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Editor’s Pick: Manufacture of Cold Retreading Material (Part 2)

This is a continuation to Part 1 of this informative article on Manufacture of Cold Retreading Material shared by Dr.S.N.Chakravarty.

Cold Retreading Material - Part 2

Advantages of ‘Pre Cured’ Process:

  1. Precured rubber generally gives more mileage than the conventional rubber due to richer compound, denser tread and flatter profile;
  2. For radial tires, pre-cure retreading is the most ideal process. Radial tire, in its construction, has an inextensible belt. In the conventional retreading process the matrix (rigid mould) should have exact dimensions matching the dimensions of a built radial tire.  Even a small difference in the matrix dimension affects the ultimate performance of the retreaded tire.  But in the case of pre-cure retreading, radial tires are cured in a chamber and not confined to a rigid matrix or mould, hence there is no distortion.
  3. Longer casing life because tire is retreaded in inflated normal road running condition. Thus the casing is not put under tension and over stressed as it happens inside a rigid mould.  (Due to distortion of casing, the number of times a tire can be retreaded with conventional retreading is always lesser than with pre-cure retreading).
  4. Better balancing, due to uniform thickness of tread and better buffing and building techniques.
  5. Better traction due to flatter profile of buffing.

Advantages of Conventional retreading process

  1. More economical (compared to cold cure retreading).
  2. Comparative advantage ( pre cure retreading due to difficulties in setting up franchisees everywhere in case of latter – high investment).
  3. Better aesthetics (compared to pre cure retreading since better finish given to the tire sidewall also).

Tire Retreading Processes 1

Tire Retreading: Salient Features

  1. Since labour is one of the main components of tire retreading in the organized sector, it is more profitable to undertake high value addition business in the organized sector (i.e. retreading of truck and bus, light truck, jeep etc.). Hence, pre cure retreading of other categories of tyres (especially farm, two wheelers etc.) is not as popular.
  2. Retreading, as per international experience, finds greater and ready acceptance in the commercial segment since the main objective is ‘savings’ whereas in the passenger segment the focus is ‘safety’ followed by ‘aesthetics’. Moreover, savings are also very low in passenger segment.
  3. In India, trucks carrying loads above 16 ton and plying on long distance routes do not find operational economy in using retreaded tires. However, trucks and buses plying short distance routes (and loading pattern upto 12 ton) find retreading a more economical option.
  4. The current trend is going in favour of pre-cured primarily due to the following reasons:
  • Better road conditions (with resultant less damage to tire casing)
  • Better driving habits (getting more mileage even from retreaded tires)
  • Overloading is comparatively less
  • Presence of large number of ‘job shops’ for retreading with each specializing in a special part of the process – repairing, buffing, curing etc. being handled by different persons/processors who, over the years, have gained sufficient experience and expertise in conventional retreading.

 

Pre-cured Tread Manufacturing Process

Compound Mixing

Typical Compound Formulation of Pre-cured Tread, Solution and Cushion Gum

 Ingredients Pre-Cured Tread Compound

(phr)

Solution Compound

(phr)

Cushion Gum Compound

(phr)

Natural Rubber ( RMA 4 ) 70 100 100
Polybutadine Rubber (High cis type) 30 0 0
Rubber crumb ( 40 mesh ) 5 0 0
 WT Reclaim Rubber 5 0 10
Peptizer 0.15 0.2 0.3
Zinc Oxide (White Seal) 4 4 5
Stearic Acid 3 1.5 1.5
Antioxidant TDQ 1 1 1.5
Antioxidant 4020 1 0 0
MC Wax 0.8 0 0
Carbon Black N 339 / 220 65 0 0
Carbon Black N 550 0 35 30
Rubber Process Oil 710 12 12 0
Pine Tar 0 0 12
Wood Rosin 0 6 5
PF Resin 0 2 4
MF Resin 0 2.8 0
Insoluble Sulfur 0 0 3
Sulfur 2.3 3 0
Accelerator  NOBS 0.8 0 1
Accelerator TMTD 0 0 0.25
Retarder PVI 0.1 0 0.15
200.15 167.50 173.70

Rubber compound is prepared by mixing rubber with different ingredients like fillers, process oil, activators, accelerators, curing agents, antioxidants etc. In order to achieve desired level of properties of the product. It is necessary to reinforce rubber with different fillers and vulcanize with sulfur with the help of accelerator etc.

