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A leading Japanese tire manufacturing company, renowned for its commitment to innovation and quality, faced the challenge of optimizing its tire curing process. With multiple curing presses from various OEMs across its production lines, maintaining operational efficiency and ensuring quality consistency became paramount.


The client sought to streamline its tire curing operations, enhance process visibility, ensure regulatory compliance, and improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

Additionally, the company aimed to implement a scalable solution capable of accommodating future expansion seamlessly.

Solution: Intelligent Tire Curing Software with 8 Modules

Using Rockwell Automation’s products, we developed the “Intelligent Tire Curing Software” over a six-month period. This comprehensive solution comprised several modules tailored to address specific operational needs:

1. Centralized Recipe Management System (CRMS): Streamlining recipe management across various presses, incorporating machine-specific parameters tailored to different press makes, and seamlessly integrating with production planning for enhanced efficiency.

2. Historical Data Logging: Real-time logging of high-frequency data such as specifications, press parameters, and curing press states in a historian, laying the groundwork for an advanced analytics framework to drive insights and optimizations.

3. Press Interlocks: Implementing press PLC controls to enact stage-wise error-proofing measures, meticulously customized to meet individual client requirements, ensuring precise control over the vulcanization process.

4. Maintenance Checklists and Calibration Management: Introducing a mobile-based digital checklist for periodic maintenance tasks, seamlessly integrated with machine interlocks to uphold tire quality standards. Tasks include assessing valve health, monitoring air filtration systems, inspecting steam traps, evaluating mold and bladder life, and calibrating sensors, with critical parameters recorded alongside checklist completions.

5. MES Operation Interfaces: Establishing seamless interfaces with Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) across production, quality assurance, maintenance, and material management domains. This encompasses master data management, alert systems, interlocking mechanisms, and automatic production and consumption data synchronization for efficient production workflows.

6. Breakdown Management, Alarms, and Events: Implementing robust breakdown management protocols, complete with timely alerts and SLA-based escalations. Continuous monitoring of machine parameters enables proactive identification of deviations, ensuring swift resolution and minimal downtime.

7. Tool Management: Implementing comprehensive tool management practices, particularly for primary tools such as bladders and molds. Monitoring usage statistics for each tool aids in preventing scrap and rework, optimizing resource utilization, and maintaining tire quality standards.

8. Trends, Dashboards, and Reporting: Leveraging advanced analytics to derive tire-wise trends and contextualize machine parameters in real-time dashboards. Conducting cause-and-effect analyses on critical process parameters, generating customized reports, and calculating complete cycle times from green tire loading to final product completion for informed decision-making and process optimizations.

The solution leveraged Rockwell Automation’s SCADA and Historian products and was deployed across four trenches, each housing 21 sets of curing presses from various OEMs. Additionally, mimic screens were provided to each curing press for enhanced monitoring.

MES Interface in Detail

To ensure seamless integration and efficient operation, the MES interfaces are designed with meticulous attention to detail. Below are the specific requirements and prerequisites for interfacing with the MES:


Specific Requirements:

1. To the Machine: The interface must facilitate the transmission of specific plans and work orders to execute tasks in a distributed manner across different process areas. This involves defining the parameters of each plan and allocating tasks accordingly to optimize production efficiency.

2. From the Machine: The interface should collect static data regarding the production cycle of each order or quantity, capturing specific event data as it occurs within the production cycle in comparison to the planned schedule. This data serves as valuable feedback for performance evaluation and process optimization.


MES/OT Interface Prerequisites:

1. Effective Model Architecture: Implementing a robust model architecture to create virtual data models for each working machine. These models define work orders and capture actual states for each cycle in digital format, enabling efficient data exchange between the machines and the MES.

2. Integration with OEM SCADA/Software Applications: OEMs typically provide SCADA or software applications for individual machines, each with its user interface for machine operation. Integration with these diverse software systems is crucial. Our solution acts as a central hub, facilitating communication between these different software applications and the MES, ensuring seamless data exchange and synchronization.

3. Centralized Software System Deployment: Adopting a centralized software system deployed with identical virtual data models for each working unit. This centralized approach offers flexibility in downloading work order definitions and facilitates the collection of multiple instances of data exchange through a single conduit to the MES. This centralized system enhances scalability, ease of management, and streamlined data flow across the production environment.

Scenario Prior to Implementation

Before the implementation of our solution, the manufacturing environment faced several challenges and limitations, hindering operational efficiency and flexibility. The following were the key aspects of the scenario:


1. Manual Press Definition Exchange: The MES had to manually exchange definitions with each press when executing a production order for the curing process. This manual process was time-consuming and prone to errors, leading to delays and inefficiencies in production scheduling.

