SICK Automation recently supplied two turnkey track and trace systems for multinational tyre manufacturers Bridgestone and Sumitomo Rubber at their South African plants, marking the first installations worldwide of the sensor specialist’s latest image-based code readers, the Tire Lector Array (TLA), in the tyre manufacturing industry.
By tracking and tracing barcoded tyres across the manufacturing and internal handling cycle, the TLA plays a critical role in managing and controlling the ‘just in time’ production processes of the plants, as well as automated batch and distribution management.
“A successful technological solution for this application ensures that, no matter the height, diameter or orientation and position of the tyre on the conveyor belt, every unit is reliably identified,” explains Prishan Chain, Key Account Manager, SICK Automation Southern Africa. “The high-resolution Lector65x sensors, with intelligent technology features including dynamic focus and adaptive illumination, provided the capabilities required for Japanese process quality specifications.”
10 systems were supplied to the Bridgestone plant in Pretoria in 2016, while the Sumitomo Rubber plant in Ladysmith has a total of four systems. Both plants manufacture the full range of standard and low-profile tyres for on-road vehicles, from 13 to 20 inch.
“In each case, SICK Automation worked closely with the manufacturers in designing and supplying the systems,” Chain continues. Each TLA consists of three Lector65x sensors, positioned both above and below the conveyor. The modular structure housing the sensors is easily customised according to any customer width and height requirement.
“As a turnkey solution, SICK Automation product engineers in Germany trialled and tested the optimum TLA solution according to the manufacturers’ exact process and automation requirements. The engineering, integration, commissioning and service capabilities of SICK Automation Southern Africa provided the local level of expertise required for executing and supporting this capital project successfully.”
With full engineering, distribution and support of the company’s range of over 40 000 sensors, SICK Automation is enabling local plants to achieve the highest global standards of factory, plant and process automation.
About SICK Automation
SICK is one of the world’s leading producers of sensors and sensor solutions for industrial applications. Founded in 1946 by Dr.-Ing. e. h. Erwin Sick, the company with headquarters in Waldkirch im Breisgau near Freiburg ranks among the technological market leaders. With more than 50 subsidiaries and equity investments as well as numerous agencies, SICK maintains a presence around the globe. In the fiscal year 2015, SICK had more than 7400 employees worldwide and achieved Group sales of just under EUR 1.3 billion. Additional information about SICK is available on the Internet at http://www.sickautomation.co.za or by phone on +27 11 472 3733.
Enquiries: Prishan Chain
Key Account Manager – Southern Africa
SICK Automation Southern Africa
Tel: +27 31 535 7289