COLOGNE, Germany — The Future Tire 2018 conference concluded May 31 with a high-powered discussion led by a panel of leading players in the introduction of digital technologies in the European tire industry.
Moderated by industry veteran Jacob Peled, executive chairman, Pelmar Engineering, the panelists were asked to identify new technologies that will have the biggest impact on the global tire industry over the next 10 years.
The ensuing presentations, discussions and exchange views with the audience yielded wide-ranging opinions around how the industry is responding and should respond to developments such as RFID, Industry 4.0, electric vehicles and autonomous driving.
Jyrki Anttonen, technology director at Cimcorp Oy, presented a vision of an IoT and Industry 4.0 in a paper titled "Autonomous Vehicles – Autonomous Tire Plant." He called for new thinking within the established tire industry to realize the opportunities of autonomous vehicles (AVs), smart tires and digitalization.
Mr. Anttonen said AVs not only will be capable of self-driving, but also of adjusting autonomously. Future tires communicate with the autonomous vehicle's control system, sense road and weather conditions and adapt to them. They also monitor the wear as well as tire pressure and temperature.
Turning to issues around autonomous tire plants, the Cimcorp director said tire makers needed to rethink their manufacturing processes to avoid being left behind in the era of IT-led change.
Mr. Anttonen explored how automation and digitalization could improve tire plant efficiency and cut costs, in particular using artificial intelligence to organize production autonomously.
In his paper, knowledge management (KM) expert Jose Silicani, recently retired from Bridgestone, explained how a KM strategy could help tear down traditional cross-functional boundaries.
The KM approach, he said, is being used increasingly in the tire industry to enable people to share and put knowledge into action by creating access, context, infrastructure, and simultaneously reducing learning cycle.