Tag Archives: technology

Cooper Tire Completes Research on Tires made with Guayule Plant


Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.’s scientists have completed a five-year $6.9 million federal grant to produce and road test concept passenger tires made with guayule plant-based polymers.

The company says it met all goals outlined in the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) grant, “Securing the Future of Natural Rubber-an American Tire and Bioenergy Platform from Guayule.”

Cooper was the lead entity in a consortium that included Clemson University, Cornell University, PanAridus LLC and the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA-ARS).

A report on the grant was recently presented at the public-private sector consortium’s wrap-up meeting held at the Cooper Tire & Vehicle Test Center near San Antonio.

Cooper says its scientists produced several sets of concept passenger tires in which all the natural and synthetic rubber is replaced by guayule natural rubber. Guayule, a shrub grown primarily in the southwestern United States, contains rubber that can be process for use in tires. The grant team studied the feasibility of using guayule in tires versus Hevea natural rubber, which is used by the industry today and is sourced primarily from Southeast Asia.

Cooper says the 100%-guayule-based concept tires underwent extensive evaluation by Cooper’s technical team, including rigorous wheel and road tests, and were found to have overall performance at least equal to tires made with Hevea and synthetic rubber. Notably, the tires performed significantly better in rolling resistance, wet handling and wet braking than their conventional counterparts. Following the meeting, consortium members participated in the industry’s first ride and drive on the 100% guayule concept tires at the Cooper facility.

“Cooper built more than 450 tires, replacing various tire components made with Hevea and synthetic rubber with those made with guayule and testing each for overall performance,” says Chuck Yurkovich, senior vice president of global research and development for Cooper.

“Based on our findings, Cooper could use guayule rubber in tire production tomorrow if enough material was available to meet our production needs at a competitive price. To make this happen, the combined effort of government, agriculture and industry is needed to grow the plants and create large-scale manufacturing operations to produce the rubber for use in the tire industry.”

Yurkovich says the results of the grant have been groundbreaking. “Never before has it been proven that guayule is a viable source of domestically produced natural rubber for the tire industry. However, through the combined effort of industry, government and academia, the BRDI team has unequivocally demonstrated just that.”

Source MTD

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We have several warehouses full of tires and ship all over the USA daily. Give us a call at 1-888-513-8473 and check out our website http://www.yournexttire.com

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Beware of Ransomware Attacks

M-Locked-computer-1.jpgAll the tire dealer wanted to do was upgrade his point-of-sale software. He chose an in-house server-based system, and made sure his employees received the proper training.

After a “crazy busy” first few days, the training became second nature, some of the bugs worked themselves out, and the new system, he said, “normed down.”

Less than two weeks later, his system was hacked and held for ransom. He was asked to pay up or he would lose all his POS information.

“It’s nothing you want to re-live,” said the dealer when contacted by Modern Tire Dealer. “It’s nothing you want to explain. You think you’re smart enough to run your business.”

The cost of ransomware to U.S. businesses is hard to quantify. In 2016, businesses paid out an estimated $1 billion, compared to $24 million the previous year, based on FBI data. However, those numbers only take into account known victims.

Losses due to downtime also are not included. As of May 2016, the FBI estimated ransomware had cost U.S. small businesses more than $75 million in downtime alone in less than a year and a half.

In its 2016 report, “Hackerpocalypse: A Cybercrime Revelation,” cybersecurity company the Herjavec Group estimated the annual cost of global cybercrime will reach $6 trillion a year by 2021. Ransomware is expected to make up an increasingly larger percentage of that total over the next five years.

What is ransomware?

According to the FBI, ransomware “is a form of malware that targets your critical data and systems for the purpose of extortion.” It is frequently delivered through “spearphishing” emails.

“After the user has been locked out of the data or system, the cyber actor demands a ransom payment. After receiving payment, the cyber actor will purportedly provide an avenue to the victim to regain access to the system or data.”

Wayne Croswell, CEO and president of WECnology LLC, says ransomware attacks are typically carried out using a Trojan disguised as a legitimate file.

“They enter a system or network through, for example, a downloaded file or a vulnerability in a network service. The program then runs a payload, which locks the system in some fashion, or claims to lock the system but does not (e.g., a scareware program). Payloads may display a fake warning purportedly by an entity such as a law enforcement agency, falsely claiming that the system has been used for illegal activities, and contains content such as pornography and ‘pirated’ media.

