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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.


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Mixing Mill – A Story Of Woes to Wows

Two-Roll Mixing Mills have been in existence since the time mixing of rubber started for various applications. It is still a sacred machinery for the rubber processors. Hence, we had to think thrice or even more before we decided to write a feature on this machinery in our digital publications.

The theme ‘Mixing Mill: A Story of Woes To Wows!!’, I think, is a true reflection of what this popular rubber machinery has morphed into. Modern mixing mills are rich in features, safe and automated as compared to ancestors. (I think you will agree that our edition’s cover page sums up this contrast well!).

Please click on the below image to go to the digital edition of this special supplement.

Download PDF here

Our previous issue of a concise Knowledge On-The-Go Special Supplement to give you useful information in a concise and timely manner was a success with some exciting reviews. Thanks to each one of you – our readers and advertisers.

I hope you will find this edition too informative and interesting. Please do let me know.

(Disclaimer: The pictures and statements in our special supplements including Know Your Supplier editions are shared with us by the respective companies and/or sources are mentioned appropriately. Rubber Machinery World does not independently verify them nor will vouch for their genuineness that they share with us, hence will not be liable for any misrepresented data)


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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.


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An Introduction to Rotocure

A Rotocure is a shortened name of Rotary Curing Press. This machinery is designed for the continuous vulcanization of technical rubber products.

So, if you are into manufacturing of rubber belts, roof covering, rubber belts with textile inserts, sealing plates, membrane and ship textile, conveyor belts, flat belts, floor covering, etc you would have heard of this equipment (if you are not yet using one in your production line).

As a technical rubber goods producer, vulcanization is critical to your manufacturing. In an earlier post, I had introduced you to Autoclave for vulcanizing of products that you cannot achieve on a standard press-based compression molding process. You install a Rotocure to create continuous vulcanization process where the sheet is heated and vulcanized.

While every technical rubber goods manufacturing plant may not have a Rotocure, those who do have one positions their rotary curing press after the calendar.

Rotocure Line:

A typical Rotary Curing Press Line consist of following component machines – A Winding Let-off Unit, Rotocure, Cooling Unit, Equipment fo edge trimming of product and a Winding-up equipment.

Rotocure Image Collage

Rotocure Line: A Collage of Individual Images From The Web

From Winding Let-off Unit, your semi-finished calendered rubber material is led on to the lower roll and from there into pressing space between the heating drum and thrust pressing belt, where it is pressed and vulcanized.

Operating A Rotocure:

Your main vulcanizing machine is always the Rotocure in the set-up and consists of a large, steam-heated, revolving steel drum. This is partly encompassed by an endless steel band. The steel band encompasses approximately 2/3 of the circumference of the drum through the action of two conducting rollers and a tensioning pulley. The drum is heated by means of steam to a temperature of 150 – 200°C. In addition, there is a heating plate bent round approximately half of the surface of the drum and which gives some additional heat, but primarily it prevents loss of heat.

When you operate a Rotocure Equipment, you need to ensure that all the various parts work in precise alignment. It is  crucial for you to maintain all process parameters in their correct tolerance. Because a slight change in the heated roll or in the steel belt that are both in charge of the smooth vulcanization of the sheet can cause your sheet to be unevenly vulcanized. This leads to irregularities and subsequently rejection of your end-product.

Your calendered rubber material is placed between the drum and the band at the lower roller. With the aid of the tensioning pulley, the band is strained so that a pressure (say approximately 0.3 MPa) is obtained between the band and the drum.

Rotocure - Pelmar

A Fully Refurbished Rotocure From Pelmar Engineering, Israel

The linear speed of this drum can vary from a 0.04-200 m of cured material per hour, all depending on your material’s thickness and rate of vulcanization.

The drum, which is interchangeable, can have completely smooth or patterned surfaces and normally has a diameter of 700-1500 mm and a width of between 1200-2500 mm.

For a normal speed range of 5 – 50 metres/hour and a contact length against the drum of 3 minutes, you may achieve a curing time between 4 – 35 min for your specific compound.

As a user, your will quickly realize that the main advantages of a well-manufactured and correctly operated rotary curing press (or rotocure) machine are its high hourly output, long lifespan, low energy consumption and high reliability.

On the other hand, you could be challenged by the limitation of your product thickness and the pressure sought during vulcanization.

