Greg Hamilton, President
Over the years, the tire industry has witnessed significant evolution and growth. However, the development comes with a fair share of challenges and increased demand for more flexibility, automation, efficiency, and production traceability. More tire manufacturers are moving away from high-volume, limited-SKU production facilities and instead investing in a smaller capacity, multi-SKU tire plants with lower capital outlays.
If there’s one company perfectly aligned with this rapid shift in production, it’s The STEELASTIC Company. Founded in 1970 by Sterling W. Alderfer, a prominent inventor, and entrepreneur well known in the tire manufacturing community, STEELASTIC® is a global leader in tire component manufacturing equipment. With over five decades of rich and unmatched experience, STEELASTIC has evolved as a key supplier and innovator in the global tire industry by adding belt systems, body ply, cap strip, and automatic apexing systems its growing equipment portfolio. In 1999, their parent company, Heico Companies LLC, acquired RMS Equipment, a leading designer and rubber processing equipment manufacturer specialising in rubber extrusion systems and tire assembly machines. In 2015, the two companies merged, and this expanded STEELASTIC’s portfolio to include extruders, extrusion systems, and mini calenders.
Today, STEELASTIC empowers its customers with an innovative process for extruding, cutting and splicing steel belt for radial tires. With over 900 systems operating in more than 55 countries worldwide, STEELASTIC stands as an undisputable leader in the rapidly transforming tire industry with innovations that are closely aligned to its customer’s needs. “Innovation is at our core, and our capabilities extend beyond tire component preparation systems. We are beginning to take on more custom system integration work for customers who lean on us for engineering expertise. We work closely with our customers to deliver the best solution to match their unique production needs,” states Greg Hamilton, President, STEELASTIC.
At the core, what makes STEELASTIC second to none is its revolutionary and highly innovative calenderless process that provides tire manufacturers with the ability to have leaner, more nimble production facilities. While rubber calendering is still the preferred process for many tire manufacturers, STEELASTIC brings in the unprecedented benefits of going calenderless to the table. “We’re the first company in the industry to offer this break-through technology, allowing tiremakers to profitably manufacture shorter runs of multiple SKUs for passenger, truck, bus, off-road, aircraft and motorcycle tires,” adds Hamilton.
We’re the first company in the industry to offer this break-through technology, allowing tiremakers to profitably manufacture shorter runs of multiple SKUs for passenger, truck, bus, off-road, aircraft and motorcycle tires
STEELASTIC’s equipment is capable of producing all of the reinforcement components utilised in modern tires in a way that does not require traditional rubber calendering. Global tire manufacturers have adopted this process as they build smaller, more flexible plants. Driving a “Go Calenderless” revolution in the tire making industry, STEELASTIC meets and exceeds the demand for increased flexibility, automation, efficiency and traceability in tire manufacturing equipment. The benefits of this unique approach include:
•Increased flexibility: STEELASTIC’s multi-SKU capabilities allow for shorter production runs with ultra-fast changeovers. With certain systems, like the company’s Next-Generation Extruded Belt System, manufacturers can change their belt width and angle in a matter of minutes without moving any of their downstream equipment.
•Highly automated: With advanced automation built-in, STEELASTIC’s systems require a single operator.
•Greater efficiency: The company’s processes eliminate the need for inflexible calendaring and off-line processing equipment.
•Faster ROI: The process requires less capital equipment upfront for a faster return on investment.
•Smaller footprint: Gain more room on the production floor with fewer pieces of heavy machinery.
It is this calenderless process and the quality of the equipment that draws in prospective clients to STEELASTIC. However, what retains these clients is its awe-inspiring customer service and the team's in-depth knowledge and industry expertise.Recently STEELSATIC has branched out to provide more custom engineered system integration to their customers inside and outside of the tire industry. “At STEELASTIC, customer success is our priority. We know that the quality of your tire and the success of your business hinges on the performance of your production machinery. We strive to provide the quality systems and the dependable service you need to succeed,” adds Hamilton.
Moving forward, STEELASTIC continues to find new ways to improve and innovate its equipment offerings. Last year, the company launched its 360-degree, two-sided automatic and traceable bead apex inspection system. “We invite our current and prospective customers to test run materials at our U.S.-based calenderless manufacturing cell, so they can try our equipment and experience the calenderless process for themselves. They can schedule a free trial with us on our website,” concludes Hamilton.