“Payment is virtually always the goal,” he says, “The victim is coerced into paying for the ransomware to be removed — which may or may not actually occur — either by supplying a program that can decrypt the files, or by sending an unlock code that undoes the payload’s changes. Payment can be as little as $10 or even $1,000, and many victims quickly pay it to get their system back. The attacker can infect thousands of systems and collect millions of dollars in ransom.”

When ransomware first hit the scene, computers predominately became infected with it when users opened email attachments that contained the malware, says Croswell.

“But more recently, we’re seeing an increasing number of incidents involving so-called ‘drive-by’ ransomware, where users can infect their computers simply by clicking on a compromised website, often lured there by a deceptive email or pop-up window.

“Another new trend involves the ransom payment method. While some of the earlier ransomware scams involved having victims pay ‘ransom’ with pre-paid cards, victims are now increasingly asked to pay with Bitcoin, a decentralized virtual currency network that attracts criminals because of the anonymity the system offers.”

To pay or not to pay

It was a day he will never forget. “I came into the store and none of the computers were able to sign on to the server,” said the tire dealer. “So I went back to the server and logged in. There was a message on the screen that said my server had been encrypted, and to get it unlocked I needed to write to an obscure email address for more info.

“I immediately called anyone I knew in IT who would take my phone call, including my regular IT guy, who was on vacation. All of the feedback was not good. It was ‘pay what they ask for’ or ‘pull the server off-line and refresh it as new.’

“I decided on the latter. I wouldn’t pay.”

The dealer was lucky. He had only been using the new system for a short time, so he didn’t lose much information. “It was pretty mundane stuff anyway,” he said. “The data I collected wasn’t harmful. It was not like collecting social security numbers or blood types or financial information.”

What he did not do was contact law enforcement. The FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and the National Security Agency, among others, consider this a mistake.

“We strongly encourage you to contact a local field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or U.S. Secret Service immediately upon discovery to report a ransomware event and request assistance,” says the U.S. government in an interagency technical guidance document, “How to Protect Your Networks from Ransomware” (https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ccips/file/872771/download).

“Law enforcement may be able to use legal authorities and tools that are unavailable to most organizations. Law enforcement can enlist the assistance of international law enforcement partners to locate the stolen or encrypted data or identify the perpetrator. These tools and relationships can greatly increase the odds of successfully apprehending the criminal, thereby preventing future losses.”

There are serious risks to consider before paying the ransom, according to the document.

Paying the ransom does not guarantee access to your data once the ransom is paid.
Paying the ransom opens the door to future attacks because the attackers know you will pay.
After paying the ransom, some victims have been asked to pay even more to get the encryption keys. (Surprisingly, the dealer said he was told by a number of IT people there is some honor among cyber thieves.)
Paying ransom supports and encourages this illegal activity.
The U.S. government does not encourage paying the ransom, but doesn’t prohibit it, either. “Whether to pay a ransom is a serious decision requiring the evaluation of all options to protect shareholders, employees and customers.”

Prevent defense

“As with other forms of malware, security software might not detect a ransomware payload, or, especially in the case of encrypting payloads, only after encryption is under way or complete, particularly if a new version unknown to the protective software is distributed,” says Croswell. “New categories of security software, specifically deception technology, can detect ransomware. Deception technology can detect ransomware and notify cyber security teams, which can then shut down the attack and return the organization to normal operations.”

Using software or other security policies to block known payloads from launching will help to prevent infection, but will not protect against all attacks, he says. “There are several tools intended specifically to decrypt files locked by ransomware, although successful recovery may not be possible.

To help prevent being hacked and held for ransom, Croswell suggests the following eight preventive measures:

Make sure you have updated antivirus software on your computer.
Enable automated patches for your operating system and web browser.
Have strong passwords, and don’t use the same passwords for everything.
Use a pop-up blocker.
Only download software — especially free software — from sites you know and trust (malware can also come in downloadable games, file-sharing programs, and customized toolbars).
Don’t open attachments in unsolicited emails, even if they come from people in your contact list, and never click on a URL contained in an unsolicited email, even if you think it looks safe. Instead, close out the email and go to the organization’s website directly.
Use the same precautions on your mobile phone as you would on your computer when using the internet.
Conduct regular system back-ups, and store the backed-up data offline.
The Department of Justice has one more step to limit a ransomware infection: “No users should be assigned administrative access unless absolutely needed, and those with a need for administrator accounts should only use them when necessary.”

