The winners of 2019 Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence have been announced at a ceremony during Tire Technology Expo 2019 at the Deutsche Messe, Hannover, Germany. The Tire Technology International Awards are recognised as the industry’s top accolades, and aim to celebrate the very best new technologies and innovations from all over the world.
The winners are-
Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year – HF Group – TBM One
TBM One is the company’s multiple-types tire building machine (TBM). It is the only TBM in the market that provides the flexibility to produce tyres with an inflated or flat turn-up, as well as standard tire designs such as SOT/TOS, wide BP turn-up and ply up/down constructions. In addition, changing between the carcass drums takes only 20 minutes, which is comparable to a normal code change.
Environmental Achievement of the Year – Bridgestone – HSR
The High-Strength Rubber (HSR) polymer, is the world’s first polymer to bond rubber and resins at a molecular level. It has a crack resistance five times higher than natural rubber, as well as higher tensile strength and abrasion resistance. It could potentially lead to a 50 percent reduction in the amount of material used in a tire (less tread depth, less polymer needed in production) and could reduce rolling resistance without affecting durability. Applications include future EV tire development and a number of potential uses outside of the tire industry.
Tire Technology of the Year – SRI – Sensing Core
This cutting-edge technology can detect road conditions, tire load and other information without the use of direct sensors. Unlike camera or radar sensors, Sensing Core can calculate and detect friction, which is useful when confronted with hazards such as black ice and hydroplaning risk. A number of vehicle OEMs are showing interest in widespread application of the technology, and it could be integral to future autonomous vehicle functionality.
Tire Industry Supplier of the Year – Test World (Millbrook)
Test World gets the award for its all-year-round tire and vehicle winter testing facility. Opening in 2012, it was the world’s first indoor winter tire test facility offering snow and ice traction and braking, with snow handling added in 2015. Following an investment by Millbrook to meet industry demand, the facility was extended in 2018 and now offers indoor wet and dry braking and longitudinal aquaplaning. Test World is the first in the industry to offer natural snow, ice, and wet and dry asphalt in one location, 365 days a year.
Tire Manufacturer of the Year – Michelin
The award recognises the company’s environmental initiatives over the past 12 months. Michelin is one of the few tire OEs to commit to 2048 sustainability targets, and its many product innovations include RF-free resin, for which the company spent nine years and 35 patents researching and developing replacement chemicals.
Young Scientist Prize – Chidambaram Subramanian
This year’s Young Scientist Prize was awarded to Chidambaram Subramanian, a graduate research assistant at the Centre for Tire Research, Virginia Tech, USA for his research paper on road surface classification using intelligent tires.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Rudi Hein
This prestigious honour was awarded in recognition of Rudi Hein’s incredible 32-year career in special project teams at BMW, in particular, his work on run-flat tire systems, and the decade spent with Bridgestone as executive advisor standards and regulations. Recently retired, he has worked on wheel and tire concepts and design for his whole career and was made an honorary chairman of the German Association of the Automotive Industry in 2014.
‘Rudi has been a great ambassador for the tire industry over the years,’ says Mark Fenner, conference director for Tire Technology Expo. ‘From his time at BMW to the present, he has been instrumental in bringing all the various elements of the industry together.’
A panel of 31 judges including Kevin Kefauver, Technical director at the National Tire Research Center, Maik Brinkmeier, Principal development engineer of Mechanics & Simulation at Continental, Anke Blume, Chair of Elastomer Technology and Engineering at the University of Twente and Gregory Smith, Senior engineer at Goodyear have selected the winners. The awards are coordinated by Tire Technology International magazine, which is published by UKi Media & Events, the organiser of Tire Technology Expo.