As is normal with other categories of rubber machinery, you get both New and Used Rotocure’s in the market. When you shortlist your suppliers, you could also discuss with Pelmar Engineering Ltd for Used Rotocure or Pracsol Chemicals And Machinery for New Rotocure – more of their details on this site is in our interviews section.

Summarizing, a Rotocure is an important rubber machinery if you are into manufacturing of technical rubber products. I look forward to your thoughts on this continuous vulcanizing machine.


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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.


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Tyre Machinery Industry: What to Expect?

At a recent event organized by a major automation brand, I had the opportunity to sit through a customer presentation (a leading tyre brand). A well articulated presentation, the speaker outlined the challenges that the tyre producers are facing in business today – increased competition on price, quality and delivery, pressure to reduce the tire development life cycle, enforcement of modular processes, perform with fewer employees and frequently changing product demands.

I bet that a tire producer three or five-year back would have presented these same set of challenges as the major concerns for their business. So what’s new and why are these concerns still valid?

It’s the fast pace of change!

Tug-of-War

Image from Web

Competition Galore

Tire manufacturing is a highly competitive field and faces volatile changes. The whole ecosystem of tire manufacturers, raw material suppliers, and machinery manufacturers are affected by industry consolidation, innovations in technology, labeling and safety requirements, increasing government regulations, shifting customer demands, and the pressure for lower customer prices.

For example, car manufacturers are focusing on energy-saving technologies. Translated to tyre, machinery experts feel energy-saving tyres will be a major focus area on the tyre equipment sector over next few years. As a machinery manufacturer, you must ensure the tires produced using your machinery has the highest manufacturing accuracy to meet the customers’ specifications in their local markets and overall quality standards.

Tyre manufacturing is a complex process. A fault or improper procedure at any of these stages threatens the structural integrity of the tire. And, tyre manufacturers demand the highest productivity from every stage of their manufacturing process. This means as a machinery manufacturer, you must cater to their demands of machines that offer high production output, manufacturing accuracy, reliability and product quality with low processing and maintenance costs and lowest possible manpower.

Over the next few years in tire machinery sector, you will have just two segments – “Chinese” & “Non-Chinese”. This thought first occurred to me a few years back. But in the recent times, I have heard this statement echoing strongly from peers in the industry. There is a handful of technologically strong tyre machinery manufacturers in China and some others are fast growing. I would not get into the industry perceptions because then I could digress.

However, this means that every tyre machinery manufacturer is continuously challenged to evolve rapidly in technology offered and differentiate globally. Also, the machines that you manufacture should possess the flexibility to adapt to changing trends in tire dimensions and complex designs.

Tyre Building Machines (TBM’s) and Curing Presses will be under intense scrutiny by tyre manufacturers for various reasons.

Tyre Building Machines

In TBM, it would be more to do with design and automation. A TBM assembles all components such as tread, sidewall, inner liner, body ply, bead, and cord body together to build green tyres. Each cycle is programmed to carry out the various operations automatically and concurrently, to give a balanced building cycle.

VMI_TBM

Image: VMI Holland

Automation of TBM especially for quicker synchronization of machine sections, including let-off, feed cutter, splicer, and wind-up; achieve better tension and edge control, ergonomics and operator safety, higher accuracy of cut-to-length independent of machine speed, slip correction between belts and tire building material; and capability to make adjustments in tire dimensions with demands for advancements in fault diagnosis would be more rigorous.

Tyre producers are regularly involved in either green field or brown field projects to meet their growing market demands. They demand from you the lowest set-up time for TBM integration, mechanical and electrical optimization and wiring. Leading TBM manufacturers like VMI have advanced models for cycle times of 36 seconds, full hands-off/eyes-off production, with automatic splice checking systems, a robot for green tire removal, connection to a green tire transport system, apexed bead unstacking and loading.

Tyre Curing Press

Curing is the process of applying pressure to the green tire in a mould in order to give it its final shape.  This is traditionally the bottleneck of every tyre manufacturer. For curing presses, the emphasis would be on enhancing the process efficiency and reducing the energy consumption.

One visible trend among tyre manufacturers is to produce smaller lot sizes. This will require more moulds and more frequent mould changes. Quick mould-change devices will become a unique selling feature for machinery builders to compete on. Leading manufacturers like HF have models that achieve the mould-change-time in less than 30 minutes.

HF_curing press

Image: HF

Hydraulic curing presses are preferred (over its mechanical counterparts) because they have repeatable accuracy over their life time. Secondly, they offer higher output which keeps the tyre manufacturers process cost under control. To improve the process efficiency and reduce curing time, post cure inflators are desired.

