Pirelli & C.

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The Next MIRS™ process

MIRS™ is an integrated, modular robotic system for making tyres. It has a very high degree of flexibility due to its ability to optimise modularity and logistics. In the MIRS™ process, tyres are fabricated around a heated drum that is tailor-made for a particular tyre model. The drum is continuously rotated by a robot under an extrusion device that distributes rubber over the surface. The drum rotation and compound feeding movements are coordinated to provide the correct distribution of materials to create the specific tyre model. Compared to traditional, large-scale tyre-building systems with their exceptionally high production rates, designed for customers in different geographic locations, the MIRS™ is a compact production "island,” flexible and easily programmable for extremely rapid adaptation to the production of new models. This system represents a real improvement, in terms of both technology and logistics, as it can be easily located near the manufacturing process that it serves.

The use of robotics in the production process makes it possible to realise extremely high product quality, due to the geometric distribution of the rubber fibres that is constant for each model.

The Next MIRS represents a huge technological leap in the tyre fabrication process after MIRS. It expands its scope of flexibility to different lines characterised by families of different materials and permits the fabrication of products for the most diverse uses in terms of performance requirements: highway and racing supercars.

The contribution made by Next Mirs to eco-compatibility is based on three principal aspects:

  1. curing process: as part of the Next Mirs project, Pirelli has developed a new concept that will lead to a more uniform degree of curing between the different parts of the tyre. This will make it possible to improve the production efficiency of the curing machine up to 30%, resulting in:
    • a proportionate reduction in the number of curing machines and moulds, and thus a reduction in CO2 emissions during production;
    • a considerable reduction in the energy used, mainly for the energy dispersed by the curing machines and thermal plants serving them.
  2. Extrusion process: in comparison with the MIRS project, the Next Mirs process has adopted a new “cold,” i.e. low temperature extrusion system, with consequent reduction in heat use. The efficiency of extruder screws has also been improved. All of this translates into improved product performance, especially in terms of maintaining the original characteristics of the compounds during use.
  3. The Next MIRS product: with the Next Mirs technologies, it is possible to realise semi-finished products that are more exact in terms of weight (the variability of weight is about 1/3 compared with NP) and more complex.

Due to the combined effect of these two peculiarities, the weight of the specific products can be significantly reduced by this process (about -4/5%) and, therefore, aside from an equivalent reduction in raw materials used, a significant reduction will also be realised in the rolling resistance base load of the product in use.