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Calenderless Tire Component Manufacturing

Extrusion based rubberization of steel cords

Steelastic is the global leader in extrusion-based equipment for tire component production. Our calenderless tire component manufacturing systems improve manufacturing efficiency, increase flexibility, and reduce environmental impact for a wide range of tire applications. All our systems are single operator controlled, taking cord and rubber compound as inputs, and producing the finished product in one process. This guide provides a step-by-step into the calenderless tire component manufacturing process.

What You Need to Know About Extrusion-based Tire Component Manufacturing Processes

1. It Starts with a Creel

The extrusion-based, calenderless process starts with a steel or textile creel. Creels are comprised of many steel or textile cords, individually wound on spools. The steel or textile cords are pulled from the creel by the downstream process under carefully controlled tension. Steelastic’s heavy-duty creels can be equipped with numerous options such as cord breakage detection systems, individual and zonal spool tension control, and creel loading systems, to help maximize your production time and minimize ROI.

2. Extruder & E-Die Head

Next, the steel or textile cords enter the E-Die Head, which is supplied with rubber compound by a smooth or pin barrel extruder. The extruder and E-die combination is used to coat the cords in rubber compound to the desired extruded strip gauge. All Steelastic E-Die’s are designed for quick tooling change. The thickness of the extruded steel belt typically ranges from 0.5mm (0.02”) to 3.0mm (0.12”), but heavier gauge material strip can be extruded for more specialist applications. The temperature of the extruder zones, and the E-Die Head are controlled by a four-zone TCU (Temperature Control Unit), to ensure that the rubber flows consistently through the extruder and that the extruded strip is of the highest quality. The E-Die tooling is made up of the insert, the insert holder and the throat. The tooling combination precisely positions every cord relative to the next cord, ensures the position of all cords in the extruded strip is to specification, and sets the gauge of the extruded strip. The throat element of the tooling also forms a small lip which is critical to splice integrity further down the process.

3. The Cooling Drum Accumulator

The cooling drum accumulator has two important purposes in the process. It both cools the extruded strip to the desired temperature for cutting and splicing operations, and provides the ability to accumulate material. The ability to accumulate material helps the system to continue to extrude material when short downstream stoppages are needed to change wind-up spools, make minor adjustments, etc.

The cooling drum accumulator includes three 406mm diameter, and eight 238mm diameter, jacketed stainless steel cooling drums and utilizes two driven rolls. One roll controls the master line speed, and the other roll continues to pull material out of the extruder when the system is accumulating material. The maximum accumulation time is approximately 5.3 minutes while the maximum accumulation length is 15.9m.

4. Cutting & Splicing Systems

There are two types of cutting systems in Steelastic’s calenderless tire component equipment portfolio: The Classic Cutter and the Next Generation Steel Belt System:

The Classic Cutter has been widely used by leading tire manufactuers with 700+ steel belt, textile body ply and steel body ply systems supplied over 50 years for PCR, TBR, OTR, track, aircraft, and motorcycle tires. The classic cutter provides precise belt width, gauge and edge straightness, highly accurate splice and belt angle and precise cord placement with no possibility of crossed wires.

The Next Generation Steel Belt System was launched to market in 2018 and provides premium quality steel belts / breakers for PCR and TBR Tires, while reducing space on the manufacturing floor. The system maintains precision cord end count positioning, gauge control and overall dimensional stability of the strip. Cutting edge closed-loop control ensures finite adjustments are made to finished belt width, angle and the splice to ensure the finished product remains in specification. The result is high-quality, versatility and efficiency through reduced processing, labor and maintenance costs as well as reducing scrap.

Next Generation Steel Belt System for PCR & TBR tires

5. Gum Edging Systems

At Steelastic, we offer machinery for hot and cold gum edging of steel belts, textile body ply and steel body ply. Both types of gum edging system are designed for flat or wrapped gum application. Both systems can apply gum material on to belt or body ply ranging from 100mm (about 3.94 in) to more than 2,300mm (about 7.55 ft) wide, and with thicknesses of 0.8mm (about 0.03 in) to 3.0mm (about 0.12 in).