Mixing and mastication are carried out in an Internal Mixer or Kneader or Two Roll mixing mill.

Rubber compounding is one of the most difficult and complex subjects to master in the field of Rubber Technology. There is no simple mathematical formulation to help the compounder. That is why compounding is so difficult a task. (More on this subject)

Kobelco Make Mixers

L&T Marketed Kobelco Make Internal Mixers

Principles of Mixing 

Vulcanizable polymers cannot be used without compounding. Various additives like curative system, protective system, reinforcing agents, cheapeners and other process aids have to be mixed to the polymer or polymer blend ‘to make a coherent homogeneous mass of all these ingredients, which will process satisfactory and on Vulcanization will give the product capable of giving the desired performance, all with the minimum expenditure of machine time and energy.’ (More on this topic)

Extruder and Extrusion Process

Extruders are machines, which shape rubber to a profiled strip by forcing it through a die. (More on this topic)

The rubber compound is passed through a hot feed or cold feed extruder to produce rubber blanks of suitable size (width and thickness) for use in the next manufacturing step i.e. curing in a hydraulic press.

BHARAJ MAKE 200MM PIN BARREL EXTRUDER WITH TREAD DIE HEAD

BHARAJ MAKE 200MM PIN BARREL EXTRUDER WITH TREAD DIE HEAD

The extruded and cut rubber blanks are placed in tread dies and cured in a steam-heated hydraulic press at suitable curing temperature and pressure. After the curing cycle is completed cured treads with desired tread pattern are taken out and cooled.

Cushion Gum

A three roll calendering machine is used to prepare “cushion gum” i.e. uncured rubber sheet that acts as an adhesive layer between the pre-cured tread and tyre casing during the pre-cured retreading process.

Cushion Gum Roll

Cushion Gum Roll

The term “to calendar” is defined as “to press between rollers or plates in order to make smooth & glossy sheet”.

Calender can be of two bowl or three bowl or multiple bowl machines which is used for Calender rolls are not perfectly cylindrical but have different shape.

Solution

A solution churner vessel is used for the preparation of cement solution (contact adhesive) applied to the casing and helps provide increased adhesion between the casing and the cushion.

****

Here is a flow chart for you summarizing the production process.

Pre-cured Tread - Production Flow Chart

Dr. Chakravarty can be reached on kpspltd@gmail.com


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Editor’s Pick: Manufacture of Cold Retreading Material (Part 1)

Dr.S.N.Chakravarty shared this informative article on Manufacture of Cold Retreading Material.

Here is Part 1 of this two-part series.

Introduction

Commercial tire retreading provides an economical means of extending the asset utilization of worn-out tires. The worn-out tire, referred to as the casing, is a valuable resource that is often not utilized to the fullest potential. By replacing the worn tread with a new one, the retreaded tire provides performance similar to that of the new tire at a fraction of the cost.

Retreading often offers a less expensive alternative to the purchase of a new tire. For the truck tire customer, however, retreading is an integral part of a tire maintenance and purchasing programme.  A truck tire casing must be able to be retreaded two to three times.

Cold Retreading Material - Part 1

Considering that only about one-fifth of a tire is worn out in service, it makes economic sense to retread the tires for multiple use. Although both cross ply and radial tires can be retreaded. 4 to 8 ply bias tires can be the most easily retreaded. However, the structural performance may fall short of the new tires and service conditions may have to be more closely controlled.

Tire Retreading

Tire Retreading can be done by the two processes (a) conventional ‘hot’ capping and (b) pre-cured tread rubber process.

The two primary methods currently used to retread tires, include – mould cure and pre-cure processes. The preparation of the casing is essentially the same in both cases.

In the mould cure process, the tread rubber is applied in the uncured state to the tire casing, and the product is cured in much the same manner as new tires.

Tire Retreading Processes

Pre-curing Method (Right) and Moulding Method (Left). Image from Web

In the pre-cured technology, the tread is supplied to the retreading factory cured, with the tread pattern already in place. The treads are supplied in rolls of various lengths (typically 3.5 to 10 meters in length), or as rings that can be stretched onto the casing. In the application of both pre-cured methods, a bonding material, the cushion, is applied to the tread or the casing prior to the application of the tread.

