HANOVER, Germany — Group Michelin's continued pursuit of sustainability and its innovation in tire technology have earned it two Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence, which were presented during a gala dinner that was held during the Tire Technology Expo, which ran Feb. 25-27 in Hanover.
The Clermont-Ferrand, France-based tire maker took home the Tire Technology of the Year award for its Uptis tire design and the Tire Manufacturer of the Year for its "commitment to produce efficient, innovative and sustainable products." This marks the second year that Michelin has won the Tire Manufacturer of the Year award.
In a statement, Michelin CEO Florent Menegaux said the two awards highlight the French company's long-term strategy, which is focused on innovation and sustainable mobility.
"It is a great honor for us to receive the Tire Manufacturer of the Year Award for the second year in a row, a first in the history of these award," Mr. Menegaux said.
"Combined with the Innovation Award for Uptis, these two prestigious titles reward the Group's strategic directions. This is, obviously, a source of immense pride for us all at Michelin, but also a clear demonstration of the relevance of the action plans we have made, both in terms of innovation and sustainable mobility."
Dutch tire machinery maker VMI Group won a Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year Award for its Maxx tire-building machine, which has been upgraded to include light truck tire production.
"The VMI Maxx radial passenger tire building machine maximizes output, quality, ergonomics and flexibility," said Gert Heinrich, a senior professor at Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research, who served on the judging panel.
Eastman Corp., meanwhile, received the Tire Industry Supplier of the Year Award.
"This validates Eastman's devotion to our customers," said Gunes Celik, vice president and general manager for tire additives, who accepted on behalf of the company. "We're very proud of our commitment to the industry and our investments in people, technology, manufacturing and customer relationships."
In a news release, Eastman noted that several key initiatives throughout 2019 helped it to secure the award. Among those was the opening of a tire technology lab in Shanghai. The lab, representing an investment of more than $2 million, offers testing capabilities in a location that allows it to better serve customers throughout Asia. The lab is equipped with analytical, rubber compounding, and rubber testing equipment.
RubberJet Valley S.r.l. was named the Environmental Achievement of the Year Award winner, honored for its environmentally friendly High-Pressure Water Jet Technology.
Andrew Tinker received the Lifetime Achievement Award, honored for a career that spans more than 40 years. Throughout this time, Tinker has authored more than 80 technical papers, co-edited a book and was the co-inventor on four patents for commercial products.
The Young Scientist Award was presented to Alex O'Neil, a Jaguar Land Rover research rngineer from the University of Surrey. He was commended for his research into the measurement of friction to predict tire behavior on different road surfaces.