Steelastic’s gum edging machines are designed to provide highly precise gum edge positioning and prevent stretching in the belt or body ply material. Applying gum to belt and body ply helps to reduce friction and heat buildup in the finished tire. This leads to a higher quality tire that lasts longer. Learn more about the gum edging process and how it helps optimize tire performance.

6. Finished Material Wind-up Systems

Steelastic has multiple wind-up designs available to accommodate any cassette configuration, reels or spools, to suit the customer’s tire building configuration. Windups can be provided as single, dual tandem, or dual side-by-side configuration.

Reach Out for a Trial Demonstration

Steelastic Calenderless Demo & Trial Lab, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

At Steelastic, we want to help our customers improve manufacturing efficiency with our calenderless tire component manufacturing systems. Contact us to schedule a free trial or demonstration.

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Is it Time to Replace Your Tire Calendering Equipment?

Image shows tires that can be manufactured using Steelastic’s calenderless, extrusion-based system for a high-quality, low-cost solution.

Around the globe tire manufacturers are facing difficult decisions as their aging tire component calendering equipment becomes uneconomical to maintain and operate in the modern multi-SKU environment. Do they attempt to justify very expensive replacement calenders, or do they turn to the most advanced, highly flexible technology available to manufacture tire components? Before they decide, they should ask themselves these questions:

1. Is tire calendering technology still relevant and competitive?

There’s no better time to ask the hard, honest questions than now. Is calendering technology still relevant? Is it still competitive?

For the answer, look to the key industry trends impacting the tire manufacturing industry:

  • Ever increasing tire SKUs demanded by the market.
  • Tires are being manufactured closer to the market in which they are consumed
  • Tire plants are becoming smaller in size and highly flexible
  • Tire manufacturing equipment is becoming more and more automated

Does calendering and offline processing equipment allow tire manufacturers to keep up with these changing industry trends? The answer is increasingly becoming no. Tire manufacturers are turning to lower cost, highly flexible, extrusion-based tire component manufacturing systems.

2. What is the total cost of ownership of calendering equipment versus the calenderless alternative?

Your investment in capital equipment is one thing. The installation, operational and maintenance expenses are another. Before you make a commitment, take some extra time to explore the total cost of ownership.

Read this blog for a quick overview of how the TCO of your calendering equipment, and compare how it stacks up against the calenderless alternative. We’ll dive into how the investment compares in terms of installation, operation and maintenance expenses, so that you can make an informed decision.

3. How does calendering equipment support your future business goals and direction?

Whether your business strategy is to be a tire industry leader or to dominate a niche market, it’s essential to evaluate whether you have the right equipment to compete. Flexibility and the ability to adapt fast to changing market needs is becoming more and more critical. The inflexibility of legacy calendering equipment is proving to be a major bottleneck for many tire manufacturers, who are increasingly turning to the calenderless alternative.

Discover a Calenderless Alternative

At Steelastic we provide tire component manufacturing equipment that is extrusion-based. This gives you three significant advantages:

It’s flexible.

Looking to increase your competitive edge? Find an equipment solution that offers flexibility, so that you can always cater to your customers’ needs. At Steelastic, our extrusion-based equipment can produce smaller runs, enabling you to produce the multiple SKUs the market is demanding.

It’s lower cost.

Going calenderless is a perfect solution for when you’re looking to increase your profit margin. Not only is the initial capital investment lower than traditional calendering and offline processing equipment, but its installation, operation and maintenance expenses are also lower. This saves you time, labor and materials without impacting the quality, performance and safety of a tire.

It’s built for modular growth.

We believe smaller is better. Our extrusion-based system has a smaller operational footprint and provides much greater flexibility. It is ideally suited to modular growth, allowing tire manufacturers to gradually build capacity, without huge capital outlay on calendering equipment that can remain significantly underutilized for years.

Schedule a Free Trial

Are you ready to explore calenderless tire manufacturing for yourself? Schedule a test run at our facility in Cuyahoga Falls and see how an extrusion-based tire manufacturing system works. Our team of experts will guide you through the process and demonstrate the advantages that calenderless tire manufacturing can bring to your business. Contact us today to take the first step toward revolutionizing your tire manufacturing process.

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5 Problems that Steelastic Can Solve for Tire Manufacturers

A tire manufacturing plant that could use calenderless, extrusion-based tire manufacturing equipment from Steelastic.