The majority of the tires retread today consists of truck tires, produced using the pre-cured technologies. A description of this method is given below.

  1. Conventional Process (also known as ‘mould cure’ or ‘hot cure’ process) – In this process an un-vulcanized rubber strip is applied on the buffed casing of the tire. This strip takes the pattern of the mould during the process of vulcanization.
  2. Precure Process (also known as ‘cold cure’) – In this process a tread strip, where the pattern is already pressed and precured is applied to the casing. It is bonded to the casing by means of a thin layer of specially compounded uncured rubber (known as cushion or bonding gum) which is vulcanized by the application of heat, pressure and time.

In the pre-cured rubber (cold process) retreading, better mileage is obtained than with the hot capping process.

The tire is inspected for cuts, ply separations, etc. and after inspection, it is repaired with repair compound or patches, and then buffed under inflated conditions to facilitate bonding. Thereafter, the tire is again inflated on an expandable hub and coated with vulcanizing cement on its buffed surface. A layer of bonding / cushion gum is applied around the surface of the tire. The trapped air between the layers is removed and the vulcanized tread strip is applied, its ends spliced and stitched.

After this operation, the expandable hubs are collapsed and the tire is deflated and removed for vulcanization. The tire is fitted on suitable rims and inflated with the use of a tube. The inflated tire is then slipped into an envelop and vulcanized in a curing chamber or autoclave at lower temperatures than is normally used for new tire vulcanization.

Tire Preparation

The buffing process provides a contaminant-free surface of uniform texture to allow adhesive of the new tread. During the buffing process, the casing is also brought to a uniform circumference, with the correct thyroidal radius and width, to accept the proper tread size for the casing.

Tire_Buffing_Machine

After buffing and skiving the casing, a thin layer of contact adhesive is applied to the casing. This material usually referred to as cement, aids in the retread tire fabrication process and helps provide increased adhesion between the casing and the cushion. The cementing of the casings is optional, but widely used in retreading. Cements are solvent-or water based materials.

It is at this point that the majority of the repair to the casing is performed. The main purpose of repairing the casing is to restore the ability of the casing to maintain air pressure and to return mechanical properties of the casing to a level high enough to endure at least the next use life.

After the completion of the repairing of the casing, the tread can be applied. The application of the tread is referred to, as building the tire, and there are a number of variations to the building process.

The main components used in the tire building are the tread and cushion. The tread is supplied to the retread factory fully cured with the desired design and tread width. The back side of the tread is prepared at the manufacturer end by buffing with a wire brush drum and the application of a contact adhesive. A polyethylene film is placed on the cemented side of the tread to prevent contamination.

The cushion is supplied to the factory in either calendared sheets or as strip stock to be used in an extruder. The calendared cushion is supplied in different widths and thickness. As the first step of the building processes, the casing is placed on a builder machine equipped with an expandable hub, like that on the buffer. The hub is expanded and the leading edge of the tread is cut to provide a uniform uncontaminated surface.

Precured Tread Application

Application of Pre-cured tread on the prepared casing

Enveloping & Curing

The next step in the process is the placing on the “built” tire in a rubber containment device called an envelope.

The enveloped tires are placed in a curing chamber that is essentially a large autoclave, steam or electrically heated. The enveloped tires are suspended from a rail system inside the chamber and are connected to exhaust lines inside the chamber (via the valves in the envelope). The tire is then moved down the rail to the rearmost portion of the chamber. Once the desired number of tires is in the camber, the chamber door is closed and the heating and pressurization is started. During the pressurization, the air is allowed to evacuate from inside the envelope.

The operating pressure of the chamber is typically at least 0.3 MPa, with curing temperature between 100°C and 141°C. The cure time is dependent on the thickness of the treads and the composition of the cushion.

Autoclave 1

Earlier it was stated that cold retreading of tire using pre–cured tread gives better performance – higher mileage. Why ?

Because abrasion (wear) loss of the tread is much lower giving rise to higher mileage. This is because cold tread material is more compact due to much higher pressure (hydraulic) applied during curing of the tread in a hydraulic press compared to a new tire curing in tire mould where pressure is limited because of the steam / pressure relationship.

