Center Stage at ITEC 2022

Sustainability Takes Center Stage at Tire Industry Expo in Akron

The recent International Tire Exposition and Conference (ITEC) 2022 and Tire Society’s 41st Annual Conference held in Akron, Ohio showcased the progress the tire industry is making on becoming more sustainable while delivering economic value and innovation.

As a long-time partner to the tire industry, Matthews Marking Systems fully embraces the industry’s sustainability vision. We used our attendance at the event as an opportunity to showcase our environmentally friendly true-zero VOC ink along with our proven marking and coding solutions in use at tire manufacturing facilities around the world.

To say that sustainability was a theme at the conference is something of an understatement. All three ITEC keynotes focused on different aspects of the “sustainability journey” as Ellis Jones, chief sustainability officer at Goodyear, put it during his speech. Tracey Norberg, senior vice president and general counsel for the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), focused on the connection between sustainability and innovation. Meanwhile, Michelin’s Alexi Garcin argued that to become sustainable, the industry must strike a balance across people, profits and the planet.

Beyond the keynotes, many of the conference’s more technical sessions dove deeper into the details of what’s involved in the sustainability journey for tire manufacturers, including industry efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, advance sustainable and circular markets for scrap tire markets, and improve tire efficiency and performance without the use of harmful fillers and chemicals.

Back at our booth, there was strong interest in our VOC-free ink. Manufacturers depend on having identifying marks on tires throughout the manufacturing process. Historically, inks that could adhere to rubber and survive the manufacturing process required the use of harsh chemicals, including volatile organic compounds. Working in partnership with customers, Matthew’s team of ink chemists has developed a new white ink that matches the performance of our previous VOC-based ink and survives the vulcanization process and resists offsetting on rubber molds.

Along with sustainability, the tire industry is also starting to explore expanding its use of automation and embracing many of the concepts behind Industry 4.0 including AI and the industrial internet of things (IIoT). Matthews is well-positioned to help our customers in the tire industry with automation initiatives thanks to our MPERIA controller that can integrate with sensors such as RFID scanners, barcode readers and vision systems as well as back-office systems. This allows marks and codes to be applied seamlessly and accurately without human intervention throughout the manufacturing process.

If you missed the show, you can learn about our tire and rubber marking solutions here, or contact us for an on-site consultation and marking samples.

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