COLMAR-BERG, Luxembourg (Feb. 22, 2001) — Hot-forming and injection molding of tire components are two system improvements Goodyear is integrating into its tire manufacturing process globally to help improve quality and drive down costs, the company revealed recently.
Hot-forming — a pre-assembly process involving up to seven extruded components — is part of Goodyear´s IMPACT (Integrated Manufacturing Precision Assembled Cellular Technology) system now in use at Goodyear plants in Colmar-Berg, Napanee, Ontario, and Danville, Va.
Although IMPACT is not a complete re-design of the tire-building process, it does offer measurable advantages in terms of cost, speed and quality, company engineers said during a recent tour of the Colmar-Berg truck tire plant. In addition, the process can be applied to all types of tires.
The system still is developing, but has four main aspects — the hot former, better efficiency through improved control technology, automated materials handling and cellular manufacture — which can be used all together, separately, or in combination.
In a separate development, Goodyear is injection molding truck tire bead and apex assembly using induction heating of the bead wires to cure the rubber from the inside out; this assembly, which is removed at about 90 percent of cure, eases handling and placement of the package at the building station, Goodyear said.
Mr. Shaw writes for European Rubber Journal, a sister publication of Tire Business.