Tire Assembly Inspection

Tires keep the vehicles stuck to the road, ensuring safety, reliability, and performance, which underscores their importance and the equally critical tire assembly inspection process. Early detection in tire manufacturing ensures that defective tires are removed from further production, preventing them from reaching end consumers and thus reducing the risk of accidents due to tire failure.

KEYENCE offers a comprehensive selection of measurement sensors, laser displacement sensors, as well as laser profilers. These can be used for tire inspection systems and early detection of tire defects in the automotive industry to prevent tire failure and reduce the costs associated with faulty tires and tire production.

Importance of Early Tire Defect Detection

Detecting tire defects early in the production process is important for several different reasons. The most important part of tire defect detection is ensuring faulty tires are removed from the production process and not sold to consumers.

This subsequently prevents tire failures that might lead to accidents, ensuring vehicle and traffic safety. Consistent tire defect detection also implies consistent quality, which enhances the manufacturer’s reputation for reliability and road safety.

Lastly, tires are recyclable. Detecting defects early in the production stages might introduce cost reductions associated with reworking and scrapping defective tires—which are usually turned into asphalt additives.

Common Tire Inspections

Common tire inspections include visual checks, dimensional measurements and balance testing. Visual inspections and dimensional measurements check the surface for defects, incorrect marking, and overall appearance and ensure that the tire meets the specifications in terms of diameter, width, and profile.

These aspects of tire inspections were previously done through manual measurement, which is susceptible to human error, particularly when it comes to barely visible defects—whose potential risks grow exponentially as the speed increases.

Fortunately, modern laser displacement sensors and laser profilers feature incredible accuracy and precision. This ensures that even the most minute defects, which might otherwise go unnoticed by a human eye, are picked up and flagged.

Automated Measurement and Inspection Examples

KEYENCE offers a variety of options for automated measurement and inspection tasks, such as the LJ-X Series laser profiler and LK-G Series ultra-high-speed laser displacement sensors.

Extrusion processes are crucial for tire manufacturing, as they determine the overall shape and quality of the final product. KEYENCE’s LJ-X laser profiler is specifically designed to measure the thickness and width of rubber immediately after extrusion, providing a full profile inspection for quality control.
The LJ-X also accurately detects the position and width of various components in the extrusion process, such as inner liners, carcass plies, and sidewalls. This information can be used for quality control feedback and process optimization.
Uniformity Inspection
In addition to extrusion and molding processes, uniformity inspection is also carried out by the LJ-X laser profiler. The sensor can simultaneously measure the bulge shape of sidewalls, the height difference between sidewall and tread seams, and three-axis runout. With a sampling cycle of up to 16 kHz, this inspection can be performed quickly and accurately for efficient production.

Tire Assembly Inspection Challenges

Tire manufacturing is a complex, thermally dependent, and fast-paced process that requires a robust measurement system that can operate effectively under specified conditions. The manufacturing process alone implies high throughput, thus requiring a tire inspection method that’s both fast and accurate.

Additionally, the complexity of tire structure, paired with variability in defect types, makes tire inspection systems more difficult to perform reliably, especially by a human operator using hand tools. Fortunately, modern laser profilers effectively address many of those challenges.

Benefits of Using KEYENCE Measurement and Inspection Systems

KEYENCE offers a comprehensive range of measurement and assembly line inspection systems for tire inspection, ranging from surface defect checks, tread profiles, and depth to other dimensional measurements such as diameter, width, and overall profile.

If you’re interested in learning more about KEYENCE products and how they may integrate into your current production line, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our professionals will strive to answer any inquiries you might have regarding the integration and use of our products in industrial applications that demand high precision and reliability.