Cold Cure Process: Pre-requisites

It has been well established that heat is the most damaging cause of tire deterioration / ageing, and therefore, its eventual failure.

The critical temperature of rubber is 115ºC, beyond which ageing and deterioration of the tire casing is accelerated, resulting in premature reduction in body strength and leading to failure.  So, technically any retreading system with curing temperature lower than the critical temperature can only be genuinely called a ‘cold process’.

However, another view is that it is the pre-cured tread which is the difference, not lower temperature per se.

In the cold cure process,  factory-cured treads are dense, tough and are of uniform consistency and resilience, as they receive heat and pressure uniformly while moulding, unlike in the conventional retreading process.  The toughened, cured tread is bonded to the tires at considerably lower temperatures, compared to cure mould retreading.

Comparative Features: Conventional versus Pre-cured Retreading

Feature Conventional Pre-cured /cold
Mileage Lower Higher
Investment Comparatively lower.  However, for comparable levels (as that of cold cure process), higher investment is required Higher
Shelf Life Limited shelf life for uncured tread strips Long shelf life
Range Besides truck and bus, larger tires like OTR tires can also be retreaded Generally only truck and bus, LCV and  Passenger Car tires
Curing Temperature Higher temperature

140ºC – 160ºC

Comparatively lower

100ºC-125ºC

Tread Composition-

Process-Patterns

Natural rubber (NR) extruded unvulcanized strips used

usage of different tread pattern is restricted

– Generally synthetic rubber (SR) or a blend or NR/SR with high quality carbon black

-extruded and vulcanized (moulded with various designs) strips are used

– flexibility in having different tread patterns

Range Not suitable for radial tires Ideal for retreading radial tires
Distortion Tire undergoes distortion while curing in the mould due to variations in tire dimensions No distortion in tires as no moulds are used
Cost Lower cost Marginally higher cost

All the operations such as buffing the tire, building the tread and curing while retreading are carried out in the inflated ‘road running condition’, without causing any distortion to the original casing unlike the case of mould retreading.

However, this is not in the case of smaller pre-cured retreaders not having proper equipment.

In Part 2 of this article, you will read on Pre-cured Tread Manufacturing Process.

Dr. Chakravarty can be reached on kpspltd@gmail.com


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Practical Modern Solutions For Tyre And Rubber Industry

Change is inevitable. Changes in the business environment happen all the time. The economy fluctuates up or down on a daily basis, frequently causing businesses to alter the way they operate. New competitors enter the marketplace while others leave. Advancements in technologies, products and innovation lead to change in a business environment.

Sustaining and innovating amidst changes is the hallmark of exemplary leadership. Pelmar Group has been displaying dynamic leadership for the last 50 years! Hence, in this special edition of Know Your Supplier’s cover story, we showcase for you Pelmar Engineering Ltd., the Practical Modern Solution Providers For Tyre And Rubber Industry.

We understand from our conversation with Jacob Peled, Founder and Executive Chairman, that Pelmar had three consecutive record years. And is now planning expansion of both its commercial and technical activities in Israel and worldwide.

It’s not easy to achieve three record years consecutively handling a range of activities that include pre-owned machinery, new equipment, complete engineering services, raw materials, military technical rubber production, technology transfer, M&A activity and more. Because, this requires efficiency and focus.

Don’t miss our main interview to know how Pelmar has been consistently outperforming customer expectations year-on-year.

Know-Your-Supplier-Pelmar-May-2016

Click on the image to read

(You may read this digital edition either on Youblisher and/or Yumpu platform.)

An anecdote shared by Peled in his own words that I choose to mention here.

“I was asked a question yesterday evening by one of the persons I admire most in the industry, Michael Labbe the Managing Director of Rema TipTop, how could I and Pelmar cope with handling so many various subjects efficiently at the same time. He referred mainly to Pelmar handling pre-owned machinery, new equipment, complete engineering services, raw materials, military technical rubber production, technology transfer, M&A activity and more. I did not have a proper answer.

This morning I had breakfast with the technical director of one of the major Tier 1 tyre companies, who asked me how could I with the size of our Group, with the international spread, with the diversity of functions handle only one industry, the tire and rubber industry. I tried to explain that tire and the technical rubber industry are separate, but found myself mumbling.

