LONDON — Continental A.G.'s C.A.R.E. (Connected, Autonomous, Reliable, Electrified) project was named as overall winner and winner of the Tire Technology Award at the inaugural Journey to Automation (J2A) Awards, which recognize leaders in the field of automation and digital transformation in the global tire industry.
The winners were announced at a virtual ceremony on Sept. 16.
The six winners of the J2A Awards, organized by European Rubber Journal, were:
- Group Michelin — Tire Manufacture/Producers;
- Cimcorp Oy — Tire Manufacture/Suppliers;
- Continental — Tire Technology;
- Rubberway XXXX — Tire Supply Chain;
- Trelleborg Tire & Wheel Systems — Tire Sustainability; and
- Black Donuts Engineering Inc. — Specialist Engineering SMEs.
Conti C.A.R.E. is an umbrella strategy and tire technology platform covering a range of IT sensor- and material-based technologies, all part of a tool kit designed to enable the automotive industry to transition to electric, autonomous and other new mobility platforms.
The award judges praised Continental for combining innovation, IT and physical technology successfully. For example, integrated mini pumps adjust tire air pressure to make fuller use of data generated. The project also was marked out for its proactive approach to meeting OEM requirements with technology that leverages significant impact on the wider automotive industry.
Michelin was lauded for its project to connect tires to their ecosystem through RFID. Judges commended Michelin's achievement in embedding RFID tags in tires and making the process affordable. Applying global-standard RFID to tire manufacturing and through the entire life cycle of a tire will have a highly positive impact on the tire industry.
Cimcorp earned its honor for its work on improving data analytics for tire factories. Cimcorp has developed a tire production dashboard and is leveraging data from different sources to improve the complete flow of tire manufacturing from material handling to finished goods. J2A Award judges recognized that this automation route can significantly improve the efficiency and output of tire plants.
Rubberway — a joint development venture involving Continental, Michelin and French software developer SMAG S.A. — was recognized for the project's initiative for engaging the supply chain towards sustainability. This large-scale project to improve the sustainability of the natural rubber supply-chain was marked out for having created tools that are appropriate to the operating environment to provide both ease of use and a clear analysis.
Trelleborg earned its J2A award for its CTIS+ smart product for sustainable farming and fleet and ELT management. The judges recognized that this was a real advance in preserving the condition of the tire and adapting its performance to varied road surface and field conditions.
Black Donuts was honored for its eKanban project, praised by the judges as an ingenious system that has been successfully implemented in a tire manufacturing plant.
"From the level of support and the quality of the shortlisted and winning entries, the J2A platform clearly has solid foundations and is set to become established as a regular fixture on the industry-calendar," ERJ Editor Patrick Raleigh said.
"At the heart of the J2A program is the judging process, and we strongly recognize the work of our expert panel in establishing the J2A Awards as an important, new reference point for the digital transformation of the global tire industry."
The judging process was overseen by a senior official from the International Society of Automation Europe. The judging panel was brought together by European Rubber Journal and Crain Global Polymer Group sister publications Tire Business and Rubber & Plastics News.
J2A Awards 2020 Winners and Highly Commended:
Tire Manufacture — Producers
Winner: Michelin: Connecting Tires to their Ecosystem through RFID
Highly Commended: Hankook Tire
Tire Manufacture — Suppliers
Winner: Cimcorp: Improving Data Analytics of the Tire Factory
Highly Commended: VMI Group
Tire Technology and Overall Winner
Winner Continental: C.A.R.E (Connected. Autonomous. Reliable. Electrified)
Highly Commended: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Winner: Rubberway: Engaging your Supply Chain Towards Sustainability
Highly Commended: Michelin
Winner: Trelleborg (TWS): CTIS+ Smart Product for Sustainable Farming; Fleet Management; ELT Management
Highly Commended: TRM Retreading Technologies
Specialist Engineering SMEs
Winner: Black Donuts: eKanban
Highly Commended: D&A
The inaugural J2A Awards were supported by VMI Group and Rockwell Automation. Media partners and supporters are: Rubber & Plastics News, Tire Business, IRjournal.com, Automobilwoche, Automotive News Europe, European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association, BRV (German Tyre Retail and Vulcanisation Trade Association), and The Tire Cologne.