PORTLAND, Maine (July 24, 2013) — Smithers Rapra Inc. will hold its inaugural "Future of Tire Technology" conference and exhibition Oct. 28-30 in Charlotte, N.C.
Smithers Rapra claims the event will bring together tire OEMs, Tier 1-4 system and component suppliers and materials producers to address the question: "How can tire companies, suppliers and OEMs balance innovation, regulatory requirements and cost concerns with consumer perception and actions?"
Smithers said participants will include Ford Motor Co., Firestone Polymers Co., Pirelli Tyre S.p.A. "and many other tire industry leaders."
The program was built to deliver relevant information and business opportunity to all sectors of the industry, Smithers said, and has been shaped by conference co-chairs James A. Popio, general manager/director of engineering for Smithers, and David Rohweder, global chief engineer, tire and wheel engineering for Ford. Joining them on an advisory committee are John Baldwin, technical adviser for Discount Tire/America's Tire; Bob Handlos, chairman and CEO of Firestone Polymers; Thomas Hanel, head of innovative materials, R&D–material development for Pirelli Tyre; and Charles R. Herd, director, RCB technology for Birla Carbon.
"Each segment of the industry has different needs for tire performance, cost and how the formulas align to create a profitable business model," said Andrew Smaha, conference director. "The Future of Tire Technology 2013 explores the hard facts for materials and products, and the legislative and standards reality we must all deal with.
"No other conference will tackle this dilemma from every angle with such depth of knowledge and expertise on tire materials and technology. Relying on our significant history in the tire industry, Smithers Rapra is excited to provide the resources and relationships that business leaders need to shape a clear path forward."
The agenda will feature perspectives from tire manufacturers, consumers, automotive companies and material designers and suppliers including: Birla Carbon; Cosin Scientific Software; DuPont Co.; ExxonMobil Chemical; Firestone Polymers; Ford; Helmond; Lanxess Corp.; Lehigh Technologies L.L.C.; Pirelli Tyre; Pratt & Miller Engineering; Reklaim Inc.; Smithers Rapra and VMI Americas Inc.
Conference attendees also will hear presentations from Cambertire L.L.C., Consumers Union, Ergon Inc., Esslingen University of Applied Sciences, Performance Fibers, Teijin Aramid USA, the University of Akron and Vantage Intermodal.
The event will begin on Oct. 28 with a focus on "What the tire needs to do for Us," plus, an in-depth discussion on establishing performance expectations, reporting against those expectations, and the dichotomy between expectations and the realities of the retail environment.
The conference's second day will focus on the trends, costs, compliance, automation and technology of making tires to ever-changing specifications, as well as the latest innovations from raw material suppliers in response to the needs of tire manufacturers and customers, according to Smithers.
The Future of Tire Technology also will offer a short course on Component Level Tire Modeling on the morning of Oct. 30.
Smithers said that for the first time in North America, two of the best known and commercially applied tire characteristics approximations —FTire, SWIFT— will be presented by their original authors, including the theoretical background, parameterization and adaptation based on measurements and corresponding software presentation.
More information about the conference is available on Smithers Rapra's website.
Smithers Rapra is involved in rubber, plastics, polymer and composites testing, consulting and information products and events and focuses on the tire, industrial, transportation, consumer and medical industries.