Going forward

The attack was a wake-up call for the dealer, who requested anonymity in case the previous hacker decided to accept the “challenge” of his new system.

“I can tell you what I did wrong,” he says. “I did not go through a thorough process to put system controls in place that would have helped prevent this from happening. I needed an action plan in place to know what to do if it happened.”

“Also, by using and in-house server, it was easier to ‘open up the doors’ for hackers to come in. When we installed it, the ports got left open on the router.

“We don’t have a server in-house anymore. We’re using one in the cloud.” And he backs up the data regularly.

“It was a horrible experience,” he said. “Could it have been avoided? I think so. But hindsight is 20-20. If hackers really want to get in, they will, but I’m not going to help them.” ■

From Russia without love: Ransomware is a global phenomenon

“While initially popular in Russia, the use of ransomware scams has grown internationally,” says Wayne Croswell, CEO and president of WECnology LLC and a frequent contributor to Modern Tire Dealer. “In June 2013, security software vendor McAfee released data showing that it had collected over 250,000 unique samples of ransomware in the first quarter of 2013, more than double the number it had obtained in the first quarter of 2012.

“Wide-ranging attacks involving encryption-based ransomware began to increase through Trojans such as CryptoLocker, which had procured an estimated $3 million before it was taken down by authorities, and CryptoWall, which was estimated by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to have accrued over $18 million by June 2015.”

Can the cloud protect you? Not completely, says WECnology CEO

Discount Tire, the largest independent tire dealer chain in North America, recently announced a multi-year, multi-million dollar cloud-based service agreement with OneView Commerce plc.

“We found that the overall savings in time and cost make cloud-based delivery of a digital store platform the most efficient and economical arrangement for achieving the operational return and improved customer experience that is at the heart of our strategy,” said Tom Williams, senior vice president for Reinalt-Thomas Corp., which does business under the trade name Discount Tire in most of the U.S., America’s Tire in parts of California, and as Discount Tire Direct online.

But does a cloud-based system protect the company against ransomware? Not completely, says Wayne Croswell, CEO and president of WECnology LLC.

“Having a cloud solution doesn’t eliminate ransomware from happening,” he says. “But when you host your application with a trusted secure company, they have the highest level of protection software which can help prevent hacks from getting in.

“But you still have computers at the desks of employees and counters, and if someone there gets a ransomware attack, it could infect the cloud instead of their in-house network.”

Source “href=”hhttp://www.moderntiredealer.com/article/721948/beware-of-ransomware?refresh=true” target=”_blank”>MTD
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We have several warehouses full of tires and ship all over the USA daily. Give us a call at 1-888-513-8473 and check out our website http://www.yournexttire.com

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Pirelli to Debut “Smart Tires” in the U.S.


Pirelli & Cie SpA is making a push for a new era in tire manufacturing at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show with two innovations: colored editions of P Zero and Winter Sottozero tires, and a platform integrated into those tires that communicates with the driver via a mobile app.

Pirelli is rolling out an interactive platform via a sensor in two of its tire designs that provides drivers constant information on how the tires are wearing.
Pirelli is rolling out an interactive platform via a sensor in two of its tire designs that provides drivers constant information on how the tires are wearing.
The tire manufacturer says it will debut its interactive, cloud-based tire system in the aftermarket, and eventually roll it out to auto makers.

Colorful tires

Pirelli says its engineers have developed innovative materials and protection systems to promise vivid and durable colors in the tires. It’s part of the company’s strategy to offer tailor-made products to its customers.

The base colors for the colored edition will be red, yellow, white, and silver, and they’re on display at Pirelli’s booth at the auto show, but also on some of the most eagerly-anticipated cars at the event. As well as the base colors, options are available in every other color on request.

The Pirelli colored edition was born to satisfy the increasing demand for personalization from prestige and premium clients, and the tire maker says it comes alongside other Pirelli specialty technologies, such as PNCS, its noise-canceling system, run-flat systems, and seal-inside, a technology that allows a tire to repair itself in the event of a puncture.

The stability of the sidewall colors is its own breakthrough, Pirelli says, and the company says its engineers have used the experience gained in Formula 1, where colored tires have been a reality since 2011, to refine an innovative labeling system. In particular, a new material has been created that acts as a protective barrier to maintain the brilliance of the color and avoid fading caused by time and use, without affecting performance.