The worst thing about the above is that both questions are absolutely correct and in place. The only answer that I can think of is that because we are handling “just one industry” we can and should be involved in as many aspects of this industry as possible.”

Pelmar Engineering Ltd.

Identifying and capitalizing on the opportunities swiftly along with thirst for growth has helped Pelmar diversify their expertise, spread reach globally and offer single-stop shop total solutions for rubber and tyre industry.

Additionally, on this digital edition, we have two knowledge-enriching topics from our portal aptly titled ‘Insight’ and ‘Tips’ sections.

Download PDF of this special edition here

I hope you find the contents informative to learn more about this leader in rubber and tyre industry.


If you found this supplier details informative, please do share with your colleagues, customers and friends who could benefit. And if you would like to be informed of our articles regularly, please register with us for free updates today.


Know Your Supplier is an advertorial initiative of Rubber & Tyre Machinery World. 

If you would like your organization to be promoted on Rubber Machinery World, please see the opportunities on Partner Me or Contact Me at engage@rubbermachineryworld.com for your customized offering.


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Why We Love Gear Coupling (And You Should, Too!)

First things first! You choose a coupling to connect two shafts together at their ends to transmit power. The primary purpose of coupling is to join two pieces of rotating equipment while permitting some degree of misalignment or end movement or both.

Normally, couplings do not allow shafts to disconnect during operation, however there are torque limiting couplings which can slip or disconnect when some torque limit is exceeded. Hence, you should carefully select, install and maintain couplings; as this could give you substantial savings in the form of reduced maintenance costs and downtime.

Gear Coupling

A gear coupling is a mechanical device to join two rotating shafts (that are not collinear) for efficient transmission of mechanical power. These are crucial because although you may align the shafts (for example, between the gearbox and the mixing mill roll) at the time of installation, it is likely that during the operation there may be disruption to this alignment.

Disruptions could occur due to setting of foundation, thermal expansion, shaft deflection, wearing out of other parts, improper maintenance and many more reasons. At these times, where the misalignment occurring during the operation is unavoidable, a gear coupling compensate or minimize the effect of misalignment thus providing a good solution to prevent your rubber machinery, bearings, seals and shafts from being subjected to the additional forces.

Gear couplings are power intensive and considered as the king of the coupling types. You would see the gear couplings being adopted for wide range of application in drive technologies. Hence, we love love gear coupling (and I think, you would too!).

Gear Couplings and Universal Joints

Gear couplings and universal joints are used in similar applications. Gear couplings have higher torque densities than universal joints designed to fit a given space, while universal joints induce lower vibrations. The limit on torque density in universal joints is due to the limited cross sections of the cross and yoke.

The gear teeth in a gear coupling have high backlash to allow for angular misalignment. The excess backlash can contribute to vibration.

Structure of a Gear Coupling

Gear couplings are torsionally rigid and consist of hubs with multi crowned teeth at flank, tip and chamfering on teeth, gaskets, sleeve and O-rings. The hubs attach to the machinery shafts, and sleeves span the gap from one hub to the next. They are available in two designs – completely flexible and flexible/rigid.

The hub is the heart of any gear coupling. Hence manufacturers take great care to impart a superior design and mostly manufacture the hub on CNC machine for precision. Together with the tooth profile of the hub, these aspects enable the gear coupling to function well under all operating conditions with increased reliability and long life.

The tooth flanks and outer diameter of the external gear are crowned to allow for angular displacement between the two gears. The multi crowned teeth reduce the alignment adjustment and improve the load carrying capacity of the teeth. The backlash between the teeth is minimal due to multi-crown tooth design.

A completely flexible coupling comprises two hubs with an external gear and two outer sleeves with an internal gear. It’s a universal coupling for all sorts of applications and accommodates all possible misalignment (angular, radial and combined) as well as large axial moments.

Structure of a Gear Coupling

A flexible/rigid coupling comprises one flexible geared half and one rigid half. It does not accommodate parallel displacement of shafts but does accommodate angular misalignment.

