odour Removal System from Mesnac and Carbon black anodes from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Judges recognised Lehigh’s 2014 milestone of producing more than 200 million lbs of Micronized Rubber Powder (MRP), a sustainable, lower-cost, high-performing and customizable feedstock for tire manufacturing, as well as other products.

Versalis’ Elastomers business unit picked up the title of Tire Industry Supplier of the Year category, for its work contributing to sustainability through multiple innovations and partnerships, with examples including the new functionalized SSBR polymers and a new generation of neodymium catalyzed BR, which are being used by tire makers to save energy in the final products. Also nominated were Heico Tire and Rubber Group, Mesnac, and the National Tire Research Center, part of the SovaMotion setup in Alton, Virginia.

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