The first colored edition P Zero tires already have made their debuts in the last few months as concepts with Pagani, Lamborghini and McLaren, while from the summer they will be available for brands such as Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche and Bentley. The colored edition will then be expanded to premium models from the world’s top manufacturers.
Colored edition tires are available to preorder straight away for the P Zero and Winter Sottozero ranges in the prestige sector, from 19-inch size upwards, before then being extended to premium cars.

Smart replacement tires

With Pirelli Connesso, the tire maker says a tire becomes intelligent and interactive. It’s a digital platform using a sensor integrated within Pirelli’s high end tires to expand on the information already available from each car’s on-board computer.
It provides data about the status, use and maintenance of every tire, also offering localized and personalized services to provide bespoke mobility for the needs of the most demanding drivers. Pirelli’s new system has been conceived as a technical tire accessory, and is intended to provide a more informed and pleasurable driving experience, optimizing performance and reducing fuel consumption with more efficient use of tires.

It will initially be available in 19-inch size and bigger on P Zero and Winter Sottozero for prestige cars.

The first country where it will be offered will be the United States from summer 2017, where the platform has been developed in conjunction with leading companies from the digital world.
After the U.S., Pirelli Connesso will be available in principal markets within Europe and the Far East. Pirelli Connesso will be available in P Zero or Winter Sottozero tires whether they’re plain black or colored.

Pirelli Connesso is formed of a sensor embedded in the tire connected to the Pirelli Cloud and to a smartphone app, providing an interface that allows drivers to constantly communicate with tires.

The sensor weighs just a few grams and has no effect on the physical performance of the tire, Pirelli says. It continuously measures the status of each tire and sends the data to a centralized control unit and the Pirelli Cloud, which together form the real brain of the Connesso system. Here the information is processed and then conveyed to the end-user app.
The launch version of the Pirelli Connesso system recognizes each tire’s identification code, monitoring its status from manufacture in the factory to recycling at the end of life. It measures tire pressure and temperature even when the car is at rest, plus static vertical load, tire wear, number of kilometers covered for each tire, and, in a future version, the estimated remaining life in kilometers, as well as acting as a remote pressure gauge when tires are being inflated, providing a true and accurate reading without having to wait for the tires to cool down.

Furthermore, Pirelli Connesso alerts the driver when the pressure of one or more tires drops too low, or when the wear limit is approaching. In both cases, the app identifies the closest tire dealership and can directly book an appointment to rectify the pressures, or pre-order and change worn tires, cutting down on waiting time.

How Connesso compares to TPMS

In particular, compared to other on-board tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) currently used, Pirelli Connesso works both when the car is at rest as well as when it is moving. In a future version, Connesso also will be able detect a drop in pressure remotely and immediately make arrangements for any new tires or maintenance needed, directly in the place where the car is parked. This type of functionality, which allows predictive tire management, has been developed by Pirelli’s engineers not only to satisfy the requirements of individual users, but also those of fleets and car sharing services.

Pirelli says its Connesso app is the first mobile platform of its kind to connect tire makers, consumers and the sales network. It also will offer exclusive services such as indicating which motorsport events are taking place nearby, as well as giving the possibility to write reviews of tire dealerships, in order to share opinions of service received and read the views of other users in the Pirelli Connesso community.
Pirelli’s new system is currently focused on the aftermarket, but there will also be an original equipment solution.
In collaboration with some car manufacturers, Pirelli is developing a brand new technical architecture for tires. As well as enabling all the basic functions, this will add the possibility of automatically controlling the vehicle’s set-up. By reading each tire’s identification code, the sensor will recognize its characteristics and send that information to the car’s on-board computer, in order to select the car set-up offering the most performance and safety.

These concepts form part of the wider Cyber Technologies project, which Pirelli launched in 2005 with the aim of achieving maximum integration between driver, car, and tires.

Source MTD
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Nokian Introduces New Winter Tires for 2017



Nokian Tyres plc is bringing a new Hakkapeliitta tire to the winter tire market in 2017. Actually, it’s offering two: the Hakkapeliitta 9 for passenger cars, and the Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV.
Nokian says the tire features new stud technology, a new tread pattern, new tire structure, and a new rubber compound. The tire wil be available in fall 2017.
Tthe Hakkapeliitta 9 showcases the new adaptive Nokian functional stud concept, which features two designs of studs on the tire for use during specific driving conditions, such as braking or accelerating and cornering, which Nokian says ensures optimal traction in all winter conditions.