Are you facing challenges as the tire market continues to evolve? At Steelastic we have supported the tire manufacturing industry for more than 50 years and understand the unique pain points that tire manufacturers encounter. That’s why we’ve developed innovative tire manufacturing solutions to address these problems and help your business thrive.  

Let’s explore five common manufacturing issues that Steelastic can help to solve: 

1. Managing Inventory

Managing inventory of ever-increasing tire SKUs can be a challenge for tire manufacturers. With Steelastic’s calenderless, extrusion-based system, you gain the flexibility to respond quickly and efficiently to changing customer requirements.  

Our extrusion-based tire manufacturing equipment gives you the ability to produce smaller runs, quicker. With Steelastic, you can quickly adapt and adjust your production to meet market requirements, reducing the risk of excess and obsolete inventory. By choosing Steelastic, you can streamline your operations and ensure that your tire inventory remains optimized and aligned with customers needs.  

2. Aging Calendering Equipment 

If your calendering equipment is aging, you may be faced with expensive and time-consuming upgrades. At Steelastic, we provide a calendering machine alternative, which are extrusion-based systems that provide a quick return on investment (ROI). With our advanced technology, you can replace outdated calendering, and offline processing equipment, with state-of-the-art solutions that offer enhanced flexibility, efficiency, and ease of operation.  

Say goodbye to costly repairs or replacements and embrace the benefits of calenderless tire manufacturing equipment, which have significantly lower total cost of ownership (TCO), and increased flexibility, when compared to traditional calendering methods. 

3. Insourcing of Tire Components 

If your tire manufacturing plant is struggling with limited warehouse space while insourcing tire calendered material, it’s time for a change. 

Steelastic’s extrusion-based tire manufacturing equipment has a smaller footprint, increased flexibility, and more tailored production output when compared to traditional tire calendering methods, making it perfect for transitioning to manufacturing tire components in-house. By choosing Steelastic, you can optimize your space utilization and say goodbye to the inventory challenges that come with insourcing calender rolls. Our calenderless, extrusion-based equipment helps turn inventory more quickly, allowing you to align production with customer demand effectively. 

4. New Tire Plant Start-Up 

Are you considering building a new tire manufacturing plant? Starting a tire plant requires careful consideration of capital investment and the need for a justifiable ROI. Leading tire manufacturers are increasingly choosing Steelastic’s equipment to manufacture their tire components in new plants. And for good reason.  

Our technology offers a cost-effective solution that delivers fast returns on investment (ROI). With Steelastic, you can kickstart your new tire manufacturing plant and build capacity in a modular fashion, adding capacity incrementally as production demand increases.  Tire manufacturers see this as a significant differentiator versus the calendered alternative, where initial capital outlay, and production capacity can far outweigh requirements. 

5. Your Tire Manufacturing Plant Can’t Keep Up 

Is your tire manufacturing plant struggling to meet increasing production demand and ever-increasing SKU requirements? At Steelastic, our calenderless, extrusion-based systems are the solution you’ve been searching for. Our equipment provides the ability to grow modularly, allowing you to quickly expand your production capacity and keep pace with market demands.  

Our extrusion-based tire component equipment is known for its streamlined efficiency and flexibility. At Steelastic, we’re proud to provide tire manufacturing equipment that outperforms the limitations of traditional calendering processes, ensuring that your plant can keep up with the ever-growing demand for tires. 

Reach out to Steelastic  

At Steelastic, we understand the challenges that tire manufacturers face. With our industry-leading equipment, you can overcome these pain points and experience increased efficiency, profitability, and customer satisfaction. Contact us today to schedule your free trial run in our facility in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Discover how Steelastic’s solutions can transform your tire manufacturing business. Together, let’s drive towards success. 

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6 Ways Steelastic’s Calenderless Component Preparation Equipment is being utilized by Leading Tire Manufacturers

Steelastic Next Gen Belt tooling making pick and place of extruded steel belt material

It true to say that calendering has been a tried-and-true process for the tire manufacturing industry for decades. But like most things, when the customers’ needs change, the approach needs to change as well.  

That’s where Steelastic comes in. 

