MEVASSERET TZION, Israel — Japan's Marubeni Corp. has acquired an undisclosed share of Galileo Wheel Ltd., an Israeli company that's developed a low-pressure tire that offers traction and soil-compaction benefits in off-road applications along with run-flat capability.
Galileo's CupWheel is a hybrid tire design that Galileo claims offers greater ground contact compared with standard tires, leading to better traction and reduced soil compaction. The technology behind the product combines the advantages of radial off-road tires and rubber tracks while still employing a standard rim.
Galileo has developed a version of the Cup Wheel that's being used commercially for center-pivot irrigation machinery and has plans to sell tires for skid-steer loaders and small construction machinery.
Galileo has described the CupWheel design as having an "accordion-shape" folding sidewall that allows the outer circumference to change its shape freely and move about the wheel center in all directions. If air pressure drops, the sidewall folds, not collapsing as in a standard tire, therefore generating far less heat.
The companies did not disclose the terms or scale of Marubeni's acquisition other than to say it is "significant."
In explaining its investment in Galileo Wheel, Marubeni said it will use its global sales and marketing network and become the distributor of Cup Wheel tires in multiple geographic markets. Marubeni said the investment reflects a core value of using its strengths in order to help society to overcome challenges through original innovations.