The tire provides longitudinal and lateral grip on icy and snowy driving surfaces, and behaves in a controlled and logical manner, the company says. The new tread pattern offers stable bare-road handling, a comfortably silent ride and rolls lighter than previous Hakkapeliitta generations resulting in improved fuel economy.

“As we’ve seen during the past few months, the snow and ice of winter results in dangerous driving conditions on the roads,” says Tommi Heinonen, president of Nokian Tyres North America. “Leveraging 80 years and millions of miles driven on Hakkapeliittas, our team developed the safest, most comfortable winter tire that we can’t wait to bring to drivers throughout North America.”

All about the studs

Nokian spent four years and countless miles of testing developing its newest flagship product, and it was fine-tuned to master extreme conditions at the tire maker’s White Hell testing center located north of the Arctic Circle in Ivalo, Finland.

“One of our starting points was to develop a completely new studded tire that combines balanced longitudinal and lateral grip with eco-friendliness,” says Juha Pirhonen, vice president of research and development for Nokian. “Unique to the Hakkapeliitta 9, the new stud technology features a dedicated, tailored stud for the center of the tread and a separate stud for the shoulder areas.”
The studs in the center area maximize longitudinal grip during acceleration and braking; and the tire is supported by the shape of the studs’ body, lower flange and hard metal center. The longitudinally wide hard metal pin on the center studs offers a maximum grip surface for the best possible longitudinal grip.
“The upper part of the stud body is bevelled, which allows the stud to penetrate even deeper into the ice than before; this further improves braking grip and lateral grip,” says Pirhonen.

The shoulder studs have been designed to provide lateral grip, which is especially important when cornering on slippery surfaces. The stud body and flange are different from the center studs, and the triaxial hard metal pin has been designed to withstand lateral forces. When cornering, the studs will encounter maximal surface-area, which improves lateral grip. This technical innovation offers improved, precise handling under slippery conditions, the company says.

In an effort to produce safer, more eco-friendly tires, Nokian developed the Eco Stud 9 concept for use in the Hakkapeliitta 9. The Eco Stud 9 concept is incorporated into both the center rib and shoulder studs to reduce road wear and ensure a quiet ride. The technology consists of an Eco Stud cushion to dampen road contact, an air space in the middle of the lower flange for reduced stud impact and bevelled hard metal tips to distribute the stud’s impact force across a wider area.

Designed for all road conditions

In addition to its ice grip, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 performs on snowy and dry roads. The tread pattern is heavily grooved with self-locking 3D sipes allowing the tire to respond quickly and sensitively to steering for improved handling. The self-locking sipes lock the tread blocks firmly together on road contact, which results in fluent driving during cornering and evasions.

Dense siping combined with snow grip boosters on both sides of the middle blocks in the center of the tread provides more sharp edges for improved snow grip in both the longitudinal and lateral directions. The aggressive deep snow boosters on the shoulder areas provide additional grip when driving in deep snow.
The Hakkapeliitta 9 features a new type of eco-friendly winter tread compound, which contains silica and canola oil for improved tear resistance, natural rubber and the new Green Elasto Proof biomaterial that keeps the compound elastic at low temperatures. Nokian says the compound’s chemical bonds provide a sturdy grip year after year, even as the miles add up.
Because a large amount of winter driving takes place on bare roads, Nokian fitted the Hakkapeliitta 9 with its stability support network tread pattern, where the tread support network is rigid and unified at the bottom of the pattern getting more grooves and sipes where the rubber meets the road.

The strong ultra high tensile steel belt structure makes the structure light but hard, providing precise handling even at higher speeds. The sturdy structure also helps prevent punctures and the new special clinch rubber compound in the bead area improves driving comfort and durability.

The Hakkapeliitta 9 also features Nokian’s driving safety indicator to indicate remaining tread, and the snowflake symbol or winter safety indicator to indicate when it is recommended to replace tires.

Sizing and specifications

The Hakkapeliitta 9 is designed for passenger vehicles, and covers 52 sizes from 14 to 20 inches. Most are marked XL for the highest possible load capacity in that particular size.

The Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV comes in 51 sizes from 16 to 21 inches and features the aramid sidewall technology, which uses aramid fibre, to optimize durability. The selection also offers several products that employ Flat Run technology or that are marked XL for the highest possible load capacity.

Source MTD
Your Next Tire has all your tire needs whether you need tires for your minivan, backhoe, dump truck, lawn mower, atv, semi truck or Ford F150.