For more than 50 years, Steelastic has provided cutting-edge tire component preparation technology for reinfoced tire components such as steel belt, body ply and cap strip. Steelastic’s equipment portfolio has been utilized by almost all leading tire manufacturers as a genuine alternative to calendering and offline processing.   

But is it the right choice for your tire manufacturing plant? In this article, we will explore several ways that leading tire manufacturers are utilizing Steelastic’s calenderless tire component preparation equipment portfolio to meet their needs. 

But first, what is calenderless, extrusion-based, tire component preparation? 

Unlike the tire calendering process, calenderless tire manufacturing uses an extrusion-based system to manufacture tire components, such as the belt, body ply, and cap strip, from creel to wind-up in one production process. By utilizing advanced technology and engineering expertise, Steelastic has developed an automated extrusion system that significantly increases flexibility, while reducing downtime and waste. 

Let’s dive in and explore the many ways in which leading tire manufacturers are utilizing Steelastic’s extrusion-based equipment portfolio?  

Starting a New Tire Plant? 

When starting a new tire plant, minimizing capital investment while maximizing returns is crucial. Steelastic’s calenderless, extrusion-based systems offer a cost-effective solution that provides a quicker return on investment (ROI) than traditional calendering and offline processing equipment. With reduced capital requirements and enhanced flexibility, you can jumpstart your new plant with confidence knowing that your capital outlay is aligned closely with production capacity. 

Need to expand capacity?  

As your tire manufacturing business expands, so does the need for increased capacity. One key benefit of Steelastic’s extrusion-based systems is their ability to add production capacity and flexibility in a modular fashion as capacity requirements increase.  In contrast, adding additional calendering and offline processing capacity can involve significant capital outlay that often cannot be justified, and can leave tire manufacturers with unused production capacity and flexibility constraints. 

Looking for increased flexibility? 

In today’s fast-paced market, customer demands for tire types are constantly evolving. To stay ahead of the competition, you need a production system that offers the flexibility to quickly adapt and respond. Thats why so many leading tire manufacturers trust Steelastic’s extrusion-based technology to efficiently produce a wide range of tire types. At Steelastic, we’ll ensure you can meet changing customer demands without compromising on quality. 

Dealing with aging calender assets? 

Over time, calender assets in your tire manufacturing plant naturally age, impacting their efficiency and overall performance. Instead of investing in costly repairs or replacements, it may be time to consider a change to a more flexible and cost-effective solution. By adopting Steelastic’s extrusion-based system, you can replace outdated calendering equipment with state-of-the-art technology that offers enhanced flexibility, efficiency, and quality. 

Eliminate Insourcing of Calendered Material? 

If your tire manufacturing plant is still insourcing calendered material, it may be time to take full control of your tire component needs and eliminate the logistics of insourcing, storing and processing calendered rolls.  Steelastic’s innovative extrusion-based technology is used to produce all belt, body ply and cap strip tire components in-house, enabling tire manufacturers to respond more quickly to customer demand.  

Improving Quality?  

If tires utilizing calendered material are struggling to meet the quality required by your customers, it’s time to consider an alternative approach. Many tire manufacturers have adopted Steelastic’s extrusion-based machines to produce original equipment (OE) tires, as they offer superior quality compared to calendering and off-line processing of reinforced tire components. By leveraging Steelastic’s technology across your production line, you can ensure consistent high quality throughout your tire manufacturing process. 

Explore Steelastic’s Extrusion-Based Tire Manufacturing Equipment  

Steelastic’s innovative solutions have revolutionized tire manufacturing by driving efficiency, reducing waste and providing unrivaled flexibility. Contact us to learn more about Steelastic’s extrusion-based tire component manufacturing systems. 

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Calenderless Tire Manufacturing

A Calendering Machine Alternative

This image shows a Steelastic rubber extrusion system that provides the basis for calenderless tire manufacturing.

For years, calenders and offline processing equipment have been the most popular method in the tire industry for manufacturing reinforced tire components such as steel belt/breaker, body ply and cap strip. In traditional manufacturing applications there was good reason for this choice: manufacturers can produce a large quantity of tires quickly.  

However, today’s tire manufacturers face new challenges. As tire varieties increase, tire manufacturers need more flexibility to meet their customers’ demand. They need efficient solutions that enable them to respond quickly to their customers’ needs. This is where the calenderless tire manufacturing revolution comes into play.

