7 Ways That a Rubber Extruder is Used in Everyday Life

Rubber Extruder

Rubber extruders are extremely useful pieces of machinery that can be used in a variety of applications. From creating custom gaskets to creating rubber seals, there are many everyday products that are manufactured by rubber extruders. Here, we’ll explore 7 products that are used daily.

1.    Tires

In automobile manufacturing, rubber extruders are used to create tires components. One application that they are used in is to form a continuous rubber strand of a specific width and thickness for the tread of the tire.  Often times multiple extruders are used to combine different rubbers into very specific tread profiles to offer the ultimate tire ride as well as durability.

The quality of the extrusion process is essential for the safe and reliable operation of a vehicle. At Steelastic, we utilize rubber extruders for calenderless tire manufacturing. This innovative process saves time, materials and labor when manufacturing tires.

2.    Windows

In the construction industry, rubber extruders are often used to make seals for windows, doors, and other items that need to be airtight. The rubber seals made by the extruder can be used to help reduce drafts and improve insulation, as well as create an aesthetically pleasing look. Additionally, rubber seals can be used to reduce noise levels and create better soundproofing. The rubber seals made through the extrusion process can also be used to protect against dust, wind and moisture.

3.  Manufacturing

Rubber extruders are used to create custom parts for machinery that needs to function in specific ways. This is often done to improve the safety and efficiency of the machinery. These components can include seals or gaskets.

The extrusion process shapes the rubber into the desired shape and size, to ensure that the parts are accurately sized and shaped to fit for optimal performance. The rubber extruder also helps to reduce material waste and manufacturing time, making it an efficient and cost-effective way to create custom parts for machinery.

4.    Medical Devices

In hospitals, you can find tubes and custom seals for medical devices

5.    Footwear

Did you know that custom soles for shoes are made from rubber extruders? Through this process, manufacturers can create highly customized soles that provide the perfect combination of cushioning, support, flexibility, and durability. This helps to ensure that the shoe will provide the necessary comfort and support to the wearer while they are walking or running.

Additionally, rubber extruders can be used to create soles with special features, such as grooves or treads, that can further enhance the performance of the shoe. This makes rubber extruders an invaluable tool for shoe manufacturers, as they allow them to create the perfect sole for any type of shoe.

6. Sport Equipment

Rubber extruders are used in sports equipment to form rubber grips, such as handles on golf clubs, tennis rackets, and bicycle handlebars. The rubber can also be used to make protective padding for sports helmets, padding for shoes, providing both comfort and safety.

7.    Toys

Rubber extruders are used to create rubber components for children’s toys, such as rubber handles for toy vehicles, rubber wheels for toy cars and rubber tubing for water guns. The rubber components are then incorporated into the final product, such as a plastic car with rubber tires. In addition, rubber extruders are also used to create rubber stoppers and seals for toy containers, such as those used to store plastic blocks or stuffed animals.

Discover Steelastic: The Technology Moving You Forward

Overall, rubber extruders provide versatile and value products for our everyday life. From automotive parts to medical equipment, people around the world benefit from rubber extruders. Learn more about the rubber extrusion process at Steelastic. Visit our website and learn how we lead the way forward with tire technology.

Continue reading »

Advantages of Steelastic’s Calenderless System

Calenderless System

Discover the advantages of Steelastic’s calenderless tire manufacturing system, and how it affects your ability to be flexible, lean, dependable—and deliver on your ROI.  

Table of Contents  

Calenderless Tire Manufacturing

What is Calenderless Tire Manufacturing?

For years, tire manufacturing has relied on the calendering process to produce the reinforced  rubber materials that are used to create the components within a tire. Calenderless Tire manufacturing relies on extrusion to create these same tire components.  

In this post, we will explore the calendering process more in-depth, and you will discover how going calenderless can be a great advantage to your company.  

Components Produced

At Steelastic, we support you with the calenderless equipment you need for quality tire components.  

