Track and Trace Systems Debut


Two turnkey track and trace systems have been supplied to multinational tyre manufacturers Bridgestone and Sumitomo Rubber at their South African plants. This marks the first installations worldwide of Sick Automation’s latest image-based code readers, the Tyre Lector Array (TLA), in the tyre manufacturing industry.

By tracking and tracing barcoded tyres across the manufacturing and internal handling cycle, the TLA plays a critical role in managing and controlling the ‘just in time’ production processes of the plants, as well as automated batch and distribution management.

“A successful technological solution for this application ensures that, no matter the height, diameter or orientation and position of the tyre on the conveyor belt, every unit is reliably identified,” explains Prishan Chain of Sick Automation Southern Africa.

“The high-resolution Lector65x sensors, with intelligent technology features including dynamic focus and adaptive illumination, provided the capabilities required for Japanese process quality specifications.”

Ten systems were supplied to the Bridgestone plant in Pretoria in 2016, while the Sumitomo Rubber plant in Ladysmith has a total of four systems. Both plants manufacture the full range of standard and low-profile tyres for on-road vehicles, from 13 to 20 inch.

Exact requirements

“In each case, we worked closely with the manufacturers in designing and supplying the systems,” CPristan continues. Each TLA consists of three Lector65x sensors, positioned both above and below the conveyor. The modular structure housing the sensors is easily customised according to any customer width and height requirement.

“As a turnkey solution, our product engineers in Germany trialled and tested the optimum TLA solution according to the manufacturers’ exact process and automation requirements. The engineering, integration, commissioning and service capabilities of Sick Automation Southern Africa provided the local level of expertise required for executing and supporting this capital project successfully.”

Sick Automation Southern Africa

Prishan Chain

Tel: (031) 535-7289