Lasers for the Tire, Rubber, and Plastics Industries

Laser light is applied to dark materials like black rubber for ideal visibility. This is why tire manufacturers use lasers for 3D quality inspection, reading text and codes on the tire wall, positioning tires for various processing steps, as well as during processing. Z-laser supplies lasers for the tire, rubber and plastic industries.

During the 3D inspection of tires, a laser module projects one or more straight lines onto the tire surface at an oblique angle to ascertain their profile, profile depth, characters, and/or codes. A device moves or rotates the tire automatically. Normally, laser lines are distorted by the three-dimensional shape of the tire profile, codes, letters or numbers. But at an oblique angle, an industrial camera can detect these distortions as the tire moves. By means of so-called triangulation algorithms, the 3D shape of the tire, the profile, and the characters found on the tire surface can now be digitally reconstructed. This laser triangulation works very quickly, accurately, and reliably.

Lasers are also great for supporting manual operations, such as the proper positioning of tires in a tire press.

Applications

With the help of 3D laser profilometry, coded or embossed numbers and letters on the tire wall can be read. This capability allows for automatic detection of the tire type and important serial or batch numbers. This makes it that much easier to automate subsequent quality inspection steps, and any other processing needed.

Special Uses:

    • Consistent projection of one or more laser lines
    • Precise straightness of lines
    • Sharp drop in brightness at line edges
    • Thermal stability
    • Mechanical robustness

Advantages:

    • Increased Ease of Production Automation, Quality Inspection, and Documentation
    • Time-saving

 In motor sports, car and truck fleet management, as well as in workshops, the profile and integrity of tires must be checked on regularly. In order to automate and accelerate this step, systems for laser profilometry are used which consist of a line laser, an industrial camera, and a powerful image processing unit. Depending on the necessary requirements, these systems can be configured for different working areas, height differences, and other specifications.

By using these systems, unnecessary tire changes and accidents can be avoided and the phenomena of unusual wearing patterns can be identified, which in turn point to other problems on the chassis.

Special Uses:

    • Consistent projection of laser lines
    • Precise straightness of lines
    • Sharp drop in brightness at line edges
    • Thermal stability
    • Mechanical robustness

Advantages:

    • Increased vehicle safety
    • Reduced maintenance and repair needs
    • Time-saving

During tire production, laser lines mark the correct position of the rubber strips on the drum. This means laser lines are automatically placed in the required position. A green laser marks the central line and two red lasers are placed at the same distance away, to the right and left of the central line.

The exact alignment of the lasers is important. We recommend precision brackets MXYZ as well as H6 or H8.

Special Uses:

  • Precise positioning of laser lines
  • Easy visual recognition of laser lines
  • Protection of employees’ eyes

Advantages:

  • High production quality
  • Minimal waste
  • Time-saving

The last step in creating a tire profile is the tire press. It is very important to place the tire into the press straight. For this purpose, a solder laser such as Z1LT projects a point from up above – to ensure proper positioning of the tire.

Special Uses:

    • Mechanical robustness
    • Clear visibility of laser point without endangering eyes

Advantages:

    • High production quality
    • minimum waste
    • Time-savings

In order to recondition a tire profile, it’s important to specify the exact width of the new profile. These measurements can be displayed with one, two, or more laser lines so the new profile fits optimally.

Special Uses:

    • Straight, distortion-free laser lines
    • Mechanical robustness of laser modules and their casing
    • Clear visibility of laser lines without endangering the eyes

Advantages:

    • Fast and precise positioning of tires
    • High precision processing
    • Elimination of errors and waste

For questions about a project or any of our products, please feel free to contact our friendly consultants.