Our extruders produce the following components so that you can produce exceptional tires:  

  • Tread  
  • Sidewall  
  • Cap Strip  
  • Radial Belt  
  • Body Ply  
  • Inner Liner & Single Compound Components  
  • Bead Apex  

Equipment Required

When you choose a calenderless tire production system, you’re choosing a simpler manufacturing process that requires less capital equipment.  

The chart below compares the equipment needed for calendering versus a calenderless system.  

Capital Equipment Required Chart

Advantages of Going Calenderless

The future of tire manufacturing is here. Discover the benefits of calenderless tire production. 

Lower Total Cost of Ownership

When you’re considering an investment in tire technology, it’s critical to assess the entire cost of ownership – not just operation. When you choose Steelastic’s proprietary calenderless system, you can save money. Here’s how:  

Lower Cost of Equipment

Equipment can be a huge capital investment, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are planning to produce fewer than 6 million  tires per year, the cost of Steelastic’s calenderless system might be for you. With a lower investment, tire manufacturers can pay off their equipment more quickly and receive a quicker return on their investment.  

No Special Foundation is Required

Traditional calendering equipment is large and heavy, requiring a special foundation and additional cost. When you choose Steelastic, you don’t need to lay a new foundation.  

Lower Utility Usage

Tire production requires a variety of utilities, but when you choose a calenderless tire production process, your annual cost is far lower. In fact, if you’re producing 6 million tires per year, your annual savings could be nearly $500,000. That’s a 12% savings in operating costs that goes straight to your bottom line.  

Yearly Energy Costs Breakdown Comparison Chart

More Flexible

A hallmark of the calenderless tire manufacturing systems is its modular design that allows for quick changeovers, lending itself well to flexibility.  

Tire manufacturers can process a variety of materials, including steel, aramids, nylon, fiberglass, rayon, polyester and more, making it well suited for multi-SKU applications.  

Quicker Delivery

The typical lead time for a calenderless tire manufacturing system is 50-54 weeks depending on the size and complexity of the equipment. Due to the small footprint and more simple nature of the machine, tire manufacturers can expect an installation time of 2-3 weeks. This is nearly half of the installation time needed for a traditional calenderless system.   

Lean Operation

Efficient Human Resources

A traditional calendering system requires multiple workers, but a calenderless cutter system requires only one. This allows plant managers to utilize workers more efficiently in other parts of the tire production process.  

The simple design of the calenderless system expedites the training process, allowing workers to be fully trained in months, as opposed to years of training required for the traditional calender component preparation production methods.  

Less Waste

When you go calenderless, you create less waste. It’s a single extrusion process, from raw materials such as cord and compound to a finished component. Without a need to stage calender material, the calenderless system produces less than 1% overall scrap.  

Higher Quality

The calenderless system gives precision belt width, gauge and angle control, resulting in higher production control and consistency. In fact, the combined cutting and splitting operation found in the calenderless system ensures that splicing is highly repeatable and consistent. This creates higher quality tires with a straight belt edge and improved cord control and position—and superior rubber-to-cord adhesion.  

A Trusted Partner

Did you know that we’re trusted by more than 700 companies around the world? With calenderless machines on five continents, Steelastic has built a reputation for trust and reliability, following three principles.  

1. Partnership

When you purchase from Steelastic, you can be sure to find a true partner in business. We’ll listen to your needs, adapt and support your business goals.  

2. Flexibility

At Steelastic, we understand the rubber industry’s diverse and changing needs. That is why we’ve built and adapted the calenderless tire manufacturing equipment to fit within your existing production line, supporting your current needs, instead of requiring the manufacturing process to align with a pre-determined output. 

3. Field Support

When problems do arise, you can depend on Steelastic to show up with support, audits, preventative maintenance and training when you need it most.  

Request a Quote

Deciding on a supplier for your tire manufacturing equipment is a big investment. We understand that. 

But if you’re ready to learn more, contact us for a no-pressure conversation. We’re here to learn about your business, your needs, and how we can support you.  

Continue reading »

The Pros and Cons of a Calenderless System

Calenderless Cell

Since 1970, the Steelastic Company has been moving the world forward with tire technology. We offer most of the equipment you need for tire component manufacturing, offering products for both the traditional calender and calenderless manufacturing.  

