Show review: Biggest and best ever Tire Technology Expo!

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“In total just over 4,500 people attended the show, breaking all previous records,” commented Tony Robinson, show founder and CEO of the organiser, UKIP Media & Events. “Hannover proved to be a very successful location and the show returns there for at least the next two years, with a probable five-year plan for the venue currently being reviewed.”

Exhibitors and visitors to Tire Technology Expo 2016 on February 16-18 were enthusiastic about the new venue. “We’ve had a lot of visitors and the organization at the Messe has been very good,” said Alberto Ballabio, sales manager at exhibitor, Prodicon International. “We’re always happy with the show – it’s the place you have to be because everybody’s here.”

“We’ve had 40% more visitors than last year, with interest from many of the world’s leading tire companies,” added fellow exhibitor, Johoon Heo, team manager at Hansung Sysco.

Among the visitors was Claudia Faymonville, an engineering project leader for tire plants at Goodyear in Luxembourg, Switzerland. “This is the best fair in Europe for the tire industry,” she said. “We appreciate that everybody is in one place, and it’s very easy to talk here because we are all tire industry professionals.”

With 262 exhibitors – another record – showcasing their products and services, a wealth of product debuts awaited visitors to the Deutsche Messe’s Halls 19 & 20, with technology and innovation the watchwords as always. Among the many highlights was the new LTM thickness measurement system by FACTS for steel cord and textile calendered fabric, as well as innerliner; GACZ’s new spring vents for tire sidewalls; the continuous liquid phase mixing process for silica/rubber masterbatch that was pioneered by conference speaker, Professor MJ Wang, and is being commercialised by exhibitor Versalis; and the news that Saurer is developing a machine to produce hybrid yarns on an industrial scale.

“What we’ve taken from this show this year is that the market for high-level technology is increasing, which is very encouraging for us,” explained Jean-Marc Creuset, Saurer’s regional sales director. “More technically demanding customers helps us develop our technology and maintain an edge over the competition.”

The accompanying conference and short courses also reached record levels of attendees, with delegates enjoying presentations that included one from Koji Takagi, the managing director of Bridgestone’s Technical Centre Europe, who revealed details of the company’s impressive new DriveGuard runflat tire for the aftermarket.

Bridgestone was also one of the winners at the Tire Technology International Awards, presented during a gala dinner at the end of Day 2 in a spectacular new venue: the Kuppelsaal at the Hannover Congress Centrum. See here for full details of all the 2016 award winners.

Engineers from vehicle OEMs also visited Tire Technology Expo to discuss the latest concepts in tire development and testing. “For me, the main benefit of being here is the opportunity to network with other visitors,” said conference speaker Jan Prins, a technical specialist at Jaguar Land Rover. “I even posted on Facebook that for me this is the highlight of the year in the tire industry, because as far as we’re concerned, everyone that matters is here.”

“The booths and conference sessions provide a very good chance to find out about the state of the art,” offered Takashi Ando, an engineer with Honda R&D in Japan. “I have an interest in simulation and we have to look at what’s happening all over the world. Shows like this are a good boost to our technical development process.”

Plans are already advanced for Tire Technology Expo 2017, which is set to build on the success of this year’s event. The show will return to Hannover on February 14-16, 2017.

Click here for product debuts from the show.

February 23, 2016

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the ground-breaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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