Usage of labels and barcodes are imperative in the tyre manufacturing process. However, since this is not a highly talked about aspect of tyre manufacturing, you may wonder, “Why do we need barcodes and labels in the first place?” Well, means of reliable identification complement your process by ensuring quality and traceability.
Barcodes, barcodes, barcodes… Why do we care? Plain and simple, with barcodes, your business is given the ability to track all moving parts and components in the manufacturing of a tyre (there are a lot) from start to finish.
6 Major Steps of Tyre Manufacturing:
Here is a walkthrough of the 6 major steps to manufacturing a tyre, and at which steps a barcode label is imperative:
In this first stage of the tyre manufacturing process, raw materials such as sulfur, rubber, and carbon black are mixed to form the rubber compound that will eventually make up the tyre. If tracking is required at this stage, manufacturers would leverage melt-in labels.
At the calendering stage, rolling mills squeeze the mixture into sheets that will be used to make the tyre. This is the stage where vulcanised barcode labels may become present, as some manufacturing facilities see benefit in labelling the flat ribbon of material before moulding occurs. Starting the tracking process early is a great idea to guarantee proper tracking throughout the entire life of the tyre.
We are an advocate for implementing barcode label automation into existing processes and there are a few reasons for this. First, automatic label applicators allow for precision label placement. This is a super huge step in streamlining the tyre manufacturing process, because automated scanning later will be able to take place in a standard location on the tyre bead. Label automation also reduces labour and waste in your facility, as mistakes and errors are much less likely to occur, and there will be less movement surrounding the process. Finally, with the standardisation and streamlining that label automation allows for, throughput is drastically increased.
Check out our Vulcanised Barcode Label Applicator Partnership Development Services to learn more!
Now for the actual building of the tyre—at the building stage, sheets are formed around a drum and over the beads to create the round shape that is a green tyre. If the tyre barcode labelling was not done during the calendering stage, it is critical that it be done here.
During curing, the green tyres are placed over a balloon-like mould. After this, the balloon “inflates” with steam, and the tyre is shaped through pressure and heat. It is important at this juncture that the tyre barcode label has been accurately placed to ensure accessibility after moulding, hence all remaining steps of the tyre manufacturing process will be trackable.
After the mould has been cooled, the tyre is tested for quality at the finishing stage. In addition to that, sensors test to ensure that the tyre will run in a straight line. At this stage, the tyre barcode label is extremely important; if certain aspects of the tyre fail, the bead label allows for the problem to be traced back to the source and addressed.
Finally, tyre manufacturing has been completed and it is on its way to a distributor, warehouse, or retailer. This is typically where the other important tyre label comes into play: the tyre tread label.
Tyre tread labels are printed for each specific tyre prior to distribution. The purpose of this label is to comply with legislative requirements for consumer knowledge, and also to give a visual representation of your brand to attract customers in the retail space.
The original barcode label and tyre tread label are interconnected: the tyre barcode label will live with the tyre throughout all of manufacturing. Once the tyre is finished, the barcode label is scanned to collect respective product-specific information for the printing of a corresponding tyre tread label.
The tyre manufacturing process can be complicated, and labels and barcodes have proven very successful in providing an audit trail along the way. Now that you have full knowledge of the role labels and barcodes play in this process, we have one last piece of advice as you move forward: single source your barcodes and labels.
Single sourcing of your barcodes and labels provides a few benefits that further streamline processes and the supply chain of your tyre manufacturing plant:
First, it reduces administrative effort and budget with a single source for all of your tracking and labelling needs. When you have a single point of contact with a reputable business, typically you are able to have better communication of expectations.
Second of all, with this you are granted service and support for a closed-loop identification system. Should you encounter issues or roadblocks, your supplier will have the answers to the problems, even if it is in multiple places throughout the identification process.