What is ‘calenderless’ tire manufacturing?  

Calenderless tire manufacturing combines principles of lean manufacturing with the latest tire technology. Traditionally, tire manufacturers rely on calendaring to process their rubber into components that can be used for tire construction.  

As time and technology progress, some things change. And that can be a good thing.  

Steelastic’s calenderless tire manufacturing system is an extrusion-based system that produces belt/breaker, body ply, cap strip, inner liner, sidewall, tread, and bead apex. But what’s so great about going calenderless anyway?  

The Pros of a Calenderless Tire Manufacturing System 

Reduced Wastage

A calenderless system allows tire manufacturers to produce shorter runs of various tire types and sizes. This reduces waste, as it allows tire manufacturers to produce different types of tires, without wasting resources for a longer run on the manufacturing line.  

Lower Cost

When waste is reduced, it lowers the overall manufacturing costs and increases net profits.  

Additionally, when companies go calenderless, they no longer need expensive and bulky calendaring equipment or off-line processing equipment.  

Increased Efficiency

A calenderless system is a more efficient use of resources, time and labor. As an automated process, it reduces labor costs, and cycle time, while increases production capacity so you can hit your goals for manufacturing and profit margins.  

Increased Quality Control

Traditional calendaring requires precise measurements on large production volumes that are difficult to obtain. Using a calenderless system inherently reduces the complexity of the system and ensures the highest quality for your tire manufacturing company.  

Complexity of System

A calenderless tire manufacturing system is a single cell operation.   Raw materials are input into the system and finished tire component preparation materials are produced.   While it has a smaller footprint and requires less overall equipment, it is not a simple machine. However, the complex nature of a calenderless system is much less than that of the calender solution.  First of all, the calenderless equipment can be supplied in two thirds of the time frame of the calendered solution.  Also, operators can be training to be experts is months as opposed to years.  However, at Steelastic, we understand that our customers still need our support and that’s why we offer 24/7 service support that is available on the phone, online or in-person, and strategically placed around the globe to offer support when you need it most.  

The Cons of a Calenderless Tire Manufacturing System 

Large Capacity Tire Production Requirements

The calenderless system cannot match the production volume capabilities of a calender system.  The calender process is capable of mass producing a singular specification material at a very high rate.   This tends to lead to a slight advantage to calendered solutions on facilities that produce more than 6-7 million tires per year.   

Initial Cost of Installation for large volume plants

Every change in manufacturing systems has a cost, or investment, depending on how you look at it. While a calenderless tire manufacturing system is costly, we think that the efficiency and flexibility gained makes it a worthwhile investment in the future of tire manufacturing.  

Schedule a Free Trial  

Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of calenderless tire manufacturing? See it firsthand at our headquarters in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. We will show you our calenderless manufacturing system, so that you can conduct trials to produce tire components to your own specifications. After the trial, we will pack and ship the components to your facility for tire building, testing and validation. Schedule a trial >> 

Continue reading »

What to Look for When Choosing a Rubber Extrusion Partner

Steelastic, your rubber extrusion partner

Choosing a rubber extrusion partner can be a daunting task, as there are so many factors to consider. From the capabilities to the quality of the product, there are many details to consider in order to ensure that your rubber extrusion partner can support your needs. In this blog post, we’ll explore what to look for when selecting a rubber extrusion partner. 

1. Capabilities  

It’s crucial that your rubber extrusion partner can fulfill your requirements with precision and quality. When choosing a rubber extrusion partner, ask yourself what type of tires will your plant be manufacturing? Do you need a rubber extrusion partner to make tire components for passenger, bus or aircraft tires? Do you need any custom extrusion elements designed for your manufacturing process?  

At Steelastic, we make high quality tire components for passenger, bus and aircraft tires. Our team of engineers is experienced in designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing rubber extruders, equipment and entire systems with a variety to tread to fit the precise application.  

2. Quality Control 

Quality control is essential in the rubber extrusion industry, because it has serious implications for safety and reliability. When you’re choosing a rubber extrusion partner, ask about their quality assurance process and what standards are set in place.  

