ZC Rubber details 5G Smart Factory concept to be installed at pilot plant
Zhongce Rubber Group (ZC Rubber) is planning to use 5G technology to create a Smart Factory platform for the tyre industry. China’s largest tyre manufacturer says the replicable 5G Smart Factory platform will “promote data network platform innovation and data-driven production process reengineering.” It also says the initiative will enhance “core competitiveness and corporate value through network collaboration, flexible production, and service extension.” The project is currently “in progress and has not yet been officially implemented,” but ZC Rubber plans to implement the concept in its pilot “Future Factory” which is currently under construction. It ultimately wants to extend the technological approach by applying it to more of its factories. ZC Rubber’s headline forecasts indicating the Smart Factory’s predicted benefits include a 15 per cent increase in production efficiency and a need for 70 per cent fewer staff versus existing tyre factory models.
BKT-supported Tractor of the Year 2022 announces winners
Agricultural tyre specialist BKT has supported the 2021 edition of the Tractor of the Year Awards, presented at the EIMA trade fair in Bologna. It is the second time the manufacturer has sponsored the awards, which recognise the most innovative and cutting-edge tractors on the market.
Tyre Steward Australia welcomes new scheme members
In what it calls a landmark commitment, Tyre Stewardship Australia has announced that off-the-road (OTR) tyre importers Bearcat, Bridgestone Mining Solutions, Goodyear, Kal Tire, Michelin and Yokohama have committed to joining the voluntary Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme from January 2022.
Tirebuyer.com has been ranked first place by Newsweek in its Statista-powered search for the best customer service experience relating to online tyre buying in the United States. With a score of 8.50 out of 10, Tirebuyer was comfortably ahead of second placed Detroit Wheel and Tire (8.14) as we all third-placed Tire Rack (8.12). And while it is comparing apples and oranges, Tirebuyer also outshone other well-known names in different by not unrelated categories – none of which scored higher than 8.45.
In North America, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company recently launched its RT-3B bead-to-bead retread. According to the company, the new retread provides “all-around performance on an array of underfoot conditions for loaders and graders and complements its existing line-up of premium off-the-road (OTR) retread tyres.
Hankook will serve as exclusive tyre partner to the relaunched Deutsche Tourenwagen Challenge (DTC), a German motorsport series aimed at young and amateur drivers and contested by affordable cars with a maximum engine capacity of 1.65 litres such as the Ford Fiesta ST, Hyundai i20 N, Peugeot 208, Renault Clio Cup or Toyota Yaris. All vehicles will compete on Hankook Ventus Race tyres when the series gets underway next year.
STARCO Huanmei moves wheel production to new plant
STARCO Huanmei, a wheel manufacturing operation in China founded in 2007 as a joint venture with Kenda, is moving to an entirely new production facility that provides the scope to greatly increase output. The new plant is located in Zhejiang Province, some three hours away from Shanghai. Following a traditional Chinese opening ceremony two weeks ago, STARCO anticipates the factory achieving full operation by mid-October.
Domestic market launch for Hankook Winter i*cept RS² successor
The 2015-launched Hankook Winter i*cept RS² is still delivering strong performances in comparative tyre tests, such as its ‘good’ rating in Auto Bild’s winter 2021 evaluation, but a successor tyre is already available – in Korea, at least. Hankook Tire & Technology is launching the Winter i*cept RS³ in its domestic market today.
Tech Europe introduced Dinara Izmaylova as the newest member of its team on 5 October. Based in company’s Rovereto, Italy office, Izmaylova joins as a new sales area manager covering Russia, Scandinavia, Finland and the Middle East, as well as the Baltic and CIS regions.
Bridgestone Corporation has applied to have its shares delisted from the Nagoya Stock Exchange. Explaining the rationale behind this move, the company notes that it is currently listed on three stock exchanges in Japan – Tokyo, Nagoya and Fukuoka. In order to reduce the management costs and streamline management operations related to duplicate listings, it has decided to delist from the Nagoya Stock Exchange.
While almost every automotive business has been affected by current world events, for wheel manufacturers, a ‘perfect storm’ of global trading conditions has created a challenging trading period. Tyres & Accessories recently heard from Dave McMillan, sales director for Wheelwright, one of Britain’s longest standing manufacturer and retail names, who gave us an insight into how the company is coping with a new raft of logistical and financial travails.
ATEQ TPMS Tools partners with Anyline to enable DOT and VIN scanning
ATEQ TPMS Tools and Anyline, which develops mobile data capture technology, have announced that they have entered a strategic partnership that they say will “propel the TPMS industry forward”. As a result, Anyline’s advanced optical character recognition (OCR) solutions for the automotive aftermarket will be integrated into ATEQ’s TPMS tools, enabling technicians to scan tyre DOT codes, as well as vehicle identification numbers (VIN) and license plates.
Sinochem Holdings, the entity who through its China National Tire & Rubber subsidiary has a controlling stake in Pirelli and Aeolus Tyre as well as a substantial shareholding in Prometeon Tyre Group, has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China Cosco Shipping intended to “guarantee the security and stability” of its industry and supply chain.
Egyptian automotive aftermarket already worth US$1-2 billion and growing fast
Egypt’s automotive aftermarket has been dubbed “one of Africa’s most exciting markets” as its motoring population and vehicle sales grow, its economy expands and the government moves to combat automotive emissions. Germany’s Africa business experts africon, the knowledge partners of Automechanika Dubai, suggests these trends have resulted in an aftermarket now worth between US$1-2 billion in a whitepaper on the subject.
Sailun presents truck tyres with German distributor at NUFAM 2021
Sailun has presented ‘The Smart Experience’ at the NUFAM 2021 commercial vehicle show in Karlsruhe, Germany, in collaboration with German truck tyre distributor Bohnenkamp AG. Sailun said its stand attracted much interest, with visitors enquiring about the Bohnenkamp partnership, as well as enjoying a game of table football on stand.