Bridgestone Americas Inc. is on schedule to launch its innovative line of MasterCore tires, which are engineered for ultra-high durability with performance that can be customized to each mine site and operation. The concept incorporates a combination of proprietary technologies, including an anti-rust steel cord developed and manufactured by Bridgestone for added moisture resistance and metal surface-coating technology for improved rubber/steel-cord adhesion. Both are said to improve durability.
New rubber compounds have been designed for improved resistance to crack propagation and new tread patterns reduce tire operating temperature. MasterCore tires can be optimized for faster speeds, increased payload and maximized uptime.
Titan International introduced the industry's highest ply rating for two of its existing OTR product lines, the Titan CM100 and the Titan CM150, which are designed for use in harsh applications such as steel slab haulers, steel pot haulers, scrapers and log stackers.
The CM100 comes in the 37.5-39 size and is available in a 52-ply rating and a 60-ply rating while the CM150 is available in 18.00-33, 33.25-35, and 37.25-35 sizes and the newest size, the 33.25-35 has a ply rating of 56. These tires' deep tread, solid centerline and cut-resistant breaker (CRB) construction give them superior strength and long life.
Continental Tire the Americas has targeted the construction, cement, utility, emergency vehicles, forestry and logging applications with its line of tires that are embedded with factory-installed sensors for monitoring pressure and temperature.
Conti's HSC3 steer, HDC3 drive and HAC3 all-position tires are designed to deliver high performance in mileage, durability, traction, and retreadability in order to deliver the lowest overall cost in the on/off road segment.
Built on Continental's 3G casing for reduced heat build-up and improved retreadability, these tires have a wider (250 mm) tread platform that increases mileage. The off-road belt package resists penetration and the new cap/base tread compounds improve resistance in cuts to the belt and reduce heat build-up. Their four-belt package resists impacts, bruises and penetrations and the increased sidewall gauge provides road hazard protection as well.
Continental is the first tire maker to make a commitment to digital tire monitoring by installing sensors in every radial earthmoving tire it produces. The company is encouraging both its customers and dealers to move into the digital age and embrace data to improve their operations and lower their costs.
ContiLogger Live is a system using sensors and a telematics device to measure speed, distance, location, lateral forces, road grade, production activity, tire pressure and tire temperature and issues warnings for critical conditions like long idling time, high ton miles per hour (TMPH), low efficiency cycle pattern, low inflation pressure and high tire temperature.
ContiLogger Live is designed to operate independently and is able to monitor thousands of vehicles. With the data it provides, users can track exactly how the vehicle is used in the quarry or construction site and optimize driving runs, identify tire challenges and extend tire and equipment life.
Tire monitoring systems have been around for a long time, but today's solutions are now changing rapidly as technology evolves. Michelin's monitoring system, MEMS (Michelin Earthmover Management System) 4, designed for mining truck applications, uses liquid-proof sensors mounted inside tires, transceivers, antennas, GPS, accelerometers, mobile data reporting and an RFID reader that connect to a web-based software platform that can be accessed with laptops, tablets and smartphones.
This fourth evolution of the system enables users to monitor position, speeds and routes with GPS mapping and geofencing technology and analyze roads and curves to understand lateral acceleration effects on tires. MEMS 4 can be integrated into fleet management systems.
Goodyear's TPMS Heavy Duty is designed for OTR tires and features advanced telematics and patented predictive analytics technology. It is able to monitor tire pressure and temperature to notify operators of potential issues before they become serious.
Removable TPMS sensors are mounted inside the tires and transmit pressure and temperature data via onboard telematics to a Goodyear server. The data are analyzed there and alerts are sent to the mine fleet manager via e-mail or by an app using a graphic showing which tire is affected and how serious the problem is.
These data provide statistics on operating hours and also are used to predict tire life and plan maintenance. The on-board router has a built-in GPS function that can pinpoint the exact location of the machine on a site and enables the fleet to use geofencing to monitor machines in various geographical areas.
Bridgestone recently acquired Transence Technologies' iTrack solution business unit, which provides tire-management solutions for the OTR vehicle market. It is targeted primarily to OTR tire rim sizes of 57 inches and above, although it does have capability to serve OTR tires in other sizes.
The iTrack system monitors temperature, air pressure levels, vehicle speed and other metrics that are critical to OTR tire performance. In addition to TPMS sensors, the system has GPS and six axis accelerometers that measure horizontal and lateral g-force through curves, uneven roads and harsh braking/acceleration to ensure operators aren't putting undue stress on their tires. Analysis of all of these metrics can be used to create maintenance schedules, reduce equipment downtime and reduce the number of premature tire failures.
Bridgestone also offers Pressure- Stat, a tire pressure- and temperature-monitoring system for smaller OTR tires used in the construction, quarry and underground hard rock and port industries.
This system uses valve-stem sensors, onboard alerts and Bluetooth connectivity to provide real-time pressure updates to mobile devices as well as instant inspection reports and tire-use forecasting that's available on desktop or mobile devices for fleets using Bridgestone's TreadStat tire-management software. With PressureStat, users can also ensure the weight of their vehicles is evenly distributed, prevent uneven tire wear and improve tire performance.
AV mining is here
Autonomous vehicles already are being used in mining operations, and tire makers are watching them closely to learn what conditions specific to driverless vehicle operations have on tire performance. They already have learned that because these vehicles operate in a consistent manner with no variations due to operator skills over three shifts, tires deliver better fuel economy and develop less wear.
Autonomous vehicles in mining operations run at relatively low speeds. Bridgestone has developed a sensor that is capable of estimating wheel-axle load and tire-wear conditions at low speeds, something that was not possible with its previous technology that used accelerometer sensors, which require a certain amount of speed to acquire data.
This new sensor, called the Smart Strain Sensor, attaches to a tire's inner liner and measures pressure and temperature as well as dynamic changes in strain that occur when a tire makes contact with the road while in motion at low speeds. Bridgestone also has developed a proprietary algorithm that substantially improves the life-span of the battery in the sensor.
Goodyear is partnering with SafeAI Inc. to incorporate tire intelligence into the programming of autonomous heavy equipment vehicles used in construction. The partners will test Goodyear's heavy-duty, rim-mounted TPMS sensors at a construction site in California on a Caterpillar 725 that has been retrofitted with SafeAI's autonomous software.
The advances in tires, wheels and tire-solution technologies are really amazing. OTR tire dealers can combine their knowledge and experience with the data they glean from advanced tire monitoring solutions to improve their customers' safety, productivity, operational efficiency and reduce costs. Dealers also can become more precise and efficient in the service they provide by using the insights generated by the real-time data analysis they can access and thereby provide their OTR customers with better service at a lower cost.
It's time to embrace these technologies and use them to gain a competitive advantage over dealers who fear technological change.
Peggy can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]. Her previous columns are available at www.tirebusiness.com.