Kobe Steel begins sales of new tire uniformity machine: Librota-GS

Achieves world’s fastest cycle time and highest repeated measurement accuracy

November 24, 2016

Kobe Steel, Ltd.

TOKYO, November 24, 2016 — Kobe Steel, Ltd. has begun sales of a new tire testing machine, a tire uniformity machine called the Librota-GS. The new model has the world’s fastest cycle time of 18 seconds per tire and the world’s highest repeated measurement accuracy.

Tire testing machines are used for final inspection and quality checks of passenger car, truck and bus tires in the manufacturing process. The machines verify the uniformity, runout and other properties of tires.

In the field of tire uniformity machines, Kobe Steel is regarded as the top manufacturer with an estimated 30 percent world share. Kobe Steel plans to supply the new model to tire makers in North America, Europe and regions throughout the world, aiming to capture a further share of the market.

The Librota-GS is a more advanced version of its predecessor, the Librota, which was launched in 2013. Kobe Steel has received high acclaim from customers for the Librota, supplying about 70 units mainly to China and Southeast Asia.

In the Librota-GS, Kobe Steel has succeeded in shortening the cycle time to 18 seconds, from 20 seconds in the previous Librota model, by incorporating a newly developed control system and optimizing measurement conditions. This enables tire makers to achieve a 10-percent increase in productivity, compared with conventional tire uniformity machines. In addition, options such as a sheet-of-light laser geometry system and a shoulder grinder can be installed to meet a variety of needs.

World tire production has been steadily increasing annually in recent years. Tire production, reached an estimated 15.86 million tons in 2015, according to the “Tire Industry of Japan 2016” published by the Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association. Kobe Steel forecasts that tire production will rise to 18.39 million tons in 2020.

Kobe Steel has been manufacturing and selling tire uniformity machines since 1967. Kobe Steel also has an extensive record of supplying rubber mixers to major tire makers with an estimated 40-percent share of the world market. Expanding overseas, Kobe Steel’s tire and rubber machinery business has manufacturing and sales bases in four world locations: Japan, the United States, China and India.

Additional notes

1.Cycle time

The amount of time necessary to test one tire. As passenger car tires undergo a comprehensive inspection, the shorter the cycle time, the higher the productivity.

2.Repeated measurement accuracy

The measurement accuracy of tire uniformity machines represents the variance in the numerical results of repeated measurements (for example repeated measurements of 10 times), namely the standard deviation. The lower the numerical value (meaning the lower the variance), the higher the accuracy of the equipment. The new Librota-GS has achieved a repeated measurement accuracy of 1.69N or lower, compared with conventional machines of 2.40N or lower.

  • 3.Sheet-of-light laser geometry system and shoulder grinder

Sheet-of-light laser geometry system:
Point lasers have been traditionally used to measure tire roundness and irregularity, but this measurement device has a line laser of 256 points to improve measurement accuracy.
Shoulder grinder:
A device to reduce the shoulder of a tire, leading to lower vibration and noise, to improve tire performance,
  • 4.Kobe Steel’s bases for tire and rubber machinery

Name of base Location Business Established
Takasago Works Takasago, Hyogo, Japan Manufacture of tire and rubbery machinery 1953
Kobelco Stewart Bolling,Inc. Hudson, Ohio, USA Manufacture and sale of tire and rubber machinery 1986
Yiyang Yishen Rubber Machinery Co., Ltd. Yiyang, Hunan, China Manufacture, sale and service of tire curing presses 1995
L&T Kobelco Machinery Pte. Ltd. Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India Manufacture and sale of tire and rubber machinery 2010
Kobelco Machinery System Engineering Qingdao Co., Ltd. Qingdao, Shandong, China Sale and service of tire and rubber machinery 2015

Kobe Steel’s Librota-GS tire uniformity machine

Kobe Steel’s Librota-GS tire uniformity machine

Librota-GS logo mark

Librota-GS logo mark

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