When you choose to partner with Steelastic, you’re choosing a superior quality of rubber extrusion products that are designed for lasting performance and durability. Our quality control process includes rigorous inspections, testing, and continual monitoring to ensure that our rubber extrusion components are made of the highest quality and meet customer requirements. 

3. Long-Term Customer Support

Customer support is an important factor to consider when choosing a rubber extrusion partner. They should be able to provide personalized customer service, timely response to inquiries and helpful guidance and advice throughout the process.  

At Steelastic, we’re proud to offer all of that and more. We offer field service, machine audits and PMOP to keep your line running and maximize your productivity. Because we’re committed to a long-term partnership to support your rubber extrusion needs.  

How to Evaluate Potential Partners  

Here are three ways to ensure that your rubber extrusion partner is a good fit for you.  

Check References

Ask for references. Any reliable business has a list of satisfied customers. It’s not uncommon to ask to talk with them before making a big commitment.  

Visit Facilities

At Steelastic, we enjoy opening our doors to potential clients. Contact us to visit our plant in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and schedule a tour today 

Continue reading »

Tire Component Production: 3 Ways to Prevent a Breakdown

Steelastic employees training in tire component production

At Steelastic, we understand the importance of reducing breakdowns to keep tire production running smoothly and to keep your customers satisfied. That’s why we take preventive measures to help reduce the chances of a breakdown. Here are three ways we can help keep your tire manufacturing machinery running smoothly.  

1. Invest in Training

The best way to prevent a line breakdown and keep your tire production running is to invest in training. At Steelastic, we offer on-site operator and maintenance training to help make sure that your employees can properly operate and maintain each component in the tire production process.  An investment in training can help reduce the chances of a breakdown due to improper use. 

2. Utilize Machine Audits

Machine audits are a great way to identify problems before they become major issues. When you partner with Steelastic, our technicians will visit and evaluate your machinery to look for any potential issues, to solve your problems before they start. 

A one-time audit can be helpful, but regularly scheduled maintenance is the best way to prevent breakage. In this type of on-going partnership, we’ll send a Steelastic representative out to review your machinery’s usage, time and conditions, as each aspect can lead to potential problems that grow with time. Utilizing preventative maintenance can help reduce the chances of a breakdown.

3. 24-Hour Field Service

At Steelastic, we understand that emergencies happen. That’s why we offer 24-hour support and repairs when you need them most. We have service engineers around the world that can be reached at any time, so that we can provide fast and reliable service. Whether it’s a quick question or an emergency situation, you can always reach a Steelastic representative via phone, email or in-person, or visit our Aftermarket Parts store to order crucial parts for your assembly line. 

Steelastic is Your Partner for Success 

At Steelastic, we offer high quality tire production machinery, and world-class technical support. Whether it’s training, machine audits or 24-hour field service, you can count on Steelastic. Contact us today to solve your production problems before they start.  

Continue reading »

The Future of Steelastic’s Lead Time Investment

Dear Valued Customer, 

As we push into 2023, the economy continues to present a wide variety of issues, including labor shortages and manufacturing stress from supply chain disruption. Compounding these issues are headwinds from inflation concerns, geopolitical tension, and the continuation of Covid-19 variants and restrictions. This year marks year 3 of supply/demand being negatively impacted by outside variables. However, The Steelastic Company has been working diligently to establish mitigation plans to minimize these obstacles. The measures taken thus far include supply base enhancement as well as placing significant investment into our internal production capabilities.   

Investment and Opportunity: 

  • New in 2023, we plan to purchase a large HD vertical machining center. This substantial investment is for all E-Die parts and will increase our production capabilities by running multiple die parts at the same time. Our intention is to engage in customer stocking plans to support lead time reduction. 
  • Additionally, we plan to dedicate two machines for producing only NAIB’s (Nose Angle Insert Bodies): An 80” vertical machining center and an 8’ CNC router.   
  • We have updated our lathes and VMCs, and in late 2023, we intend to purchase an additional large HD vertical machining center, to machine die tooling. This will shorten lead times, improve uptime, as well as support new product development. 

With these considerable purchases, Steelastic is poised to address our customer’s production and product development requirements. 