Information to order Gear Coupling

When you are buying rubber machinery, your machinery supplier or OEM would take care of this. However, you need to understand that there is a check list of information that needs to be provided to a gear coupling supplier that includes,

  1. Specify quantity required and delivery expectations.
  2. Specify shaft or bore sizes and key-way dimensions. You need to give exact dimensions with tolerances.
  3. Specify load – HP and/or torque at a specific RPM. State the normal and maximum conditions of use.
  4. Specify Speed of operation – Minimum, Normal and Maximum.
  5. Specify Application. Most Rubber & Tyre Machinery (Mixers, Kneaders, Mills, Calenders, Extruders, etc) conforms to a service factor classification where heavy shock conditions or frequent reversing peak loads that do not exceed 150 per cent average horse power is observed. Uneven load is usually present during operation. Service factor ranges from 1.25 to 1.50.
  6. Specify Coupling Series, Type and Size.
  7. Specify Space limitations – envelope dimensions, shaft extensions and shaft spacing.
  8. Specify unusual misalignment conditions if any.
  9. Specify Modifications – tapered bores, special keys, hub cut off, counter bores or others
  10. Specify unusual operating conditions ambient temperatures and atmospheres, if any.

Maintenance of Gear Coupling

Gear Coupling maintenance is mostly simple – requiring a regularly scheduled inspection of each coupling. Your schedule should consist of:

  • Performing visual inspections – checking for signs of wear or fatigue, and cleaning couplings regularly.
  • Checking and changing lubricant Each coupling half is provided with grease nipple/plug on the housing from where grease can be filled directly. The coupling is supplied with some quality of grease to facilitate assembly. It is recommended to fill the required quality and quantity of grease before putting the coupling in operation. This maintenance is required annually for most couplings and more frequently for couplings in adverse environments or in demanding operating conditions.
  • Documenting the maintenance performed on each coupling, along with the date.

Here’s a 1:17 min video of dismantling of a gear coupling so you could appreciate the components that make-up this coupling much better.

Video of Dismantling of A Gear Coupling

Video

Failure of Gear Coupling

Caution! Even with proper maintenance, your gear couplings can fail. The other causes of failure include:

  • Improper installation
  • Poor coupling selection
  • Operation beyond design capabilities

The only way to improve your coupling life is to understand what caused the failure and to correct it prior to installing a new coupling. You could check for some external signs that indicate potential coupling failure like,

  • Abnormal noise, such as screeching, squealing or chattering
  • Excessive vibration or wobble
  • Failed seals indicated by lubricant leakage or contamination

Summarizing, gear coupling is a mechanical device to join two rotating shafts for efficient transmission of mechanical power, are power intensive and is the king amongst the coupling types. They offer the highest load capacity and stiffness, yet easy to maintain. These are some of our reasons to love this gear coupling on the rubber machinery. 

Do you have more? Let us know your thoughts.


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Industrie 4.0 And Why You Should Be Excited About It?

If you are even remotely following the advancements in manufacturing and automation, then you have already heard this term – Industrie 4.0. A German branded initiative, this is a term coined for the next stage of manufacturing that describes the main future development tasks required to achieve a ‘Smart Factory‘.

To quickly understand, you may visualize smart factories as ‘social networks’ where humans, machines and materials communicate and interact in real time.

Considered the 4th industrial revolution in manufacturing (watch a video), Industrie 4.0 is a dynamic process of evolution. It refers to the technological evolution from embedded systems to Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS).

Too much of jargons? Let me make an effort to explain…..

Relevance of CPS

In your manufacturing environment, these Cyber-Physical Systems comprise of smart machines, storage systems and production facilities capable of autonomously exchanging information, triggering actions and controlling each other independently.

This means all your machines, processes, control systems, logistics and even end-products are closely interconnected via internet-based, data-handling technologies and devices.

CPS makes your next level of decentralization realistic. It improves your resource productivity and efficiency, enables more flexible models of your work organization.

Says, Ashutosh Chincholikar, Business Head, Smart Controls India Ltd, “With Industrie 4.0, rubber and tyre machinery will no longer simply ‘processes’ the product, but your product would communicate with the machinery to tell it exactly what to do.”

Industrie-4.0-Rubber-Tyre-Machinery

Benefits of Industrie 4.0

Your benefits include flexibility in specification and volume, fine-tuning to your customer needs, and improving efficiency as a way to reduce your cost.

Your product development-to-market and order-to-shipment lead times become shorter. Expensive downtime for your machinery and plant gets reduced through remote monitoring and predictive maintenance.

