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Avoid bottlenecks with smart layout and modularity

Tire industry brownfield dream factory

Predicting the future is notoriously difficult. No one knows what next year’s money-maker in the tire industry will be, let alone what the trends will be in 2030.

The challenge of uncertainty can, however, be transformed into a strength: when change is inevitable, flexible solutions will suit most scenarios. Cimcorp’s Technology director, Jyrki Anttonen, who is also involved in R&D process development, and Sales Manager, Veli-Matti Hakala, explain how modular systems can enable tire companies to adapt to trends, even game-changing ones.

Keep it simple

Through developing modular automation solutions and automating new factories, Cimcorp has recognized that the same modules can be utilized in existing brownfield plants to solve their material handling problems. Technology director, Anttonen, explains the principles:

“You do not have to establish a huge plant all at once; modularity means that you can implement automation one production line at a time. Each module is installed and commissioned independently, and can start production while the next one is being installed.”

Modularity brings benefit

Sales manager, Hakala, thinks of modularity in terms of its benefits: “Modularity means higher capacity with less equipment and lower investment. It enables redundancy by avoiding bottlenecks. If some part of the production line is not working, production will not stop – it just finds different routes.”

Passion for optimized thinking

In the last few decades, software has played a key role in achieving better productivity and higher quality in the tire industry and nobody can deny its importance. Yet Hakala wants to emphasize the role of other factors in improving efficiency. “I would say that layout design is often overlooked. In both greenfield and brownfield projects, an intelligent layout saves floor space. This brings great benefits, as the same manufacturing capacity can be achieved in a more space-efficient way and, with smarter use of software, the storage areas can be significantly smaller. This kind of intelligent engineering means lower investment and faster ROI.”

Keep an eye on these watchwords

Hakala finds refreshing that there are so many new players with diverse backgrounds in the tire industry: “They are bringing new ideas and challenging the established way of doing things. Whenever people think outside of the box, they have the opportunity to learn. Agility and flexibility are the watchwords now.”

Author Anna-Mari Vuollet

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