What is Calenderless Tire Manufacturing?

Calenderless tire manufacturing is a new approach to tire manufacturing, utilizing high quality rubber extruder systems to create key tire components such as belt and breaker, body ply, cap strip and more.

At Steelastic, we are proud to be at the forefront of this calenderless tire manufacturing revolution. In fact, we’ve been delivering state-of-the-art calenderless tire component preparation technology for more than 50 years.

Discover the Calenderless Advantage

Unlike the traditional calenderbased tire manufacturing equipment, this innovative process offers several significant advantages that can revolutionize tire manufacturing.

Increased Flexibility

One of the primary benefits of calenderless tire manufacturing is the hugely increased flexibility it provides. When manufacturers use calenderless tire technology, they have shorter production runs, making it easier to adapt to changing market demands. This also allows tire manufacturers to produce different tire variations without the need for extensive re-tooling or calibration adjustments. This level of flexibility allows tire companies to quickly introduce new SKUs and meet specific customer requirements without sacrificing production speed or quality.

Increased Quality

Calenderless tire manufacturing is truly revolutionizing the tire industry, not only for its enhanced flexibility, but also for its exceptional quality. The calenderless approach utilizes a rubber extrusion system, which provides superior precision and accuracy in tire component placement, ultimately resulting in superior performance on the roads. 

Additionally, calenderless tire manufacturing minimizes the risk of human error and increases overall accuracy in tire production. By implementing automated systems and advanced technologies, manufacturers can achieve higher precision and consistency in every tire component, leading to improved product quality and reduced waste. 

Decreased Cost

Calenderless tire manufacturing offers cost savings for tire manufacturers in multiple ways. Apart from reduced capital expense, calenderless tire manufacturing also contributes to operational cost savings. Shorter production cycles and faster changeovers result in higher efficiency, allowing tire manufacturers to meet market demands without the need for excessive inventory stocking. Additionally, the reduction in wastage due to improved accuracy and consistency further optimizes cost-effectiveness. 

Read this blog to explore a total cost comparison between calendering and calenderless tire manufacturing equipment.

Try Before You Buy

Schedule a Calenderless Test Run

Are you ready to experience the benefits of calenderless tire manufacturing firsthand? Schedule a test run at our state-of-the-art facility in Cuyahoga Falls. Our team of experts will guide you through the process and demonstrate the advantages that calenderless tire manufacturing can bring to your business. Contact us today to take the first step toward revolutionizing your tire manufacturing process.

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TCO: The Cost of Calender vs. Calenderless Tire Manufacturing

Total Cost of Ownership: Calendering vs Calenderless

A capital investment in tire manufacturing equipment is no small purchase. Whether you’re just starting a tire production business or upgrading your equipment, it’s always worth comparing a traditional calender vs. calenderless tire production process. In this blog, we’ll explore the TCO, or total cost of ownership, of calender equipment vs calenderless equipment. 

How Do You Determine Total Cost of Ownership?

To calculate the true total cost of ownership for calender and calenderless equipment, it’s essential to know the life span of the machine. Both calender and calenderless equipment generally lasts 30 years. This assumes that both machines are receiving. This assumes that both machines are receiving adequate preventative maintenance 

Capital Expenses

Without question, capital expenses are some of the biggest investments you’ll make for your tire manufacturing business. Whether it’s an equipment or building expense, we’ll help you know what is required for both a traditional calender and a calenderless tire manufacturing process.  

Equipment Expenses: Calender vs. Calenderless

The calender and calenderless tire manufacturing process is very different, requiring a different set of equipment. (You can read more about the differences in this blog.) The chart below compares the capital equipment required for both processes.  

