Providing Top Advancements in the OTR Industry 

Steelastic equipment offers rubber track capabilities for agricultural, mining, construction and other OTR applications.

As 2024 shifts into gear, the off-the-road (OTR) tire industry is adjusting rapidly to keep up with trends in construction, mining, agriculture and more. Post-pandemic supply chain concerns are being smoothed out, construction projects are poised to take off under new infrastructure funding and global developments in mining and aggregate production are all leading to renewed demand for OTR tires.  

At Steelastic, our extensive experience in the OTR industry enables us to provide the tire manufacturing solutions you need to stay nimble and deliver the kind of value-driven tires and services your customers are looking for. Recently, our rubber extrusion equipment has provided OTR manufacturers with greater flexibility than ever before as they pivot to provide new offerings in addition to their standard lines.  

Key Advancement: Rubber Track Capabilities

One of our top advancements has been for the Track segment of the OTR industry. The flexibility of the extrusion process we offer is a big benefit to these producers: tire production can switch from a 14” PCR tire to a 10’ OTR tire and back again according to demand.  On the same 50” system OTR track customers can make a large variety of custom products.

Ideal for high-SKU, low-volume production, our equipment preserves changeability and superior quality while producing less waste and minimal downtime, keeping costs low.   

Tire to Track and Back Again

With the OTR market expected to reach $11.7 billion by 2027 (5.5% CAGR from 2022 to 2027) the Track segment is seeing an uptick in demand as well.

Whether it’s a John Deere tractor or a tunnel boring machine, rubber tracks provide adaptability for terrain as well as for different loads. They’re increasingly popular, as end-users prefer the low ground compaction they offer as well as reduced load transfer and greater float over fields or farms.

But agility is key when you need to handle the different elements of rubber track as well as large (8- to 10-foot) OTR tires. Traditional calendered systems take up a huge footprint and require cumbersome off-line processing as well.

With Steelastic’s revolutionary calenderless equipment, you can be flexible in what you produce. Our process is perfect for OTR tire manufacturers that need a production system that can adapt to their needs. With our rubber extrusion-based process, you can reduce waste and save money while ensuring the highest level of conformity and quality, no matter what type of tire or component you’re producing.

Partner with the OTR Experts

The OTR industry is poised for growth, so don’t miss out on capitalizing on the opportunity. Partner with Steelastic, the OTR equipment manufacturing expert, for industry-leading capabilities, innovative solutions and extensive OTR experience that will keep you in line with the latest advancements in the industry.   

Schedule a conversation to see how we can help you adapt, extend, or replace your line to offer the in-demand products the OTR industry needs and enjoy a new path to profitability.  

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Frustrated by Failed Gum Edging?

A steel belt tire that uses Steelastic’s gum edging system to prevent friction.

In recent years, tire manufacturers have been required to include a gum edge on their tires. This gum edge helps protect the steel belt within the tire and improves the bond between the layers that make up its components. When the gum edge fails, you’re left with two things: friction and frustration. In this blog, we’ll explore the problems that steel belt tire friction can cause and what you can do about them.

Problems with Failed Gum Edging

At Steelastic, we understand the critical nature of tire components and their impact on safety. When your gum edging fails, you’re sure to deal with the following problems.

Friction & Heat

Radial tires are known for their steel belts and stability. But sometimes, the layers within the radial tires can cause friction. When the layers of a radial tire create friction, it causes heat … something nearly every tire manufacturer detests.

Friction is often assumed to result in tread separation, one of the most serious types of tire failures. However, it is important to clarify that tread separation occurs when the two steel belts within a tire separate from each other. This type of separation is not a result of friction.


When the adhesive bond between the layers of a tire becomes weak or fails, it can cause delamination. This is one of the possible results when gum edging fails and friction occurs. Delamination can have serious consequences, such as a sudden loss of tire pressure, increased risk of rolling and loss of control. This not only affects the overall performance and lifespan of the tire but also poses a significant safety hazard to drivers and passengers.

Stretched Gum Edging

High temperatures can cause tire gum edging to stretch, leading to damage in the tire’s layers, including the steel belts, body plies and rubber liner. This damage can compromise the tire’s structural integrity and performance, which is why it is crucial to address this issue proactively. Keep reading to find out how.

Steelastic’s Solution

At Steelastic, we focus on creating tire manufacturing solutions that will set you up for success. Our Extruded Steel Belt System will help give you the edge you need to take the lead in manufacturing high-quality tires.

Eliminate Belt Stretch

Our innovative, speed-matching servo control technology ensures alignment between the speed of the gum edging placement and the movement of the belt. This reduces the risk of belt stretch and angle deviations during the gum edging application process. With the servo control’s synchronized speed, you can ensure the consistent production of high-quality tires.

