The 2014 Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence.
Earlier this year, the Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence were handed out to a number of worthy organizations. The awards are coordinated by Tire Technology International magazine, based in the UK. The winners were chosen by an independent, international panel of 23 tire industry experts. Here are a few of the highlights.
Tire Technology of the Year – Bridgestone: ‘ologic’ technology
The top prize recognizes significant advances in technology, and was handed out to Bridgestone for their line of low rolling resistance ologic tires, which are designed to reduce tire deformation and conserve energy that would otherwise be lost through internal friction. In addition, the narrower tread of ologic tires improves aerodynamics.
“First of all I have to say I’m extremely pleased and proud of a third consecutive Tire Technology International Award for Innovation and Excellence for the Bridgestone Group,” said Franco Annunziato, CEO of Bridgestone Europe. “The BMW i3 is very much a car for the future. Developing a unique tire for this unique vehicle was therefore an enormously challenging but also rewarding experience.
“Energy efficiency is an important development criterion for all our tires at Bridgestone,” he added. “However, it becomes an even more critical factor in an electric car, which is why we have put all our know-how, skill and passion into developing this unique tire technology concept, called ‘ologic’. It is one that we are confident delivers the premium performance, safety and economy for consumers who have come to expect it from both brands.”
Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year – Continental: ContiLifeCycle
This award recognizes scientific and technological excellence in tire manufacturing, and Continental took home the prize for their environmentally-friendly factory.
“We are excited that our ContiLifeCycle Plant has been awarded as Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year,” said Dr. Andreas Esser, head of the Commercial Vehicle Tires business unit at Continental. “Our team worked very hard to make the vision of an innovative retreading and recycling process for truck and bus tires become reality in a very ambitious timeframe.”
Environmental Achievement of the Year – Sumitomo Rubber Industries: Enasave 100
This award recognizes environmental advances in the tire industry, and Sumitomo Rubber Industries took home the prize for their Enasave 100 tire, which replaces synthetic rubber with natural rubber, and conventional carbon black with biomass-derived carbon black.
“The Enasave 100 is a true milestone on the road to sustainability in the tire industry,” said Graham Heeps, Editor of Tire Technology International and chairman of the judging panel. “I applaud SRI for its commitment to finding non-fossil-fuel solutions that work not only from a tire performance perspective, but which are viable on an industrial scale. This award is just recognition for its environmental vision.”
“The SRI Enasave 100 represents the industrial implementation today of a future worldwide ‘must’: biomass will be always available, unlike fossil-fuel resources,” added fellow judge, Federico Mancosu. “This product has opened a path to be followed by the other tire producers, and already allows fossil-fuel resources to be saved.”