We have several warehouses full of tires and ship all over the USA daily. Give us a call at 1-888-513-8473 and check out our website http://www.yournexttire.com

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Nokian SnapSkan Help Consumers Monitor Their Tread Depth



Nokian Tyres plc is unveiling a tire tread measuring tool in its homeland of Finland. SnapSkan measures tread depth using an on-the-ground 3-D scanner, and with license plate recognition software, the system can send a free personal tire report by text message or email.
Drivers also can access their tire report online at http://www.snapskan.fi/en.

The SnapSkan service will appear along drivers’ everyday routes, and the first will open Jan. 12, 2017, on the access road to the Q-Park Iso Erottaja underground car park in Helsinki, Finland. The plan is to expand the service throughout Finland, then to the Nokian-owned Vianor tire outlets. Ultimately the service will be introduced in other countries “in forthcoming years,” the company says.

SnapSkan requires no additional equipment be outfitted on a consumer’s vehicle, and it works with all brands of tires.

The technical service was developed in collaboration with Finnish technology partners Futurice and Affecto. The entire service is enabled by 3D scanning technology patented by British Sigmavision.

Nokian points to studies that indicate about 25% of tire-related accidents occur because the tire’s tread depth is below minimum standards. The company says SnapSkan raises motorists’ awareness of the condition of their tires.

“Too many people are unaware of the condition of their tires, and the threshold for replacing tires seems to be high,” says Ville Nikkola, the leader of Vianor’s retail business. “We want to use this new technology to raise drivers’ awareness of the condition of their tires by making it as easy to access as possible.”

Ari Lehtoranta, CEO and president of Nokian Tyres, says, “There is a big change ahead for our industry in the near future. Until now, the tire sector has lagged clearly behind other industries in terms of digitalization. It is high time to harness technology to serve motorists with regard to their tires. The sector needs a bold forerunner.
“It is our job to make our roads and environment safer. Our company’s roots stretch back to 1898, and we have been at the forefront since then, providing a range of products and services related to road-users’ safety. We launched the world’s first winter tire, and now we are launching the first service to report to motorists on tire safety directly by email or text message.”

The Automobile and Touring Club of Finland says the service will make drivers’ lives easier and will also improve safety.

Jukka Tolvanen, communications manager for the club, says, “This technology from Nokian Tyres also enables freedom of choice and cost-efficiency – it does not require equipment to be installed in cars at great expense.”

Source MTD

Your Next Tire has all your tire needs whether you need tires for your minivan, backhoe, dump truck, lawn mower, atv, semi truck or Ford F150.

We have several warehouses full of tires and ship all over the USA daily. Give us a call at 1-888-513-8473 and check out our website http://www.yournexttire.com

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Hankook Encourages Young Designers and New Tire Technology


Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. focused on smart mobility tire concepts and electric vehicle technology at its annual Design Insight Forum at the Hankook Technodome.

Hankook also unveiled the best cutting-edge design concepts of its Design Innovation program at the forum, which was held on Dec. 8, 2016.

The Design Insight Forum has been held every year since 2004 under the theme of future driving environment. This year, the forum covered tire-centered smart mobility in the future mega cities under the theme of ‘Connect to the Connected World,” and the latest auto-tech trend in automotive market and tire technology for future electric vehicles.

Design Innovation, which has been held three times since 2012, is Hankook Tire’s sponsor program collaborating with university students. This year, the program was held in collaboration with senior industrial design students in University of Cincinnati to suggest mobility in the future mega cities in the forms of self-driving and connected cars, and car-sharing.

The winning works resulted in numerous patents as well as awards at world’s leading design awards, including IDEA, IF awards and Red Dot Design Awards. Last year, Innovative Boostrac Concept Tire, which was a part of Design Innovation 2014 project, won a Luminary of Red Dot Award.

A total of 34 works were submitted as the result of Design Innovation 2016. Five works were selected to be exhibited in mockups and animation at Hankook Technodome. The works and a description follow.

Flexup: moving freely even in stairs.
Magfloat: driving with flexible wheel by using magnetic field.
Autobine:adding the tires with expandable bus body depending on the number of passengers.
Shiftrac: powerful cornering by using skating principle.
i-Play: maximizing cornering performance.
Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO of Hankook Tire said the Desin Insight Forum is meaningful because ““one can witness fine works of young designers of the future tire innovation at the new and state-of-the art R&D center, Hankook Technodome.”