Curing presses occupy a large real estate space within a plant. So when the curing press manufacturers offer equipment with high-efficiency, tire manufacturers save substantially – not only by reducing the investment in quantity of machinery required (CAPEX) but also in terms of space utilization. Jacob Peled, Executive Chairman of Pelmar Engineering, foresees that split curing (tread and carcass separately) will eventually dominate the industry.

Summarizing, it’s the rapid pace of change faced by tyre producers that is driving the tyre machinery manufacturers to invest more in R&D, evolve rapidly in technology and offer customized automated solutions for maximum output to their customers. For tyre manufacturers, the consequence of increasing the automation to eliminate human errors will be that stringent testing on 100 per cent of tyre production will be a binding procedure in future.


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Rubber Machinery Selection Is An Art – Jacob Peled

Rubber Machinery selection is an art by itself and should be done by people who have visions, both technical and commercial, says Jacob Peled, Executive Chairman of Pelmar Engineering Ltd, Isreal in an exclusive interview with Rubber Machinery World.

(Starting this month, I bring to you a new series comprising of interviews with rubber leaders – aptly titled “Know A Rubber Leader in 10 Questions”. I hope you find the wisdom, experience and vision shared here inspirational and energizing.) 

Know A Rubber Leader

Here is Jacob’s full interview reproduced for you.

  1. Hello Jacob. First of all thank you for accepting an interview with Rubber Machinery World and sharing your thoughts. After a degree in Polymer Science and an MBA from Tel-Aviv University, you started Pelmar in 1966 and grew the brand to a revered name in reconditioned and pre-owned machinery, and tooling for the tire industry. Your growth history is fascinating and I have always found you very inspirational in our conversations. So, let me start with a personal question – Was your entry into Tire Industry planned or it just happened? Is there a story that could inspire and motivate the next generation of rubber leaders?

Thank you for your kind words. My entry to the Tire Industry happened as a combination of coincidence and probably hidden motivations. During my studies I worked as a compounder at Samson Tire and Rubber Co., which was a licensor of General Tires at the time. This has given me the first taste of rubber combined of course with a lot of dust, noise and dirt. Later on the same company has commissioned me to carry out a market survey for them, which showed me other sides of this fascinating industry. I have never left since – 49 years now.

  1. In our last communication, you cited that there have been very few changes in tire industry in the last 100 years. To a buyer, this is a surprise because their general perception is that tire technology is revolutionizing fast and leading tire producers compete on technology to garner market share. Could you elaborate on your view for our readers?

Indeed the changes in tire construction and production have not been significant, with the exception perhaps of the invention of radial tires by Michelin and tubeless tires by Continental.  Compounds have also developed to achieve better physical and chemical properties, but with relatively few significant improvements.

  1. How much of this stagnation or lack of change do you attribute to the machinery being used for tire manufacturing?

Tire rubber machinery have attributed to the slow development mainly because the function of machinery developed in the middle of the last century was satisfactory to the tire companies. The high prices of tires, combined with relatively low life expectancy, have caused the stagnation. Significant changes in automation of tire building only started approx. 15 years ago.

  1. At Tire Technology Expo 2014, you pointed out that tire production using the pre-cure method lends itself well to the manufacture of new tyres? Isn’t this unconventional? What changes in machinery would this demand on the shop floor for a tire manufacturer?

My concept at TTE2014 presentation indeed mentioned this as an option. Pre-cured tread achieved better results than virgin tread. This is true in many cases also in hot retreading, particularly on aircraft tires. This leads to the possibility of casings will be manufactured slick and the tread applied later, as per the market requirements. It enables keeping smaller stocks and fast response to customer wishes.  While this idea could be used on all tire sizes, I know that this has already started, but mainly on industrial tire production. The changes on the shop floor would not only be a result of using PCT. We shall see the gradual disappearance of duplex and triplex extrusion lines, as well as large calender lines, which will be replaced by strip-winders and roller-dies respectively.

  1. I observe that environment conservation has always been a subject close to your heart. However, rubber processing has always been and continues to be an energy intensive process with significant wastage. Is it possible to strike a balance? Are the rubber machinery manufacturers doing enough on this subject?

