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Delicate threads keep tires in shape

Vacuum facilitates precise handling of textile cord

Textile fabrics in car tires need to be precisely positioned during manufacturing. Vacuum can be used to pick up and perfectly place the cut item. Vacuum systems from BUSCH are used by leading tire manufacturers.

Textile cord, steel wire and a special rubber compound are the three main components of a car tire. They are assembled using a sophisticated process and then fused into a stable unit using vulcanization. The textile cord is formed from an endless web of numerous synthetic fibers.

Radial thread pattern

The fibers are embedded in a thin layer of rubber. This process takes place in what is known as a calender, which is comprised of an array of barrels and rollers. The resulting web is cut to the desired width perpendicular to the thread pattern and rolled into a textile roll again for further processing. The intermediate product is less than one millimeter thick and yet still provides reinforcing support.

The textile cord is attached to the innermost layer of rubber. The threads run crosswise to the direction of travel – thus radially. This maintains the form of the tires, even when the internal pressure is high, and significantly influences their bearing capacity. The suspension behavior and driving characteristics also depend on the stability of the textile cord.

Vacuum pump or vacuum system

Vacuum technology is used for handling the delicate material at the cutting machine. The pick&place machine uses a vacuum gripper to take the cut piece and prepare it for the next processing step. This is where precision counts: Exact positioning is essential to ensuring smooth connections and perfectly round running of the tire.

The cutting machines can be equipped individually with appropriate vacuum pumps. A central vacuum system can be an advantage when several cutting machines are in operation. BUSCH offers both individual devices and centralized systems as a complete package. Vacuum experts consult with customers when analyzing the respective application and planning the optimum solution.
The benefits in figures

Busch installed a central vacuum system for textile cord pick&place for a tire manufacturer in Germany. The machines there were previously equipped with their own side channel blowers. The noise level of these devices reached 94 dB, which is the equivalent to a jackhammer ten meters away. With the new vacuum system, the noise level of the vacuum supply can no longer be measured because it is drowned out by the noise of the other machines.

The demand-driven control adjusts the rotational speed of the vacuum pumps for the current demand. This also reduces power consumption. It shuts off the system entirely when no textile strips need to be held. The constantly running side channel blowers had a power consumption of 15 kWh. In comparison, the central vacuum system manages with about 400 watts per hour on average. So the electricity costs for vacuum generation were reduced by around 95 per cent. The maintenance effort was also reduced considerably.