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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Tips for selecting the right Tire Handling Equipment
Joanna James Joanna James
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Tips for selecting the right Tire Handling Equipment

The automation of tire handling in the tire manufacturing industry requires the use of an assortment of conveyors and material handling possibilities. Here are the key areas and equipment needed.


Green vs. Finished tires

The first thought should be given to the two basic forms of processed tires, and how each needs to be conveyed and stored. The "green tires" are the result of the tire building process, where tires are assembled onto a building drum. The material is pliable and easily damaged, therefore the tires can flip on inclines and should not be kept for long on roller conveyors as these will leave indentations on the soft tire. The tires can never touch each other and are susceptible to collapsing during storing or conveying, so the shape needs to be carefully supported during storing to stop collapsing. The "finished tires" are the end product of the curing process, where the tread pattern has been imprinted into the tire and finally vulcanized. Once curing is done, the tire is the same as any material handling tires, like the GRI Tires you see on the road.


Types of conveyors used

Some of the most common conveyors used for handling tires include modular plastic belts, which are widespread due to their durability and ease of maintenance, as well as the special belts that can be used for diverts, merges etc. Textile belts are popular as the more affordable choice over the modular, or live roller conveyors which are ideal for transporting and curves. Gravity conveyors are also very economical and are good for buildup when combined with brakes.


Equipment for diverting tires

Different equipment can be used for diverting tires onto another conveyor, which can happen thousands of times a day, so when choosing, look for long-lasting equipment. There are a few kinds of diverting apparatuses such as the Kickers and Plows; kickers hit the tires to move them in different directions, these are good for moving a large number of individual tires at a high rate. The plow is held in one place as the tire changes direction and is good for diverting groups of tires that are placed back to back. Whichever method used, roller belts underneath the tires are necessary to keep them moving to the new direction.


Handling tires along the conveyor

For feeding tires onto a vertical line, use bump rollers and try to equal the speeds of the other infeed and discharge conveyors for smooth transitions, for heavier tires, you may need heavier rollers. When using inclines or declines, don't exceed a 30 degree angle or the tires will be prone to flipping. To stop tires accumulating on conveyors, use roller brakes to keep the tires from grouping and stop back pressure from building. TRT belts combined with linked centering arms are a good option to keep tires centered for specific operations or away from the side rails. A combinations of a few or all of these gears allow for easier and careful assembly for several tire manufacturing processes.

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