I’m excited to announce that our team has worked diligently to reduce lead times for the following products:  

Beginning in February 2023:  

  • FORMING ROLLS & DRIVE RINGS:    Reduced from 12 weeks to 8 weeks 
  • PVC & ALUMINUM NAIB CELL:  Reduced from 10 weeks to to 6 weeks 
  • THROATS & INSERTS: Reduced from 10 weeks to 6 weeks 

We believe these improvements are a testament to our ongoing service and support commitment for our customers. 

In addition, we continue to upgrade our Customer Service and Field Service departments. Since In 2022, Steelastic hired three additional Field Service Technicians. These additions further demonstrate our commitment to support our customers in the field, providing more availability for operator training, machine audits and preventative maintenance programs to drive our customers’ success.    

Steelastic is willing and open to have discussions related to spare parts stocking programs for customers who will require that service. 

Thank you for your patronage and support.  

Matthew W. Barlett signature

Matthew W. Barlett
Aftermarket Sales Manager
The Steelastic Company

Continue reading »

The System Integrator’s Role in Recovery from Pandemic-Driven Disruption

Thus far in 2021, you have not had to look hard to find a manufacturing business with a “Help Wanted” sign adorning their frontage. Here in northeast Ohio, talk radio has become a sounding board for business leaders to vent on a common theme: “We are unable to fill our demand due to labor shortages bottlenecking our operations.”

"Now Hiring" banner in front of a business

The root cause of our current labor shortage problem is beyond the scope of this article, as well as, outside the influence of the typical business manager. Here at Steelastic, we know through contacts within our automation supply chain, that many manufacturers have reacted to this problem by streamlining labor intensive operations with automation. This is accomplished by integrating sensing technology and/or material handling, including robotics, into their existing production systems.


Keys to System Integration

Over the past 51 years, Steelastic have forged a name for ourselves in engineering and manufacture of high precision, tire component production lines, citing nearly 800 installations in this time span. Eighty percent of these turnkey systems entail integration of mechanical, electrical, and software systems to the end of encapsulating horizontally spaced rows of steel tire cords with rubber in a continuous process.

Steel tire cords

In this experience, we have learned that system integration requires an extensive collection of tools and skillsets. To name a few of these keys:

  • High proficiency in mechanical, electrical, and software engineering fundamentals.
  • Knowledge of industry standards, especially safety related.
  • Intimacy with numerous software interfaces.
  • High skill level in fine tuning of hardware, including troubleshooting.
  • Continual awareness of the offerings of the automation market.
  • Longstanding relationships with the suppliers that serve us the solutions that we make our livings from integrating together.

Steelastic’s reputation is founded in a niche area of tire manufacturing, but we are well equipped to take on the broader challenges of numerous markets.

Automation Integration Examples

Proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control integration

Armored drain cableA drain cleaning equipment manufacturer uses a spring coiling machine to produce their armored drain cable. Part of their process involves induction heating of the cable once it is downstream of the coiling operation.

Historically, part of the operator’s responsibility was to measure the cable temperature, then adjust the heater output as necessary for the cable to achieve the required temperature. As the line speed varies, the heater output must be readjusted to maintain the required temperature. This manual, “open loop” process was eliminated by sourcing a sensor that could accurately measure the temperature of the cables reflective surface, then integrating this feedback into the heater output control.

From the customer’s perspective, this operator task was eliminated. The integration enables the employee to accomplish other tasks, and it reduced the level of “knowhow” required by the position, potentially making it easier to fill in the future.

The first key to getting this done successfully and in short order was Steelastic knew who to call to obtain a sensor that could accurately measure the temperature of this reflective surface. From there, our core skill set of setting up a PID control was deployed.

A typical manufacturing operation contains hundreds of similar labor streamlining opportunities throughout their facilities.

Unloader integration

There are countless examples of industrial production systems that require an operator to stand at the downstream end of the line, perform a “last-ditch” spot check that the product is defect free, and intervene in the event that a “bad one” comes through. This scenario is an unenviable task, filled with potential for errors, and a classic opportunity for automation enhancement.

