The winners of this year’s Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence have been crowned at a ceremony during Tire Technology Expo (for a show report click here) in Hannover, Germany.
Bridgestone picked up the prestigious Tire Manufacturer of the Year award for the second time. The world’s largest tire maker was recognised by the awards’ independent judging panel of 27 tire technology experts for renewed investment in its research and development (R&D) and sustainable manufacturing programmes.
The Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year award went to the 5THR tangential mixer rotor from Kobe Steel. This special rotor enables existing tangential mixers to be converted to silica-rich compounds, instead of having to replace them with intermesh mixers.
Nokian Tyres collected the Tire Technology of the Year award for its Hakkapeliitta R2 winter tire for the BMW i3, which scored an EU label ‘A’ grade for rolling resistance, the first time this has been achieved by a winter tire.
The Environmental Achievement of the Year category was awarded to AquaJet for its water jet rubber recycling technology, which recycles used tires into material good enough to be reused in tire manufacture, beating competition from nominees including Carbon Clean Tech’s Recovered Carbon Black, the SAM-T dosing system from ColorService and Cooper Tire’s Advances in Guayule Natural Rubber.
And finally, the Tire Industry Supplier of the Year award was won by Mesnac, having been runner-up in the category for the previous two years. The jury was impressed by the Chinese supplier’s commitment to R&D and its pioneering work in smart tire manufacturing.
The head of the judging panel and editor of Tire Technology International magazine, Graham Heeps said: “Many congratulations to all our winners. The results of this year’s awards reflect two key trends in the tire industry: producing products with low rolling resistance, but doing so in an efficient, sustainable way. We’re delighted to be able to put a spotlight on the fantastic work being done in this area.”
Also announced on the night were the winners of the Young Scientist Prize (Gregory Smith) and the Lifetime Achievement Award (Professor Jacques Noordermeer).