LAS VEGAS-Michelin North America is testing a prototype tire management system that could help managers and service techs monitor earthmover tires 24 hours a day. The Michelin Earthmover Management System (MEMS) could help companies boost the longevity of mining tires, which cost up to $20,000 apiece, Michelin said.
With the system, a specially designed integrated circuit or ``tag'' is mounted inside the tire. Pressure and temperature sensors contained on each tag monitor and store data that is transmitted to an onboard receiver.
Operators can view data from an MEMS-specific in-cab display monitor. The MEMS receiver also can feed Caterpillar's Vital Information Management System.
A unique identification number links each tag to a specific vehicle number and wheel position, Michelin said. Each tag also can carry information on tread design, tire size, compound and serial number.
The system offers a number of benefits, the tire maker said.
Continuous pressure monitoring eliminates the need to stop for pressure checks and helps quickly identify leaking tires, Michelin said. Detection of pressure and temperature anomalies helps prevent tire damage, as well.
According to Michelin, 25 to 30 percent of all large haul truck tire failures result from improper inflation pressure and/or excessive temperature.
The MEMS system can store historical data allowing quick analysis of tons-miles-per-hour and tread compound performance, the tire maker said.
Michelin unveiled the system prototype at the recent MINExpo '96 in Las Vegas. The tire maker said it expects units, initially designed for mining trucks and wheel loaders, to be available for sale late next year.
``Michelin plans to develop this tire management technology for a full range of vehicles, from large mining trucks down to the smallest support equipment,'' the tire maker said.
Michelin has renewed its commitment to the mining industry, said Steve Rose, vice president of marketing and sales, off highway tires. ``This is the beginning of an exciting new era in Michelin's involvement in mining and heavy construction.''