Automated robot checking for defectsSteelastic routinely develop unload solutions for our production lines. We have hundreds of examples of both integrated “catalog” material handling and vision components, as well as, custom designed gantry and end effector tooling systems. Our broad experience with the non-liner materials utilized in tire production have made us accustomed to handling difficult to manipulate objects and materials.

From the customer’s perspective, this type of integration often eliminates the need for an employee to man the end of the line and will improve the quality level, considering that machine’s minds do not wander, nor become distracted by Instagram posts.

The keys to success here include:

  1. Knowledge of the sensing technology that will best replace the human eye which will net the pass/fail signal. This entails, not only, knowing the options available on the market, but also, how to tune and program these devices. Programing often involves development of complex algorithms that effectively teach the system to interpret what a “bad one” looks like from the data that is output from the sensing technology deployed.
  2. Proficiency with the software technology used to coordinate the servo motors used to power the specific material handling device employed to remove the “bad one” before it is mixed with the “good ones”.
  3. Experience with the design of the tooling necessary to accurately and repeatably pick and place the product requiring handling.
  4. Most importantly, high competency in the practice of implementing this type of integration without putting workers in harm’s way. This requires proper utilization of safety devices in adherence to industry standards.

automated integrations

In closing, the pandemic has clearly disrupted our near-term world; however, it will likely have lasting effects on the workplace, in terms of where personnel do their work, as well as what duties they are charged with out on the production floor.

Is your business ready to streamline labor intensive operations with automation? Contact us today.


V.P. of Engineering, Jack Papes has been a passionate designer of machines and systems for the past 33 years and has enjoyed the pleasure of leading the Steelastic-RMS engineering team since 2014.

Continue reading »

Calenderless Manufacturing Cell Enables Testing of Tire Reinforcement Materials – Tire Technology International

Steelastic's calenderless manufacturing cell in Akron, Ohio, US, facilitySteelastic has built a calenderless manufacturing cell in its Akron, US facility to enable tire manufacturers to test run their own materials for tire reinforcement components. The company’s extrusion-based manufacturing processes for belt/breaker, body ply, cap strip and innerliner eliminate the need for expensive and inflexible calendering and off-line processing equipment.

The compact, single-operator machines used in this cell have been developed in response to a growing demand for more flexible, highly automated and lower capital outlay manufacturing systems. “This dedicated manufacturing cell is a key component of our drive to help manufacturers worldwide convert to more versatile, smaller footprint systems, necessary to profitably manufacture shorter runs of multiple tire types,” said Ian Dennis, president of Steelastic.

Continue reading: Tire Technology International

Continue reading »

Machinery: STEELASTIC® Introduces Combo Belt & Body Ply Machine – Tyre Asia

Steelastic Belt Body Ply Combo MachineSTEELASTIC, the world leader in extrusion-based systems for manufacturing tyre reinforcing components, has introduced its new Combo Belt & Body Ply Machine. This combination machine, originally developed for STEELASTIC’s own Calenderless Manufacturing Cell, can switch from running steel belt / breaker material to textile or steel body ply in a matter of minutes. The combo machine shares a common extrusion, cooling and accumulation system, with separate cutting and splicing lines for belt / breaker and body ply. Material is produced in one, end-to-end process, from creel to wind-up, eliminating the need for expensive calendering and off-line processing operations.

Continue reading: Tyre Asia

Continue reading »

Technology: ‘Calenderless’ Manufacturing Cell – Tyre Asia

Tyre Asia Technology Calenderless Manufacturing CellHistorically, calendering machines with secondary offline processing operations have been used to produce steel and textile belt/breaker, steel and textile body ply, textile and steel cap strip, inner liner and other single compound components. Replacing the calendering equipment used in producing these materials with highly automated and versatile extrusion-based systems eliminates WIP and all the associated steps moving material in and out of storage. The added automation and quick-change versatility of these machines also serve to perfectly align the tyre manufacturing process with modern needs. This is the significance of the ‘calenderless’ solution that STEELASTIC recently introduced.

Continue reading Tyre Asia

Continue reading »