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Chris Bart, Director Business Development Automotive & Tire at ‎Emerson Automation Solutions
By Sharad Matade| Aug 26, 2020

Tyre curing solutions

Emerson, a global automation solution supplier, is known for its solutions that help tyre manufacturers to have efficiency, safety and precise operations in five production areas- mixing equipment, wire and fabric calendars, extruders, tyre building machines, curing presses and finishing process.

Figure 1: The ASCO™ Series 298 pressure-operated steam valve

Currently, the company is focusing more on solutions for the tyre curing process, which consumes the greatest amount of energy during the tyre production. If tyre curing process does not work correctly, it could also lead to tyre scrap and even breakdown.

“Today, we are focusing on increasing our value as a solution provider to monitor the health and performance of the curing system. Within the curing process, we are not just supplying valves or components, but we also deliver the controller, pneumatic valves and sensors that monitor each step of the process,” said Chris Bart, Director Business Development Automotive & Tire at ‎Emerson Automation Solutions.

According to Bart, the challenge in the tyre curing process is to have precise control on temperature and pressure. With Emerson’s technologies, tyre manufacturers can maximise output and reduce energy and costs through better diagnostics, sensing and monitoring.

 “The main challenge is the management of steam and nitrogen used to heat the mould and bladder pressure.  So, any small deviation in the inputs can have severe negative effects on the quality of the products and overall productivity of the production line or the plant,” explained Bart.

In the tyre curing process, Emerson’s pressure-operated valves work in demanding steam applications and provide reliable and precise control, enabling rapid cycling and tight shut-off to ensure the curing press operates correctly and efficiently.

“Emerson’s valves system controls the movement of the steam and nitrogen into the process. Our valves are critical to supply steam and nitrogen in the proper time with proper temperature and pressure and make sure that there is no leakage during the cycle or between cycles,” explained Bart.

Digitisation helps Emerson’s steam valves to monitor the travelling time of the steam valve and detect anomalies, which ultimately assist in a predictive maintenance programme. “If any deviation happens, the system alerts the maintenance team, and downtime could be avoided,” said Bart.

Traditionally tyre manufacturing companies put a temperature gauge and a pressure gauge to monitor temperature and pressure in the piping system. “Earlier, it was tough to point out the reason for the deviation in temperature and pressure.  We have developed our products that control the steam and nitrogen and also included the sensors that tell the exact position of the valves. So, we can also monitor the leakage of nitrogen, steam and the air we use in operation. It also monitors the air pressure that opens and closes the steam valves. We can monitor the total consumption of the compressed air as well,” said Bart.

“Today’s typical approach to see the only results, but with our system, we are giving is infinite detailed inside the system. This gives customers actionable insights to improve their tyre curing process.”

Emerson, not only provides the solution in the curing but also extends its offering to other components in the system. Historically the steam traps used to be checked manually.

Figure 2: The AVENTICS™ AF2 Air Flow sensor
 

If not work correctly, either a large amount of steam can escape or damage the valves and pipework. Emerson offers wireless acoustic transmitters that monitor steam trap health and detect failures in real-time. “The steam trap monitoring system is one of our biggest innovations in energy-saving efforts. With this, we can avoid damage or loss of steam and improve energy efficiency,” said Bart.

As part of its product development, Emerson regularly visits tyre companies to understand the pain point in the production processes. “Looking at their process and our expertise with the components as a solution supplier, we always look into further potential scope in monitoring, measuring and reporting in the tyre production,” said Bart.

Figure 3: The Rosemount™ Steam Trap Monitor

For the mixing process, Emerson offers flow control and pneumatic directional control devices, such as pressure operated valves that optimise the mixing process. At a manufacturing production plant, the mixing is a crucial stage that decides the quality of tyres. All ingredients have to be mixed with accurate weight and in a controlled sequence. Emerson valves keep the weighing and hopper systems running efficiently and reliably while ensuring batch quality.

Emerson, for Fabric/wire calendars and extruder, provides products that increase reliability and material guidance precision of bead wiring and rubber coating, improves pneumatic system performance to avoid premature valve failures and reduces commissioning time through onsite/pre-set tuning. The overall company solution can significantly increase the lifespan of valves by purifying compressed air and regulating pressure and improve safety conditions for your workers by locking systems down during maintenance.

The modular AVENTICS Series G3 valve

Repeatable, high precision pneumatic directional control ensures the production meets the highest quality specifications every time. Using Emerson’s modular and compact valve manifolds tyre manufacturing companies can achieve greater application flexibility, reduce costs, simplify commissioning, maximise the availability of tyre building machinery and achieve higher throughput targets. Increased visibility into the health of valves also lowers maintenance costs, says the company.

In the finishing process, Emerson’s products ensure precise and reliable motion control and positional accuracy. By offering higher repeatability and reliability, these devices reduce machinery downtime and maximise throughput. Emerson’s ISO and NFPA-conforming actuators and linear-guided cylinders are extremely durable, providing greater test equipment machinery reliability and extended lifespans.

According to Bart, the growing complexity in each process of tyre manufacturing is a challenge. “Complexity in mixing, calendering, tyre building, curing and in the finished products is growing, and it is demanding more control on each process. The evolution of the tyre manufacturing processes requires more insights and integration of process information. This enables continuous quality improvements and energy savings.,” said Bart.

 

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