Calender Solution
Calenderless Solution
Textile Fabric Letoff (60" Wide)YesNot Required
Textile Body Ply Creels (qty 2 minimum)Not Required264 Spools
Steel Belt Creels (qty 2 minimum)1449 Spools240 Spools
Cap Strip Textile Creels (qty 2 minimum)Not Required
152 Spools
Pre Calender AccumulatorYesNot Required
Extruder, TCU & Die HeadNot RequiredRequired for Steel Belt, Body Ply, & Cap Strip
4 Roll Calender Line for Both Textile and Steel CordsYesNot Required
Cooling DrumsYesYes
Windup (60" Wide)YesNot Required
Steel Belt Cutter w/ Belt Edge Application, Double WindupsYesYes
Slitter with 2 x Double Windups for AboveOption AvailableOption Available
Ply Cutter w/ Cold Strip Application, 2 x WindupYesYes
Cap Strip System w/ Cooling Drums, Accumulator, up to 20 WindupsYesYes
Wide SlitterYesNot Required
Mini SlitterYesNot Required
Rubberized Calender Material Pallets/CassettesYesNot Required
Steel Belt CassettesYesYes
Textile Ply CassettesYesYes
Slitter Pre-Cut CartsYesNot Required
Cap Strip RacksYesYes

See for yourself … which requires less equipment? The answer: calenderless.  

Building Expenses

If you’re building a factory for your tire manufacturing process, you’ll want to consider warehousing and foundation needs, as well as the cost of integrating utilities such as electricity, cooling water, steam and compressed air. Because a calenderless system does not use steam, it’s one less utility system to integrate into the building requirements.  

When all is said and done, it is cheaper for small tire manufacturers to invest in a building that houses a calenderless system.  

Operational Expenses

Now, let’s explore the on-going operational expenses required of calender and calenderless tire manufacturing. In this section, we’ll look at the energy requirements, human resources and training and maintenance and repairs.  

Utilities & Energy Required

While the cost of installing utilities was documented above, it’s important to factor in the annual cost of the electricity, cooling water, steam and compressed air. Which process uses less energy? It depends. The calenderless tire manufacturing process uses less electricity and steam than the traditional calender process. However, businesses that choose the traditional calender process often consume less cooling water and very little compressed air.   

Considering the aggregate cost of energy and utilities expanded over the millions of tires produced, the calenderless tire manufacturing process costs less.  

Human Resources & Training

Tire manufacturers know the frustration of losing good employees and the challenge of training new ones. The traditional calender process requires multiple workers, but the calenderless process requires only one – allowing manufacturers to utilize workers more efficiently in other parts of the plant.  

Additionally, the training time for the calender tire manufacturing process requires 24 months, while the training process for the calenderless process is only six months.  

When it comes to human resource expenses, including the number of workers and their training, the answer is clear: calenderless tire manufacturing is most cost-efficient.  

Maintenance & Repairs

ROI

Here’s the bottom line: After considering all of these factors, calenderless tire manufacturers will meet their ROI goals faster than tire manufacturers using the traditional calender method. When using the calenderless method, tire manufacturers who produce two million tires per year will recover their ROI in just seven years, as opposed to eight years for a traditional calender process. Contact Steelastic to provide a ROI comparison using their Calenderless Tire Plant Model calculator that uses industry standard values or your specific production and cost data. 

Request a Quote

Are you ready to revolutionize your tire production process? Request a quote for Steelastic’s calenderless tire equipment. Boost efficiency, reduce downtime and unlock design possibilities. See it in action at our manufacturing facilities. Let’s shape the future of tire manufacturing together. Contact us now. 

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Calenderless vs. Calender Comparison Guide

Calenderless equipment helps produce superior quality tire components for lower cost and with a smaller footprint than calender methods.

In tire manufacturing, the tire calendering process is just “the way it’s always been done.” But it’s not the only way. A calenderless tire plant will have some clear differences in several different aspects, including cost and other factors. 

If you’re curious about going calenderless with your tire component production and how the process compares to a traditional calendering plant, read on. 

Cost

The bottom line is often top of mind. Compare startup, overhead and production costs between calender vs calenderless plants.  

Overhead Cost of Calender Tire Production

With traditional calender tire production, an appropriately sized plant requires estimated building costs of $94.5 million; machine investment of $139 million; and annual production costs of $104 million. 

Overhead Cost of Calenderless Tire Production

For equivalent production in a calenderless plant, building costs are lower due to the smaller footprint: $92.3 million. Machine investment costs are $136 million and total annual production costs are $102.8 million. 

Calenderless systems also require lower utility costs, consuming significantly less per in electricity, cooling water, compressed air and steam. 

