Why 3D and a Common Technology Framework are Essential to Simplified Tire Inspection Systems 

Simplified Tire Inspection Systems

To ensure highest quality and lowest scrap in rubber and tire production, leading manufacturers deploy 3D sensing throughout the production process. Sensors are used in process to guide components to optimal location during layup operations, to monitor profiles of extrusions and to ensure splices are correct. In-process monitoring and control provide rapid feedback to quickly respond to process variations, reducing scrap and ensuring top quality final product. In final tire uniformity inspection, typically three 3D sensors are implemented, two measuring sidewalls for geometry and defects such as bulges or dents, with the third monitoring tread radius and run out.

The proliferation of 3D sensors throughout the rubber and tire manufacturing process provides assurance of quality at all stages of fabrication. However, this can come at significant cost to both the system integrator and end user if different types of sensors are used for each application.

Each type of sensor requires acquisition and stocking of spare parts and cables. Integrators must develop communications with each type of sensor, and must also become familiar with each sensors user interface. Users must train operators on sensor configuration and parameter setting for all elements of their model mix.

Cost and complexity, as well as the learning curve, can be minimized by use of a single sensor type throughout the enterprise. Even further simplification can be achieved by implementation of smart all-in-one sensors, which have image processing and control functions inside the sensor, eliminating the need for external processors or software development.

Even simpler is the use of 3D sensors with built in measurement tools and a web browser user interface for easy setup and control. Built-in measurement tools eliminate the need for measurement software development by the integrator. The smartest of today’s 3D sensors even include measurement tools for strip and groove dimensions and positions, specifically developed for rubber and tire applications.

Whole Part Tire Surface Scan

Applying 3D sensor technology to both in-process and final inspection ensures best quality product and minimum scrap cost. Implementation of common 3D sensor technology throughout the tire manufacturing enterprise provides the most cost effective means of achieving these goals.