Increase Accuracy

In manufacturing, accuracy is the key to achieving high-quality results. That’s why we’ve developed our gum edging system with adjustable, automatic guides to guarantee the gum edging strip is placed precisely where it needs to be in the tire manufacturing process. This precision placement of the gum edging helps drive consistent quality.

Enhance Efficiency

At Steelastic, we design our tire manufacturing equipment to help set you up for success. This is reflected in our industry-leading wrap station that efficiently wraps the layers of the tire and reinforces and secures the structure. This further ensures a high-quality and durable tire.

Easy Setup

We understand that time is everything. That’s why we make it easy to integrate or replace your gum edging system with Steelastic’s equipment so you can get your tire production line up and running in no time.

Learn More About Steelastic’s Gum Edging System

Do you have questions about our Gum Edging System or our entire Extruded Steel Belt System? The Steelastic team is dedicated to supporting you with the answers and information you need. We’re here to provide you with the tire technology to move you forward. Contact us today.

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Industry Trend: Advancements in Gum Edging Processes

Tire with gum edging that allows for maximum tire performance and stability.

As industry leaders in tire manufacturing technology, Steelastic’s tire experts are often the first to identify industry trends and provide solutions that improve quality and efficiency. One example is the gum edging process.  

Gum edging is nothing new, but it hasn’t always been a required component. As more tire manufacturers receive specifications for gum edging, they’re realizing that their existing systems may not be meeting the needs of today’s steel-belted tires.  

Small Component, Big Ramifications

Gum edging is the rubber strip that adheres to the edge of a tire’s steel belt. The rubber strip, or gum edge, protects the steel from friction that creates heat, causing undue wear and tear on the tire. Increasingly, tire manufacturing specifications require the addition of this gum strip to minimize the risk of friction in steel-belted tires.  

Due to the industry requirements of increasingly thinner steel belts, existing legacy equipment struggles to apply gum edge without stretching the product out of conformance, apply the gum to the required placement specifications, and complete this process without decreasing the production output speed to accomplish this process.

“It’s a small component that has big ramifications for the industry,” said Bob Irwin, Steelastic’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing.  

Adding a Quality Gum Edging System

Steelastic’s gum edging system, developed in 2019, has proven to be the perfect solution for today’s tire manufacturers, who are coping with increased gum edging requirements but lack the equipment to meet these specifications efficiently. 

Tire plants can incorporate Steelastic’s gum edging system into their current rubber extrusion system, or they can replace their existing auxiliary equipment on large cutter lines with faster and more efficient equipment with integral gum edging. This allows flexibility for the tire production plant, increasing tire quality and production efficiency as the plant grows.

By incorporating Steelastic’s gum edging system, tire manufacturers (especially tire technology leaders) can deliver a higher-quality product in less time. It’s all part of Steelastic’s calenderless revolution, providing flexible equipment that adjusts to your needs while keeping costs low—and output high. 

Reach Out to the Tire Experts

If you’re looking to improve the quality of your tires, explore Steelastic’s gum edging system. To visit our facilities and see the gum edging system in action, contact us today. 

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Driving Innovation at Tire Technology Expo 2024

Steelastic’s logo, representing a tradition of tire innovation at Tire Tech Expo in Hanover, Germany.

Tire Technology Expo is one of the most anticipated events in the tire industry, gathering professionals, experts and innovators from around the world. At Steelastic, we are thrilled to present the latest in innovative tire manufacturing solutions. In this blog, we will explore what you can expect from the 2024 Tire Tech Expo and why you should visit our booth to learn more about our revolutionary tire manufacturing solutions. 

Tire Tech Expo Details:  

What: Tire Technology Expo 2024  

Where: Hannover, Germany  

When: March 19-21, 2024  

Visit us at booth # 8014! 

If you’re looking for cutting-edge innovation and engineering solutions for your tire production company, then be sure to attend Tire Tech Expo 2024 in Hanover, Germany. From March 19 to 21, 2024, attendees can visit our booth (#8014) to discover how our equipment can increase the efficiency of your tire production and make a noticeable difference in your company’s ROI.  

1. Innovative Tire Manufacturing Equipment

At Steelastic, our business is at the forefront of tire manufacturing innovation. We offer equipment that surpasses the quality and efficiency of traditional methods. One notable example is our calenderless tire plant model, which revolutionizes the manufacturing process. Traditionally, calender tire manufacturing machines were used to create rubber layers for tires. But today, our calenderless tire technology eliminates the need for these machines and streamlines production, reduces waste and increases efficiency. 

Additionally, we provide advanced gum edging equipment, which helps optimize tire performance by ensuring a uniform distribution of rubber and improved overall tire quality.