Lead Time

Turnaround Time for Calender Tire Production

Calender production equipment typically requires 75 weeks of lead time (about a year and a half). 

Turnaround Time for Calenderless Tire Production

Lead time for the calenderless solution is shorter by nearly six months (52 weeks compared to 75).  

Training

Operator Excellence Training Period for Calender Tire Production 

Operator training (operator excellence training period) is two years for calender systems. 

Operator Excellence Training Period for Calenderless Tire Production

For calenderless systems, operator training time is reduced from two years to six months. 

Footprint

Footprint Size for Calender Tire Production

Calendered systems are larger in comparison and require additional capital equipment, resulting in greater equipment footprint. 

Footprint Size for Calenderless Tire Production

Equipment for a calenderless process occupies a smaller footprint and doesn’t require complex off-line processing, pre-calendering equipment, work in process staging areas, and other machinery.

Installation

Installation Time for Calender Tire Production

Typical installation time for calender equipment is 16 to 24 weeks and requires special planning and pours for concrete footers to bear the equipment weight. 

Installation Time for Calenderless Tire Production

For a calenderless solution, you can expect installation time of four to six weeks. 

Flexibility

Production for Calendered Solutions

Recouping costs on a calendered system requires high-volume production on single SKUs, and switching up lines entails cumbersome changes. 

Production for Calenderless Solutions

Calenderless systems allow you to adapt your production line as needed, including producing low-volume runs for multiple SKUs and the ability to process a wide range of materials with low changeover time. 

ROI

Return on Investment for Calender Tire Production

For a two-million-tire capacity plant, a calender process reaches profitability in about year 8. For a six-million-tire capacity, profitability is reached in year five. 

Return on Investment for Calenderless Tire Production

For a two-million-tire capacity plant, the calenderless plant reaches profitability in year 7—nearly a full year ahead of the calendered one.  

For a six-million-tire capacity, the calenderless tire plant reaches plant profitability in year five—simultaneously with the calendered plant.  

Partner With the Experts

At Steelastic, we offer rubber extrusion systems that provide many benefits over traditional calender tire production systems. For millions less in investment and annual production costs, you can produce a greater variety of products, switch seamlessly between SKUs, gain precise width, gauge, and angle control, and enjoy less than 1% scrap.  

We’ve dedicated a large portion of our facility to R&D and invite you to test our equipment with your components to see for yourself how a calenderless tire plant could be a viable reality for you, no matter what type of tire you produce. 

Start a conversation with us and explore how the Steelastic calenderless solution adapts to your needs. 

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How Tire Materials Impact Performance & Safety

Quality tire materials like the inner liner, tire ply, apex, gum edging, sidewall, belt, cap ply and tread impact performance and safety.

As tire manufacturers, you know that quality assurance is just as important for the materials as it is for the tire manufacturing process. With this in mind, we have created this blog post to explore how tire materials directly impact performance and safety. 

Inner Liner

When it comes to manufacturing high-performance tires, the quality and functionality of the inner liner play a crucial role in both performance and safety. The inner liner serves several important purposes, including ensuring air tightness, retaining air pressure, reducing noise and minimizing rolling resistance. These factors directly impact the tire’s overall performance, fuel efficiency and safety on the road. 

To achieve optimal results, it is essential to choose a reliable material for the inner liner. Halogenated butyl rubber is a common choice, selected for its exceptional properties. This high-quality, synthetic rubber offers superior air tightness, allowing the tire to maintain proper air pressure over extended periods. By reducing air leakage, tires with halogenated butyl rubber inner liners provide enhanced safety, stability and reliability to drivers, even in challenging driving conditions. 

At Steelastic, we offer rubber extruders so you can manufacture the inner liner with precision and reliability. This technology not only enhances efficiency and cost-effectiveness but also helps manufacturers meet the growing demand for high-performance tires in the market. 

Tire Ply

The tire ply, also called body ply, serves a critical role in enhancing both performance and safety. Its primary role is to provide radial stiffness in order to maintain optimal tire pressure. Better tire pressure leads to improved handling, stability and overall tire performance on the road, but especially off the road for OTR vehicles 

Traditionally, the tire ply is created by coating polyester or rayon with rubber through a calendering process. While effective, this approach can be time-consuming and may present challenges in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. At Steelastic, we offer an innovative solution: calenderless tire production equipment. Our cutting-edge technology eliminates the need for a traditional calendering process, streamlining the manufacturing process while maintaining the high-quality standards necessary for producing high-performance tires. 