Digitization, connected-ness and virtual tool planning opens your door to customized mass-production. This means you can produce very small batch sizes and yet sell at a profit.  Flexible manufacturing may mean that more of your parts and production materials have to be detected, inspected and identified. Transparency and reproducibility of your processes will enhance your product quality.

Experiences shared by Smart Controls India Ltd, include significant benefits like

  • 5% increase in productivity on 20 machines was equal to an extra machine.
  • 25% saving on a plant in Auto industry
  • 11% efficiency improvements in first 3 months at a Tire Company.
  • 68% gain in production by just fine tuning setup processes (up from 410 to 690 parts/week)
  • A large equipment manufacturer’s OEE shot up from 24% to 62% on machines

It is these benefits of speed, flexibility, quality amongst others that should keep you excited and upbeat about the prospects of Industrie 4.0. Further when you use CPS, you will have a clear advantage to attract the best employee talent since you can offer a better work-life balance.

| It is these benefits of speed, flexibility, quality amongst others that should keep you excited and upbeat about the prospects of Industrie 4.0. |

Need for a balanced approach

Interestingly, Industrie 4.0 goes by a variety of names: ‘Advanced Manufacturing’ in the USA and the UK, ‘les usines du futur’ (The Factories of the Future) in France, ‘Made Different – Factories of the Future’ in Belgium, and “Smart Industries” in the Netherlands.

As a manufacturer, you definitely need to procure equipment with right level of futuristic automation. Because Industrie 4.0 is bringing fundamental change to your business competition in today’s ‘VUCA’ (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world.  If you continue using today’s automation systems you will fail due to excess cost in automation.

| If you continue using today’s automation systems you will fail due to excess cost in automation. |

However, it is also necessary to find the balance between full automation and manual work. It doesn’t make sense to automate all your manufacturing processes completely as the cost of that will be too high.

For example, tire production is high-volume customization. The tire industry seeks to consistently improve quality while cutting waste, thus reduce the cost of each tire. Experts and Leaders will tell you that the steps you need to do this in China or India are different than they are in Japan or in Europe or in the U.S.

Every application must be evaluated with regards to the breakeven point. And that is where you will benefit with the assistance of a systems integrator.

balanced-approach

Adopt a Balanced Approach. (Image Source: Web)

| Every application must be evaluated with regards to the break-even point.|

Adds Ashutosh, “In order to implement automation solutions in the tyre industry someone who understands the intricacies of tyre manufacturing processes – from mixing, tyre building, curing to inspection – is needed. This is where Smart Controls plays a big role. With over 15 years of experience in serving the tyre industry, Smart Controls has full knowledge and experience of using the Siemens Technological Platform to implement automation solutions for almost all processes of tyre making.”

(You may wish to hear more on the ‘role of a system integrator in your smart factory’, when Ashutosh Chincholikar speaks at the International Rubber Conference in Chennai on March 1-3, 2016.) 

Summarizing, Industrie 4.0 is more than just a buzzword today and hence important that you take notice. Because it ensures that your resources are used more efficiently while people and machinery work far more productively.

Let us know your thoughts on Smart Factory and and plans for Industrie 4.0.


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The Biggest Problem with Heat Transfer Efficiency in Rubber Machinery (And How You Can Fix It)

Rubber processing has a bizarre energy pattern, when seen from a layman’s perspective. Because you add heat into your process and then you cool down!

Heat addition and removal is repeated in each of your subsequent stages as well.

When you process rubber, energy is consumed across the value chain – right from transport of raw rubber, to the various processing operations (be it rubber mixing, rubber extrusion, rubber calendering, moulding etc) to convert into your suitable product and then transportation of your product.

Energy Uses in Rubber Processing

Source: Tangram

This implies that you need to cool down your rubber processing machinery regularly, which simultaneously involves heat exchange from a hot medium to a cooler medium.

And the most common medium to cool is water.

But where there’s water, you will face water-related problems caused by its mineral deposits. These deposits could give you varying degrees of water-related problems that affect your operating efficiencies and/or even leading to more costly equipment downtime issues.

