Everyone working in the mobility industry knows that the tire manufacturing process is divided up into five areas throughout a large manufacturing plant.
- Tire prep
- Tire build
- Curing and molds
- Final inspection
Naturally, conveyors, material handling, and AGV processes throughout the whole plant.
All of these areas have opportunities for IO-Link components, and there are already some good success stories for some of these processes using IO-Link.
A major opportunity for IO-Link can be found in the curing press area. Typically, a manufacturing plant will have about 75 – 100 dual cavity curing presses, with larger plants having even more. On these tire curing presses are many inputs and outputs in analog signals. These signals can be comprised of pressure switches, sensors, pneumatic, hydraulic, linear positioning, sensors in safety devices, thermo-couples and RTD, flow and much more.
IO-Link provides the opportunity to have all of those inputs, outputs and analog devices connected directly to an IO-Link master block and hub topography. This makes it not only easier to integrate all of those devices but allows you to easily integrate them into your PLC controls.
Machine builders in this space who have already integrated IO-Linked have discovered how much easier it is to lay out their machine designs, commission the machines, and decrease their costs on machine build time and installations.
Tire manufacturing plants will find that the visual diagnostics on the IO-Link masters and hubs, as well as alarms and bits in their HMIs, will quickly help them troubleshoot device problems. This decreases machine downtime and delivers predictive maintenance capabilities.
Recently a global tire manufacturer getting ready to design the curing presses for a new plant examined the benefits of installing IO-Link and revealed a cost savings of more than $10,000 per press. This opened their eyes to evaluating IO-Link technology even more.
Tire Manufacturing is a perfect environment to present IO-Link products. Many tire plants are looking to upgrade old machines and add new processes, ideal conditions for IO-Link. And all industries are interested in ways to stretch their budget.