2. Customized Engineered Tire Manufacturing Solutions

We understand that every tire manufacturer has unique requirements and challenges. At Steelastic, we offer customized engineered solutions that cater to your specific needs. Whether it’s a modification to existing equipment or adapting it to your existing production line, our team of experts works closely with clients to create tailored solutions. 

Our commitment to customization extends to all aspects of tire production, from the initial design to final testing and inspection. When you partner with us, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge and experience, resulting in optimized tire production processes and improved tire quality. 

3. Your Tire Manufacturing Partner for the Long Haul

We value strong, long-term partnerships with our customers. Apart from providing cutting-edge equipment and customized solutions, we’re proud to offer preventative maintenance programs to ensure uninterrupted productivity and reduced downtime. By proactively addressing maintenance needs, we help you maximize the lifespan of your equipment, reduce operational costs and increase overall efficiency. 

Through scheduled inspections, routine maintenance and expert guidance, we’ll help tire manufacturers avoid costly breakdowns and production delays. This commitment to long-term support sets us apart and fosters trust and reliability with our customers.  

Coming to Tire Tech? Reach out!

Attending Tire Tech Expo 2024 in Hanover, Germany, offers a unique opportunity to witness revolutionary tire innovations firsthand. By visiting our booth #8014 at the expo, tire manufacturers can explore how our technologies can address your production needs both now and into the future. Don’t miss the chance to discover the future of tire manufacturing with us at the Tire Tech Expo in Hanover!  

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Apexing in Tire Production: The Critical Step for Achieving Optimal Tire Outcomes

Apexing in Tire Production: The Critical Step for Achieving Optimal Tire Outcomes

In tire manufacturing, each component plays an important part in the overall performance and quality of the finished product. Apexing, however, plays one of the most important parts. Without proper apexing, the tire is at risk for a number of serious problems, from visual defects to structural problems including rim slip, instability and ultimately tire failure.  

Steelastic has extensive experience in developing superior apexing solutions to improve tire quality and ensure a safe driving experience. 

What Is Apexing for Tires?

Tires are complex products, involving multiple layers that are designed and engineered to withstand the vehicle load while transmitting torque and maintaining road contact. In addition to the well-known tread and sidewalls of the tire, the bead and apex provide true support and stability. 

The bead of a tire is the main part that holds your tire to the rim. It bears all of the force on the rim of the tire, which is why it’s reinforced with steel. The apex is the part of the bead that holds it to the tire. The apex is typically fabricated from a rubber compound that encases the steel cord of the bead and attaches it to the tire. 

Apexing machinery systems can deliver the most efficient method of apexing tire beads. The best systems, such as Steelastic’s automatic apexing machines, balance flexibility, consistency, quality and production uptimes. 

Why Apexing Is Critical

The apex is the most critical piece in tire construction. As the component that distributes stress and provides dynamic stiffness, it prevents the tire from blowing out and maintains the relationship between the bead and the sidewall. 

The apex is important, but so is the apexing process. Building the bead-apex combination involves extruding a customized profile, which is then stitched to the bead and then is built into the tire.  

Solving Apexing Problems

If at any point there are defects during the tire apexing process, those defects can cause problems in the finished tire, which can create dangerous situations in real-world applications in which the tire is involved. Bead apex quality assurance is critical to apexing outcomes as it can identify defects or production errors before the component is transferred to the tire production facility. 

Steelastic’s 360-degree bead inspection capabilities provide a 99% pass-through rate for quality assurance. 

How To Improve Your Tire Apexing

There are a couple of ways to improve your tire apexing. The first is application; the second is inspection. 

During bead application, vertical stitching means there’s no limit to apex height, as there is with horizontal application. Vertical application allows for taller apexes, which also enables the use of angles and helical shaping for increased stability against gravity. 

Another way to improve tire apexing is to make use of additional stitching. When you stitch the bead on both sides, as opposed to only one side (as horizontal applications do), you can significantly increase downward pressure, resulting in better apex bead adhesion. This will create a superior product. 

Studies have shown that increased automation during the apexing process, such as during cutting and application, results in improved performance and drastically reduced downtime. 

In addition to application, apex bead inspection is a critical part of the process, as this allows defects to be identified and rectified immediately. A 360-degree bead apex inspection will be the most effective method for detecting splice deviations, multilateral apex defects, loose wires, poor stacking and adhesion quality. 

Revolutionize Your Manufacturing

Steelastic offers automatic bead apexing machines that ensure superior adhesion and flexibility within a small footprint, featuring industry-leading, dual-sided laser vision bead inspection. Interested in learning how we can customize a solution that meets your needs? Start a conversation. 

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