Adopting Steelastic’s calenderless tire production has several advantages. This technology enables a more efficient and cost-effective production process, enabling manufacturers to meet increasing market demands for high-performance tires while reducing manufacturing costs. Additionally, the calenderless approach ensures consistent quality, minimizing variations in performance and improving overall product reliability. The result is a superior tire with enhanced radial stiffness, greater pressure retention and improved safety, all made possible through Steelastic’s expertise and innovative tire manufacturing solutions. 

Bead Apex

The bead-apex of a tire is another important element to ensure performance and safety. High tensile-strength steel wire in the bead-apex is used to seal the rim, stabilize the sidewall and ultimately, improve vehicle handling. By effectively sealing the tire to the rim, the bead-apex helps to maintain proper tire pressure, preventing air leakage and ensuring optimal handling and stability. Beyond rim sealing, these components also contribute to sidewall stability – a critical factor in vehicle handling.  

Having the right equipment is crucial for achieving precise and reliable bead and apex manufacturing. At Steelastic, our Apex System is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of high-performance tire manufacturing, and it can even be customized to fit into your tire production line. With our knowledge and advanced technology, we can assist you in efficiently producing a series of top-notch apexed beads in as little as 8 seconds. This means you can keep your tire production line running smoothly, without any interruptions. When you need a thorough bead apex Inspection, try our 360° Bead Apex Inspection System that ensures precise uniformity and defect-free apex beads. 

Gum Edging

The gum edging helps minimize friction and heat within the layers of the inner tire material. By reducing these factors, it helps improve the overall durability and longevity of the tire. Gum edging is commonly made of extruded rubber, which offers excellent heat resistance properties. 

For tire manufacturers in search of equipment to manufacture high-performance tires, Steelastic offers a specialized solution – the Gum Edging machine. This machine can be purchased separately or seamlessly integrated into an existing rubber extrusion line.  

Tire Sidewall

The tire sidewall improves safety by providing abrasion and UV resistance, protecting the tire from wear and sun damage. It also contributes to curbside impact protection, ensuring that the tire remains durable and resilient when encountering obstacles on the road. The sidewall material is commonly made of extruded rubber for its flexibility, strength and impact resistance.  

For tire manufacturers looking to manufacture high-performance tires, the Steelastic Rubber Extrusion System is the ideal production equipment for passenger tires, truck and bus tires, aircraft tires and more.  

Belt

The belt component of a tire provides lateral, circumferential and radial stiffness to the tire to make it easy to handle and responsive. It also contributes to the overall durability of the tire, making it suitable for high-speed driving. The belt is commonly made of steel cords, usually arranged in two or three layers.  

Traditionally, the tire calendering process has been used for producing tire belts. But at Steelastic, we’re driven by innovation. We’re proud to have created a calenderless tire component production system. As the preferred choice for tire manufacturers, we help them achieve superior performance and safety for high-quality tires.  

Cap-Ply

When it comes to durability and performance, the cap-ply tire component is crucial. Commonly made of materials like nylon and aramid, the cap-ply provides strength and resilience to the tire, allowing it to withstand high speeds and prolonged use.  

At Steelastic, we’re proud to support tire manufacturers with the Cap Strip Systems you need to manufacture cap-ply with precision and efficiency. With the help of our Cap Strip System, tire manufacturers can enhance productivity and efficiency with a lower cost investment than alternative cap-ply systems.  

Tread

Tire tread is arguably the most important material that ensures safety on the road. At Steelastic, we simplify the tread-making process with our Rubber Extrusion System, specially designed for exact and effective tread production. Steelastic’s Extruder ensures optimal manufacturing output, resulting in high-quality treads that meet the demands for improved tire performance, efficiency and safety. 

Contact the Tire Experts

If you’re looking to improve your tire production, in terms of quality, efficiency or overall profitability, it’s time to contact your friends at Steelastic. Reach out today!  

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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.

Delamination

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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