What’s behind the corrosion downside for industrial methods in tyre manufacturing?


Dan Paul explores how tyre producers can establish and fight corrosion issues of their crops, resulting in improved KPIs in OEE, machine uptime and reliability

Corrosion-related element failures in fashionable industrial automation methods have turn out to be a expensive downside in tyre and rubber crops worldwide. If industrial system corrosion appears like a distinct segment downside, it’s price remembering that such points value an estimated US$2.5tr globally, based on the Affiliation for Supplies Safety and Efficiency.

Corrosion can wreak havoc on the advanced and extremely miniaturised electronics that at the moment are present in most industrial automation merchandise. For causes which have solely lately been uncovered, this corrosion course of appears to be additional exacerbated in tyre manufacturing settings, and the gaps in understanding have inhibited creating constant and dependable approaches to mitigating the issue.

The excellent news is that, as we proceed to make clear the industry-specific causes for corrosion of business elements in tyre manufacturing, these insights are informing higher testing and modernisation efforts for tyre producers to higher pinpoint the supply of corrosion issues of their crops. These discoveries can then information strategic upgrades to industrial elements and processes to successfully fight corrosion and enhance machine effectivity, uptime and reliability.

A greater understanding of corrosion in tyre and rubber manufacturing environments is ensuing within the growth of recent take a look at protocols

Hidden causes to a significant manufacturing problem

The miniaturisation of electronics in recent times has remodeled manufacturing capabilities throughout many sectors, and the commercial management merchandise utilized in tyre and rubber manufacturing amenities aren’t any exception. Miniaturisation in these settings has allowed for extra related, data-driven and higher-performing operations with a minimal footprint on the plant ground.

Sadly, this evolution in industrial electronics has additionally created an sudden problem within the type of corrosion. Particularly, as the commercial management merchandise utilized in tyre and rubber crops have turn out to be smaller and extra densely packaged, they’re extra liable to corrosion-related failures.

At first look, the reason for that is an industrial thriller. The corrosion downside has proven no bias, affecting a variety of automation merchandise and distributors. Corrosion has additionally been present in each a part of the tyre manufacturing line and in crops world wide, inflicting unplanned downtime and impacting key manufacturing efficiency indicators like general tools effectiveness (OEE). Regardless that suppliers have created industrial management elements designed to outlive in corrosive environments, someway the merchandise have confirmed to be significantly inconsistent and unreliable when working in tyre and rubber crops.

The thriller is lastly being solved by shut examination of those manufacturing unit environments and a few distinctive traits of the rubber manufacturing course of that contribute to corrosion. It seems that atmospheric reactive compounds generated within the tyre-making course of are combining with temperature and humidity elements to trigger rampant corrosion on the digital elements of business management merchandise. These reactive compounds have at all times been current in tyre crops; nonetheless, they’re having a larger impression in immediately’s miniaturised world of business management merchandise that require extra airflow throughout extra tightly packed electronics and circuit boards. This creates an ideal storm for corrosion—a novel manufacturing problem that requires a uniquely tailor-made and strategic strategy to unravel it.

Understanding corrosion causes drives higher options

Armed with an enhanced understanding and the fitting {industry} companions to handle the corrosion problem of their industrial methods, tyre producers can rework their management architectures with a two-pronged strategy: one that mixes corrosion-resistant product enhancements with sealed enclosures to higher shield product management methods in opposition to the weather which might be inflicting the corrosion.

A management structure can ship improved efficiency in tyre crops by including design options like conformal coating to scale back the impression of corrosion-causing atmospheric contaminants. Conformal coating entails spraying a non-conducting insulator onto a tool or element inside a product. The insulator “conforms” to the meeting’s profile and helps shield it from corrosive gases, humidity and different environmental stresses.

If industrial system corrosion appears like a distinct segment downside, it’s price remembering that such points value an estimated US$2.5tr globally

This conformal coating could be mixed with a number of different design modifications to create an “further powerful” grade of product safety in opposition to corrosion, and plenty of firms are already seeing the advantages of those enhancements. For instance, a significant tyre maker experiencing a corrosion-based failure each 16 to 18 months made the transfer to “further powerful” drives as a part of a reliability programme. Up to now, the corporate has fielded greater than 100 of the drives, lots of that are nonetheless working easily after years of use.

On their very own, even the hardest corrosion-resistant meeting upgrades aren’t sufficient to completely fight corrosion within the push to extend OEE and cut back downtime dangers in tyre crops. Strong, sealed enclosures are the important thing to delivering a vital second layer of safety. A mix of high quality enclosures and optimised set up and upkeep of those enclosures in manufacturing methods can guard in opposition to the environmental circumstances that might in any other case topic tyre manufacturing elements to excessive corrosion.

For instance, sealed grommets and fittings can be utilized to seal cables that enter or exit an enclosure. Steps like these may help forestall contaminants from getting into and increase inside an enclosure. It’s additionally crucial to observe producers’ set up directions for minimal mounting clearances. That’s as a result of heat-generating gadgets which might be mounted with an improper clearance won’t solely improve corrosion, but in addition result in failures ensuing from overheating.

Enhanced testing drives higher corrosion options

Particularly when carried out collectively, these corrosion-fighting methods assist shield management methods and cut back failure-related downtime. However understanding precisely the place, when and the way to deploy these enhancements throughout huge tyre manufacturing networks requires enhanced take a look at protocols. All through it’s essential to keep in mind that, within the technique of designing any new take a look at protocol, the right stability should be struck between producing the required outcomes and having the ability to conduct checks inside an affordable time interval.

Tyre manufacturing
Corrosion is additional exacerbated in tyre manufacturing settings

Testing ought to be tailor-made to the distinctive manufacturing atmosphere and be designed to each consider the effectiveness of present merchandise in opposition to corrosion and help the event of recent mitigation methods if wanted. Take into account the use case of combined flowing gasses (MFG) testing in tyre manufacturing to establish the problematic compounds that contribute to corrosion in that particular manufacturing setting. After many iterations and by adjusting sure take a look at parameters, it’s attainable to speed up totally different corrosion charges and have an effect on corrosion composition on totally different metals.

These testing insights then helped drive the event of a brand new MFG publicity chamber that comes with an prolonged temperature vary considerably above and under ambient temperatures. The response space of the chamber was designed to not degrade with excessive contaminant focus, whereas permitting for management of as much as ten gasoline deliveries into the chamber. The response chamber was additionally considerably bigger than the preliminary chamber used for testing.

So as to tackle the numerous corrosion issues disproportionately affecting manufacturing unit environments in comparison with the remainder of manufacturing, tyre producers should embrace the fitting testing and implementation sources to optimise each the supplies and processes required for a extra corrosion-resistant manufacturing setting. A greater understanding of corrosion in tyre and rubber manufacturing environments is ensuing within the growth of recent take a look at protocols that transcend industry-standard accelerated corrosion checks as a way to be extra consultant of those powerful manufacturing environments. This, in flip, is driving the event of extra corrosion-resistant supplies, elements and set up protocols—all of which helps slash downtime and rework tyre manufacturing right into a extra environment friendly, sturdy and cost-effective operation.


In regards to the writer: Dan Paul is World Enterprise Chief, Tyre Business, at Rockwell Automation


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