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Show review: 2015 a fantastic success!

Tire Technology Expo 2015 was hailed a huge success by exhibitors, visitors and organizers alike

Compiled by Graham Heeps

 

The three-day show in Cologne, Germany, featured more than 220 exhibitors – the highest number ever – and was set to have achieved a record number of visitors once the final data had been collated: over 3,500 attendees across the exhibition, short courses and conference.

“It’s a very exciting period for Tire Technology Expo,” said the show founder and CEO of UKIP Media & Events, Tony Robinson. “This was our last year in Cologne and we’re very much looking forward to moving up to Hanover in 2016. Even on Day 1 of this year’s show, most of the exhibitors had already signed up for Hanover.” By the show’s end, the organizers reported that next year’s show hall – which is 25% bigger than the current Cologne hall – was already near to being sold out.

Speaking to visitors and exhibitors alike, it was clear that the show’s success lies in its appeal to all sectors of the tire development and manufacturing industry.

“We are specifically looking for a system to improve the logistics of finished tires in our warehouse,” said Michael Hoffmann, logistics engineer, Goodyear Dunlop Tire Operations SA. “The show’s been really good – we’ve met people from several companies, including some that we didn’t expect to meet.”

“We’ve seen a lot of electronics in tire measuring systems and that is our primary interest,” offered K. Srikanth, head of system concepts and new technologies for Apollo. “This is my first time here and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.”

The Expo’s chemicals and materials area continues to expand, supported by presentations in the outstanding Conference, which this year featured 130 papers from experts in academia and industry. Highlights included an absorbing presentation from Cooper Tire’s senior vice president for global R&D, Charles Yurkovich, who challenged delegates to reflect on how they might foster innovation within the tire industry. “We need to create and sustain the environment that allows innovation to take place,” he urged.
 


“My interest is natural rubber and alternative materials,” explained conference delegate Dr Masato Naito, assistant manager of materials research and development, Sumitomo Rubber Industries. “It’s been very useful from a business perspective.”

In the exhibition halls, numerous product debuts and new technologies were on display. Making their debuts at the show were Bosch Rexroth’s hydraulic reversing unit; Datalogic’s Color Mark Inspection machine vision technology (pictured); Güdel’s innovative Green Tire Tray; Solvay’s process-friendly Efficium silica; Tekscan’s latest TireScan system with 250,000 sensing elements; and Nanotronics Imaging’s eye-catching nSpec 3D system for compound analysis. One visitor was so impressed with the latter that he placed an order right off the stand!

More generally, exhibitors were delighted with the level of interest in their products. “We now see a lot of purchasing people here from the tire manufacturers, not just the technicians,” noted Kurt Uihlein, director of marketing and development, Cordenka. “It's become the meeting point for our customers.”

“Here I can meet a lot of our customers from all over the world, which is normally very difficult to do,” added Marian Lanc, head of business development for IGTT. “We’ve made new contacts from India and other places. Year on year the Expo appears to get bigger and bigger.”
 
As has become the custom, at the end of the show’s second day, 700 tire industry professionals made their way to Köln Messe’s Kristallsaal to see the winners of the 2015 Tire Technology International Awards receive their trophies during a spectacular gala dinner.

Michelin scooped two of the five industry awards on the night, securing the Tire Manufacturer of the Year crown and having EverGrip named the Tire Technology of the Year. Jean-Pierre César, Michelin’s VP of technical operations, passenger car and light truck worldwide, was in Cologne to collect the trophies. Referring to his company’s achievements of the past year, which have included the further commercialization of Tweel, the development of tires for Formula E, new partnerships with sustainable materials suppliers as well as EverGrip, he said: “All these initiatives are about striving for more responsible, more sustainable and more enjoyable mobility in the future.” For further details on all the winners, click here.
 

 

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