Hankook says it is the first tire company to win the three major international design awards for its innovative product design. The continuous recognition by world’s renowned design awards highlights Hankook global top tier technology leadership as well as design innovation, according to the company.

Source MTD

Your Next Tire has all your tire needs whether you need tires for your minivan, backhoe, dump truck, lawn mower, atv, semi truck or Ford F150.

We have several warehouses full of tires and ship all over the USA daily. Give us a call at 1-888-513-8473 and check out our website http://www.yournexttire.com

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Cooper is Closer to Developing a New Source of Rubber


Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.’s scientists report promising results in their tests of tires built with guayule, marking a milestone in the company’s goal of producing, by mid-2017, a concept tire in which all of the natural and synthetic rubber is replaced by guayule-based polymers.

Guayule is a shrub that is grown primarily in the southwestern United States and contains rubber that can be processed for use in tires.

Cooper says it has built a number of tires replacing both hevea natural rubber tapped from rubber trees and synthetic rubber with guayule in various components and tested each build for overall performance.

“We have nearly finished our work on developing guayule-based tire components and have tested these tires to assure a full performance evaluation,” says Chuck Yurkovich, Cooper’s senior vice president of global research and development.

“The results are highly promising. We have proven that we can replace traditional polymers with guayule in certain components, and that tires made from these components perform equal to conventional tires. We are optimizing the use of guayule formulations to develop not only a full guayule tire, but we will also evaluate guayule blends in certain components where an advantage has been shown to exist,” Yurkovich says.

Cooper is working to develop an alternative source of rubber with the help of the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, Clemson University, and a scientific company called PanAridus. The project is funded by a Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) grant.

The Department of Agriculture is researching optimum guayule farming techniques and sequencing the guayule genome. Clemson University is studying the environmental impacts of the entire tire life cycle using guayule versus traditional hevea rubber in tire production. PanAridus is supplying rubber for the project. PanAridus and Cooper have developed a proprietary solvent-based process to extract rubber from guayule plants.

Mike Fraley, CEO of PanAridus, said, “It has been our mission at PanAridus to commercialize guayule from the farm gate to market development of raw materials produced from the plant. Hevea is currently the only commercial source of natural rubber available. The tire industry needs another source and the United States needs an economic, sustainable and stable alternative. it is unprecedented to see that guayule has been demonstrated to meet requirements for the very vibrant tire industry.”

Source MTD

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Continental Opens High Performance Technology Center

Continental Tire Logo

Continental AG has opened a High Performance Technology Center (HPTC) in Korbach, Germany, next to its existing production facilities. The company says the center “is moving tire production into the digital age.”
The HPTC will operate like “a research department on the shop floor,” Continental says.

“In addition to producing ultra-high-performance tires to meet the exacting requirements of high-powered sports cars, we will also be building test tires as we develop and trial new manufacturing processes in Korbach,” says Plant Manager Lothar Salokat. “Using cutting-edge technology, we document every detail of our research and development projects so that our innovations can then be rolled out in Continental tire plants worldwide.”

In a first for Continental, all HPTC’s machinery is completely networked via sensor systems and software. The tire maker calls this approach “Industry 4.0”, and it allows every step in the process and the behavior of the materials during processing to be fully documented.
“As a result, our tire-building experts, chemists and physicists are able to design cutting-edge processes and monitor every detail of their suitability for industrial-scale tire production,” says Georg Reichert, HPTC project manager in charge of construction in Korbach. “This means that from now on we can carry out even ultra-short production run testing on the conventional tire-making machinery used across Continental. Changes to individual materials and production steps and to vulcanization temperatures and times can be simulated and then their impact on the finished tire can be investigated in vehicle tests.”

The center includes everything usually found in a tire-building plant. The rubber compounds required for the individual components are produced consistently in line with their recipe; steel cord and textile cutters are available for producing the semi-finished products, as are extruders, various tire-building machines and hot presses for vulcanization.

While all the tire-building machines meet Continental’s usual standards, individual segments of the green tire can be cured at different temperatures. This kind of “multi-zone” heating can be used for test series, for example, to enable detailed monitoring of the chemical reactions that take place during vulcanization.
The center in Korbach, which opened June 7, is located on the site of a Continental plant that produces passenger tires, industrial tires, bicycle tires, motorcycle tires, as well as rubber hoses for ContiTech.

