Over the last few decades, the tire industry has undergone a manufacturing transformation as a result of the need for more automation and faster size changes.
Over the last few decades, the tire industry has undergone a manufacturing transformation as a result of the need for more automation and faster size changes. This change has resulted in improvements in plant design, as well as advancements in tire manufacturing technology, process equipment, and tire design. Part of the benefits can also be attributed to new tire materials, as well as increased OEM and customer economy needs. Smithers Rapra’s recent market research, “The Future of Tire Manufacturing to 2024,” details these and other advancements in tire manufacturing.
Manufacturing process improvements have been ongoing since the first tire plants, and have accelerated in recent years as a result of a greater focus on environmental issues. New factories would help meet that demand while also making new machinery easier to operate. Automation has benefited greatly as well, though there are still significant cost savings to be realized as well as increased environmental laws to follow. As a result of these considerations, tire manufacturers will continue to focus on improving production performance.
DEVELOPMENTS IN REGIONAL AREA
Tire demand and the expansion of the tire industry are propelling regional and global industrial growth. Local tire demand from OEM and replacement market purchasers, as well as favorable cost of production variables, determine the distribution of tire manufacturing capabilities and output across the world’s major areas.
According to “The Future of Tire Manufacturing through 2024,” tire manufacturers prefer to build local plants in their most relevant sales locations, with Asia being the most recent priority. The opposite is also true, with Asian manufacturers locating production near key clients like American automakers. As a result, North American tire production is increasing, while the aging European tire industry is expected to lose market share over the next five years. While raw material costs are fairly consistent around the world, labor and energy costs vary by location or country.
MANUFACTURING OF TIRE DEMAND DRIVES
The ultimate driver of tire production is global tire demand, with current vehicles requiring continuous tire wear and maintenance and new vehicle purchases necessitating OEM tire installation. In unit terms, global tire demand is expected to grow at a rate of 4% per year from 2019 to 24.
According to output tonnage, the global tire industry is expected to reach 19.25 million tons in 2019 and grow at a 3.4 percent compound annual growth rate to 22.75 million tons by 2024.
At the global, regional, and national levels, a variety of economic, technological, regulatory, demographic, and consumer trends are driving and shaping this development, including alternative powertrains and autonomous vehicles, material advancements, including renewable alternatives, and changing customer expectations, such as higher fuel efficiency with lower emissions.
Despite tire manufacturers’ changes to consumer labeling schemes in Europe and, increasingly, elsewhere, there is still a high-performance trend toward larger OEM tire sizes/rim diameters, as well as ongoing pressure on automakers to meet emissions and fuel economy criteria for individual vehicles while also fleeing.
THE IMPACT OF VEHICLE TYPE AND DESIGN
Trends in both established and emerging parts of the automotive industry influence tire demand and manufacturing, necessitating a high level of planning and versatility. For example, growth in emerging markets in entry-level vehicle segments coexists with a continued shift away from passenger cars toward light trucks in established markets. Changes at the OEM level have been occurring for years, as evidenced by the continued high growth of high-performance automobiles as well as environmentally friendly automobiles and fleets.
TIRE DESIGN AND TYPE CHANGES
Protection, stability, wet and dry traction, snow performance/wet performance, handling, high rolling efficiency, noise, and life (miles)/longevity are some of the most important or desirable properties of a tire. New tire technologies are constantly being developed, with significant advancements occurring each year. Tread/shape, material shapes, and material chemistry are just a few of the tire characteristics that are changing, and that’s before considering the various model tires.
Tire manufacturers have pledged to produce increasingly technologically advanced tires (for example, with sensors to monitor tread depth, temperature, and provide real-time warnings to drivers), run-flat tires (including self-sealing tires, self-inflating tires, air-free tire technologies, and reduced noise or noise-dampening tire technology), and run-flat tires (including self-sealing tires, self-inflating tires, air-free tire technologies, and reduced noise or noise-dampening tire technology (important for quiet electric vehicles).
New molds, laser cutting tools, new test equipment (particularly for noise), and material changes such as various resins, silica, and aramid fibers have all had an impact on tire manufacturing in order to make these technically advanced tires.
REQUIREMENTS FOR EV TIRES
As the use of electric vehicles (EVs) grows, one noticeable result is that tire variations are becoming more complex. Due to the growing variety of OE tire types and sizes, this will result in more SKUs.
(see check wheel fitment calculator for tire sizes) (Storage unit) Multiplication is the process of multiplying numbers. Traditional tires wear 30 percent faster on EVs than on regular vehicles, so higher wear resistance is essential.
To avoid uneven wear, electric vehicle tires must have the right footprint shape and contact pressure distribution. To improve battery range, rolling resistance must be reduced even further, and the added weight of EVs may necessitate even lighter tires. In addition to the current pressure from labeling systems, quiet electric vehicles necessitate a focus on noise reduction.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE AV TIRE
Many EV tire modifications also apply to autonomous vehicles (which are expected to be entirely or mostly electric), but as autonomous driving becomes more common, more changes will need to be scaled up alongside traditional production.
At both the OEM and aftermarket levels, tire sensing and communication capabilities are becoming more common. Intelligent tires, as well as tire condition and wear sensors, are being developed, with some nearing market readiness ahead of the expected significant shift to autonomous vehicles.
Tire-vehicle communication will become more important as self-driving cars become more popular, necessitating the use of tire sensors. Path sensing, vehicle activity, and predictive maintenance (wear/damage sensing) could all benefit from connected tires.
The focus will be on low noise and excellent ride quality. The demand for run-flat tires, and eventually non-pneumatic tires, will increase as the need for them grows. As autonomous vehicles become more common, light vehicle tires will be distinguished by their tall and skinny shape (for aerodynamics and other attributes), sensor technology, no speed rating (driving speeds may be programmed and limited), improved ride, reduced NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness), ultra-low rolling resistance (improving fuel economy), and possibly run-flat technology (if lightweight enough).