2. Independent User Interaction: User interaction during production operations had to be managed independently through the Tire Curing Press (TCP) Human-Machine Interface (HMI) systems, or each TCP needed to have MES clients. This decentralized approach made it difficult to ensure consistency and synchronization across different presses. Real-time visual monitoring of states and operator responses or interventions, including maintenance events and alarms, had to be conducted separately at each press.

3. High-Density Process Data Recording: The existing local HMI systems lacked the capacity to store high-density process data efficiently. As a result, separate solutions were needed to record and manage this data, leading to fragmentation and complexity in data handling.

4. Unavailability of Store and Forward Functionality: In case of MES downtime or network interruptions, a store and forward functionality was required to ensure seamless production confirmations. This redundancy is essential to prevent disruptions and maintain continuity in production operations, however, this was not available.

5. Cumbersome Data Access for Operators: Operators faced challenges in accessing and manipulating data sets from individual machine operations. This cumbersome process hampered productivity and decision-making, as operators struggled to extract relevant insights from disparate sources.

6. Lack of Centralized System: Without a centralized system in place, several critical functions were difficult to achieve efficiently:

a) Downloading recipes to individual curing presses based on work order and recipe parameters.

b) Viewing real-time trends and monitoring state alarms for responsive actions across various presses from a single location.

c) Managing cavity-wise tool shot count interlocks and standard operating procedure (SOP) interlocks seamlessly across the production environment.


Overall, the pre-implementation scenario was characterized by manual processes, decentralized operations, data fragmentation, and a lack of centralized control, highlighting the need for a comprehensive solution to address these challenges and enhance operational effectiveness.


Our comprehensive solution addresses these pain points and delivers transformative benefits across various facets of their operations.


Operational Flexibility and Centralized Control:

1. Provides operational flexibility by enabling local supervision of the curing area while centralizing production operations from a single control point.

2. Facilitates the seamless downloading of verified recipes and work orders to individual curing presses and cavities, enhancing operational efficiency.

3. Records critical parameters against time series data from each curing process, offering valuable insights for process optimization.

4. Enables real-time monitoring of individual press and ancillary unit states, empowering informed decision-making at the local level.

5. Facilitates efficient management of changeover events and operational event procedures, ensuring smooth transitions and adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs).

6. Supports Non-Conforming Material Report (NCMR) processes by providing data on PCI delay, under cure, over cure, and other quality parameters, facilitating quality control.

7. Implements process-based interlocks for each machine’s PLC, enhancing operational safety and reliability.

8. Enables seamless production data confirmation to MES for every cured tire, ensuring data integrity and traceability.

9. Provides real-time visibility of press parameters and trench-wise dashboards, enabling dynamic monitoring of running recipes and tire locations based on Unique Tire Identifier (UTI).

10. Facilitates maintenance scheduling and preventive alerts for curing presses, optimizing equipment uptime and performance.

11. Implements cycle count interlocks for cleaning and retooling, enhancing tire quality and production efficiency.


Regulatory Compliance and Data Analytics:

1. Offers high-density process data collection capabilities, complementing MES functionalities and enabling comprehensive data analytics for process optimization.

2. Provides real-time alarms and events, facilitating faster response times and enhancing situational awareness at the visual and local levels.

3. Enables quick decision-making based on real-time trends, empowering operators to proactively address process deviations and optimize production.



1. Offers scalability with ease, allowing for the seamless addition of additional TCPs (Technical Control Points) with minimal effort and disruption to ongoing operations, ensuring adaptability to evolving production needs.


Buffer Functionality:

1. Acts as a temporary buffer system in case of MES downtime, ensuring continuity of curing operations by executing with basic data collected, thus minimizing production disruptions and maintaining operational efficiency.

ROI Calculation

Data collected at 6, 12, and 18 months post-implementation revealed a significant return on investment (ROI). The total ROI amounted to $5 million USD, attributed to increased production capacity, improved OEE, and reduced waste. This remarkable ROI was achieved against a modest initial investment of $750k USD.


The Intelligent Tire Curing Software has revolutionized tire manufacturing for our Japanese client. With its centralized control, real-time monitoring, and proactive maintenance features, the solution ensures operational excellence, regulatory compliance, and quality consistency. Its scalability highlights its significance in driving efficiency and profitability. As the industry evolves, this innovation positions our client as a leader, poised for sustained growth and customer satisfaction.