Continental invested 45 million euros in the HPTC, and created 80 new jobs with its opening. The center will carry out some research and development work as well. That work typically had been done only in the company’s Hanover location.

Source MTD

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Continental Tire is 5-10 Years from Dandelion Tires


Continental Tire the Americas LLC says in the next decade the tire maker expects to sell tires made from a flowering weed — the dandelion.

“Our target is within the next 5 to 10 years,” says Peter Zmolek, director of research and development of passenger and light truck tires for Continental Tire the Americas. “In the summer of 2014, Taraxagum tires were produced and tested under summer and winter conditions on our proving grounds in Germany and Sweden. The results were very encouraging and our continued development efforts are on track.”
The initial tests run so far demonstrate that the tire made from Taraxagum show an equivalent, “property profile” when compared to tires made from conventional natural rubber, the company says.

Continental says the potential is great, but significant hurdles must be overcome before the use of this natural material can be fully utilized. For one, synchronizing the agronomy process (planting, growing and harvesting) to continually changing demand presents a significant challenge. Nevertheless, the team at Continental was recently able to extract several kilos of dandelion rubber from a small lab system to build the Taraxagum tires.

In conjunction with The Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, Julius Kuehn-Institute, and EKUSA, Continental has produced and tested tires where the tread is made 100% out of dandelion natural rubber as a polymer.
Between 10 and 30% of a car tire includes natural rubber, while truck tires can include proportionally higher amounts. Today, natural rubber is still obtained almost exclusively from the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) which can only be cultivated in what is referred to as the “rubber belt” around the equator. Global demand for natural rubber is set to rise in the next few years and at the same time, the changing world makes it challenging to meet this demand.

The growth cycle of a rubber tree is roughly seven years before it can start producing latex that can be used in rubber production. This rubber made from this latex is key as it has unique performance attributes that can’t be replicated in synthetic rubber making natural rubber a must for tire production. Therefore, market demand is outpacing production capacities, a situation that, in the past, has led to unpredictable price volatility.

Continental is looking to a specific Russian dandelion species as an alternative for natural rubber production. The roots of this dandelion species contain the natural rubber latex (the source for natural rubber used in tires), meaning supply will be steadier and easier to control leading to greater price stability. The company says this crop is much less sensitive to weather than the rubber tree.

“In agricultural terms, dandelions are an undemanding plant, growing in moderate climates, even in the northern hemisphere, and can be cultivated on land not suitable for food production,” says Carla Recker, who heads the Continental team involved in the development of this material. “This means that rubber production is conceivable near our tire factories, for instance, and the significantly shorter transport routes would also reduce CO2 emissions.”
Transporting rubber from South America or West Africa to North America and Europe for manufacturing is a long and costly journey. If this part of the process can be consolidated to agricultural zones of the Americas and Europe, the economic and carbon emissions benefits would be a significant boon to the tire industry.

This particular dandelion can thrive in a large part of the world. The growth cycle for the Russian dandelion is approximately one year. The dandelions Continental are working with were optimized without the use of genetic engineering.

For more information about Continental’s dandelion research, visit http://www.taraxagum.com. For more information about the company, visit http://www.continentaltire.com.

Source MTD

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Michelin’s Tweel Wins Award

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Michelin North America’s X Tweel Turf received honorable mention in the automotive/transportation category of the 2015 Create the Future Design Contest.michelin-tweel

More than 1,150 new product ideas were submitted for the Create the Future Design Contest. Judges chose the 22 winners and honorable mentions based on innovation, manufacturability and marketability in seven categories.

“Michelin is extremely honored by this recognition from such an esteemed group of judges from the engineering community,” said Olivier Brauen, head of Michelin Tweel Technologies.

Michelin first launched its Tweel technology in October 2014. The Michelin’s X Tweel Turf, in size 24x12x12, is OE on John Deere’s ZTrak 900 Series lineup of zero-turn commercial mowers.

This honorable mention, is the latest in several awards the X Tweel has received. Other awards include:
• 2015 John Deere “Innovation of the Year Award” for the Michelin X Tweel Turf
• 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Awards by the Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council
• 2014 Top 25 Newsmakers of the Year for Dr. Tim Rhyne by Engineering News-Record for his work on the revolutionary technology
• 2014 Innovations Awards by Equipment World as one of the “five game-changing” construction products of 2013
• 2013 Silver Award in the Transportation category from the Edison Awards
• 2013 Contractors’ Top 50 New Products by Equipment Today

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