You are quite right. Environmental conservation and recycling have always been close to my heart. In fact, for many years and still true, retreading is the No. 1 recycling method in the tire industry. It is the most effective and economical. True enough, it is not a final solution, but it is the most significant preventer for more scrap tires in the landfills. Tire and rubber machinery and the process in general have traditionally been accompanied by significant wastage. This is changing very quickly in the last 10 years. The rubber machinery producers are paying a lot of attention and results are already there.

  1. What would future tire plants look like?

Tire plants will become smaller and more specialized in certain types and sizes of tires. Part of my answer is in Point 4. I also believe that future tire plants will have no compounding facilities of their own, as mixing would be done by outside custom compounders specialized in these products (similar in a way to what happened to fabric production and dipping).

  1. Which machinery or manufacturing technology, do you foresee, has the potential to disrupt the rubber and tire industry in the next 15 years?

Disrupt is probably not the right term to use. I suppose you mean what machinery will change significantly or disappear? As mentioned above, calender lines and extrusion lines will disappear. This is particularly true for innerliner calenders since innerliner will be replaced by a film, which is already being used by some tire companies.  Passenger tire building machines have already changed and their capacity increased to 35 seconds per tire and they will reach 10 or 15 seconds. This will require a change in curing presses, and particularly shortening curing time. Curing bladders will either disappear or be made to endure thousands of curing cycles.

  1. What do you envision for Pelmar in the next 10 years?

Pelmar will hopefully continue to expand its services to more parts of the world. It will deal more intensively with new machinery made to its design, which is already being done now. It will also be involved more extensively in equipment refurbishment and upgrading.

  1. What level of support can a customer, who desires to set up a green-field project, expect from Pelmar?

The support that a green-field customer can expect from Pelmar is A through Z services starting with engineering, technology transfer, complete plant design or alternatively a line. These will also include assistance in R&D, quality control, testing of end product and a future forecasting and continued assistance. The exception is any commercial activity related to tires, which we refrain from completely as an iron clad principle.

  1. Great! And one last question. What advice on “machinery selection” would you give to buyers in rubber and tire industry?

Machinery selection is an art by itself and should be done by people who have visions, both technical and commercial. Our advice is always to check references, compare technical capabilities and prices.

Download the full interview in PDF here.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this interview.


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Rubber Sheet Feeder

Internal Mixers and Mixing Mills are familiar rubber compounding machineries for short production runs. This is because of their broad range of shear capabilities and acceptance of all feed forms. Yet, rubber goods producers and tire manufacturers are familiar with their demerits viz. varying power demand, batch-to-batch quality variation and labor intensive operations.

Can you improve the experience and performance expectation? Yes, through the introduction of Sheet Feeders with Rotary Cutter.

Image Courtesy: Bainite Machines Pvt Ltd

Image Courtesy: Bainite Machines Pvt Ltd

Sheet feeders are designed for quick installation onto your existing layout. It could be either mounted to your Mixing Mill frame or put up in front of the weighing conveyor in a Mixer feed line. This means that space constraint never becomes an issue for you to extract more out of your existing mixing operations. And since only one operator can control the mill (or mixer) and sheet feeder, the operation does not increase your labor cost.

Sheet feeder’s with hugger belts replaces the conventional manual loading of rubber sheet on to the mill. This machine enhances your worker’s safety, and makes the loading operation safe. And because it facilitates continuous positive feed of the rubber sheets into the mill (or mixer), the operation feels ‘automatic’.

The rotary cutter on the sheet feeder cuts the fed rubber sheets into uniform rectangular pieces. This results in better dispersion of the rubber sheets in the mixing mill (or mixer for final batch).

The internal mixer rotors performs reactive, dispersive and distributive mixing of uniformly cut rubber sheets faster and better than a long sheet fed into the mixing chamber. The result you experience is a homogenized rubber mix, independent of the operator efficiency or any weight variations in the batch. The quicker mixing of the cut pieces shortens the mix cycle; thereby increasing the productivity of your internal mixer or mixing mill.

Summarizing, Sheet Feeders, is a simple machine which when installed to feed the mixing mill line or batch mixers, increases efficiency, reduces manual intervention and improves consistency of mix. This is also known as Mill Feeder, Rubber Feeder or Stock Loader with disc cutter.

Prodicon, Bainite Machines and few Chinese manufacturers offer them in the world market with customized specifications. Pelmar offers used-machinery of this category.

Please do let us know of your observations and notes on this allied machinery increasing efficiency into your existing rubber mixing line.


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