This could be in your Rubber Machinery like Mixer, Mixing Mill Rolls, Calender Rolls, Press, Extruder, Heat Exchangers, Moulds, and factory equipment like Boilers, Chillers, Compressors, and TCU‘s or other Ancillary Units, etc.

You would notice that the mineral deposits accumulate quickly regardless of screens or treatment actions adopted. Even a thin coating of water scale will act to insulate the water system’s surface and retard the transfer of heat.

Hence, scaling is the biggest problem affecting the heat transfer efficiency in rubber machinery.

To increase heat transfer efficiency, lower maintenance cost, conserve overall energy consumption and thus enhance the usable life of your machinery, removing scales in all your water-cooled or water-heated rubber and tyre equipment is very important.

In a simple rubber machinery like the mixing mill, the presence of scales on rolls leads to localized hot spots affecting your mixing quality. In the case of boilers, scales can be very damaging leading to even boiler rupture. When water scale, lime and rust deposits accumulate on the water side of chambers, rotors and the drop door of the Mixer, it causes temperature of your rubber stock to rise and gradually lead to a loss in production.

Different machinery has different safe and effective method to remove scales. Recently, I was shown an instruction sheet, from one of the descalers (RYDLYME), on the process to descale a rubber mixer that I found interesting.

Here’s the process reproduced. I hope you too find it informative.

How To Clean Your Rubber Mixer

Image From RYDLYME

  1. Take mixer out of service.
  2. Close water supply valve at header as shown in the sketch above.
  3. Drain all water from all sections of mixer.
  4. Connect Descaling Solution pump discharge hose to water header. Header usually supplies all circuits.
  5. Connect return hoses to drain lines from all circuits and place into the Descaling Solution receiver.
  6. Close water supply valves to gate and jacket circuits.
  7. Start pump and pump the descaling solution into rotors to purge the water from this circuit to sewer. When the descaling solution begins to discharge from this hose, return to the receiver.
  8. Open water supply valve to gate and maintain Descaling Solution circulation through this circuit.
  9. Open water supply valve to jacket and maintain Descaling Solution circulation through this circuit.
  10. If any circuit is NOT flowing properly, restrict Descaling Solution flow in other circuits until flow returns to normal in this circuit.
  11. Circulate a total of 120 Litres of Descaling Solution through all circuits of mixer until clean. This will require approximately four (4) hours pumping time.
  12. It is suggested to periodically rotate the rotors during Descaling Solution cleaning to assure that the Descaling Solution is in contact with all of the lobes of the rotor.
  13. Upon completion of cleaning, flush all Descaling Solution from all circuits with fresh water.
  14. Disconnect the Descaling Solution pump and all hoses. The mixer is now ready to be returned to service.
  15. Periodic descaling will keep the temperatures of the mixer within acceptable limits, assuring you a better product and minimize burnt or improperly mixed stock.
  16. Clean out the Descaling Solution System and store for future use.

Summarizing, scaling is the biggest problem with heat transfer efficiency in your rubber machinery. Descaling or cleaning the scales helps you fix this issue. Hence incorporating descaling solutions into your preventive maintenance program is recommended to keep your equipment running effectively and economically.

Do you agree?


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How To Select Your Rubber And Tyre Machinery? Insightful Advices From 6 CEO’s

“How To Select Your Rubber And Tyre Machinery?”

This subject question could have volumes written in theory. But today we focus on what the CEO’s advise, distilled down from their experience, expertise, and wisdom.

Your equipment supplier ecosystem includes New Manufacturers, Rebuilders, OEM Suppliers, Pre-Owned Machinery Suppliers and Agent representatives.

So I asked all the CEO’s the same question to give you a true perspective.

“What would you advice on machinery selection to buyers and users of rubber and tire equipment?”

The different views they offered here are not only insightful, they are pertinent, prudent and practical.

Read on in our Special Supplement here….

This special supplement is one of our efforts to give you useful knowledge on-the-go in a concise and timely manner. This topic based micro-editions is in addition to our other initiatives like ‘Know Your Supplier’ that provides you information on the machinery supplier ecosystem.

Watch Video Version of this supplement on YouTube or Download Full PDF Here.


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If you are an equipment supplier and would like your organization to be promoted on Rubber Machinery World, please see the opportunities on Partner Me or Contact Me at rubbermachineryworld@gmail.com for your customized offering.