Goodyear's Two-Piece Assembly, a tire so revolutionary that it really isn't a tire at all, was recognized last night as a winner of the 2004 NorTech Innovation Awards.
The annual awards event, held last night in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, recognizes individuals, companies and non-profit organizations that have created, developed and successfully implemented original ideas. The awards are sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Technology Coalition.
Goodyear's Two-Piece Assembly is the only product of its kind. It was designed at the company's Akron Technical Center and is produced at its off-road tire factory in Topeka, Kan.
Developed for huge mining trucks that haul massive amounts of dirt and rock, the Two-Piece Assembly is unique because it consists of two parts – a separate casing and a treadbelt package. This multi-faceted assembly solves many of the mining industry's issues with tire design, logistics and performance.
The two pieces have grooves that interlock during assembly. Once assembled, the components are held together by the air pressure in the inflated assembly. The assembly's many benefits include reduced downtime from tire changeovers, improved traction, handling, stability and ride on haul trucks, increased productivity and cost savings.
"I call the Two-Piece Assembly a 'revolutionary' innovation in the tire industry because -- like the radial tire and the all-season tire, I believe this will change the customer's buying habits," said Joseph M. Gingo, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's executive vice president, quality systems and chief technical officer.
"Goodyear is committed to building and sustaining product leadership, and the Two-Piece Assembly is one example of our innovative and truly distinctive new products," he said. "I'm proud of the Goodyear associates who worked on this product."
In recognizing Goodyear, NorTech judges cited the innovation's ability to reduce downtime at mining sites. "Tire changes take up to nine hours, but the Two-Piece assembly takes a fraction of the time because each piece can be replaced independently."
Last fall, the Two-Piece Assembly won Construction Equipment magazine's Top 100 award for 2003.
Goodyear received the NorTech award last year for its Eagle F1 GS-D3 Ultra high-performance tire. In previous years, Goodyear has been recognized by NorTech for the TensionRite belt gauge used with power transmission products, the Wrangler MT/R tire, the Hot Former component of the IMPACT manufacturing system, the Goodyear Aquatred tire and the Extended Mobility Technology (run flat) tire.
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