Find out more about some of the companies headed to Hannover in March. Starrett Bytewise global sales director Matt Orvis highlights advances in tire component measurement, measuring finished tires in R&D applications and offline extrusion measurement, and outlines how visitors to Tire Technology Expo 2024 can learn more about the company’s expertise
Tell us a little about Starrett Bytewise’s range of competencies in the tire business.
Our company is a market leader in laser profile measurement. While we now focus on all extrusions, we were born out of the tire industry 34 years ago. Our first products were for the tire industry, at the request of the largest tire manufacturer in the world. This makes us unique among our competitors and provides our customers with equipment tailored to the needs of the tire industry. They receive a proven and accepted system designed specifically for their application, not one that ‘could probably do that also’. But being the market leader doesn’t mean that you can sit back and relax. We are continually developing new systems and improving our current systems to be of even more value to our customers.
What do you plan to show at the 2024 event?
We will be proud to demonstrate three new developments at Tire Technology Expo 2024. Two of them are unique to our systems, as well as industry firsts. They encompass advances in tire component measurement (the OLP FMD), measuring finished tires in R&D applications (Tire360/CTWIST Combo) and offline extrusion measurement (OFLP Blue).
What makes these developments unique?
Starting with the OLP FMD, the concept of measuring tire components in process to quickly identify issues has been widely accepted in the industry. However, the reliability of measurements has been less than ideal for a variety of reasons. This has led many leaders in the quality departments to delay full acceptance of online measurement data. The robust design, sealed and shielded sensors, and thermally controlled housing of our OLP has long set the standard in online profile measurement.
But we can’t just stop there. The concept behind FMD development is, ‘What if the OLP were a smart machine and could tell you if something was wrong, prompting operator action to resolve the issue?’ The OLP FMD aims to tell operators, quality managers and production supervisors when something is wrong with the system, whether that be an obstructed field-of-view, dirty or cracked glass, or aging sensors on the verge of failure.
With the OLP FMD, plant leadership can rely on the measurements because the system can tell when data quality is degraded or incomplete, how long the issue has been present, and the timeframe for which that data could be questioned. In addition, we are adding an ambient light filter that observes external light sources and removes this potential cause of noisy data from the measurement values.
The Tire360/CTWIST Combo has long been the well-established industry standard and Tire360 revolutionized the process of measuring finished tires in R&D applications. Since its inception, engineers have been able to gain all measurement data from the exterior of a tire in seconds rather than half an hour or more. Uniquely to Tire 360, this data is available from bead to bead. Now we are adding a single-point sensor for even higher fidelity scans of the tread area. The operator will be able to choose a bead-to-bead rapid scan (like the Tire360, gathering more than 10 million datapoints in less than 10 seconds), a CTWIST-only scan gathering high-fidelity tread-only data, or a combination scan producing extremely sharp and rich data for the entire bead-to-bead of the tire.
With features such as automated treadwear indicator detection, heel/toe and tread-block analysis, circumference, section width, tread depth, RRO with harmonics and many others, the redesigned Tire360/CTWIST combo is truly the most advanced 3D measurement system for tires to date.
Finally, the original offline extrusion measurement system, OFLP Blue, is back and better than ever. With decades of experience, Starrett-Bytewise has re-entered the low-cost market with a new system that lives up to the reputation of its predecessor as the industry standard. We recognized that while 3DP offers one-of-a-kind features and measurement data that no other system on the market can match, it did not meet the needs of all global tire manufacturers or situations. OFLP Blue fills this gap and is offered at a price that any tire manufacturer can afford, enabling all tire manufacturers to enjoy the benefits of using the best equipment on the market and the ability to pair it with other Bytewise equipment for added benefits.
How is the company reacting to the current trends affecting the tire business?
One of the largest current trends affecting the tire business is manufacturing tires for EVs. There are myriad features being added to meet the requirements of these vehicles. We have worked with our customers to ensure our systems return the critical information required to develop specialized tires for this market.
Carbon footprint is a daily concern in all industries and the tire industry is no exception. Our systems help customers manufacture to a tighter tolerance with the data to prove it, saving raw materials while maintaining strict quality standards. Tire-particulate and increased treadwear testing are hot topics as well. The redesigned Tire360/CTWIST combo allows our customers to handle these requirements with increased throughput without increasing labor expenses. Cost is always a factor for customers, which is why we developed the next generation of OFLP Blue to ensure that all customers can have the best equipment for their needs.
Who are you hoping to meet at Tire Technology Expo 2024?
We want to meet with our current customers to show them our latest innovations, as well as talk with potential customers who have either not yet adopted laser-based measurement or are relying on old technology. The market changes quickly for our customers and their customers, so we want them to have the proper equipment to keep up. We want to know what struggles they are having and demonstrate how they can use our equipment to increase productivity, improve quality, reduce scrap and decrease their carbon footprint. We highly value the strong relationships we have built in the tire industry over the last 34 years and look forward to the new relationships we will build moving forward. Ultimately, we want our visitors to leave with the knowledge that we are here to be a partner in their progress – not just a vendor.
Find out more by visiting Starrett Bytewise at Booth 3005, Tire Technology Expo 2024, Deutsche Messe, March 19, 20 & 21