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How we helped a major tire manufacturer make half a million more tires each year

Kalypso was brought in by the client to evaluate their tire production with the goal of reducing down time with the help of AI.

To start, we assembled a value case. We leveraged the client's existing data, analyzing the expected vs actual daily production, and the down time resulting from splicing failures.

What we found

Before we began, operations resulted in:

  • 4 hours lost, per machine, per day
  • 1 tire lost every minute
  • 250+ tires lost per machine per day

We committed to achieving

  • 30% reduction in down time
  • 80 more tires produced, per machine, per day
Background image: Digital Tires
Background image: Darken Left

We trained the algorithm to predict bad splices before they happen and prescribe pressure setting adjustments to bring the splice within tolerance.

Kalypso employed a Gradient Boosted regression algorithm comprised of the target variable (splice length) and real independent variables (material cut length, previous splice length, etc.) as well as featured engineered independent variables (e.g. splice moving average, splice variance based on last rolling N tires, etc.) to first train a model to predict whether the next slice will likely be out of tolerance or not.

When the machine learning algorithm predicts the splice will be out of tolerance then by utilizing an interface to the machine control system the pressure roller set parameters are directly adjusted to bring the splice within tolerance.

Tire Case Study Process

A quick primer on how tires are made

Tire Steps Making Tires Step 1

Tires start out as rectangular pieces of rubber referred to as the tread which gets wrapped around a cylinder drum.

Tire Steps Making Tires Step 2

The point where the ends meet is called the splice which must fit within a given tolerance to be considered a “good” tire.

Tire Steps Making Tires Step 3

On top of the building drum there is a pressure roller which can be manipulated to adjust the final splice overlap.

Tire Steps Making Tires Step 5

The goal is to ensure the two ends are joined together within the tolerances for overlap to create a stable join.

Tire Steps Making Tires Step 4

A too-short splice requires more pressure to be applied to lengthen the material, a too-long splice length requires less pressure.

Tire Steps Making Tires Step 6

Too much or too little pressure can result in scrap or rework, contributing to down time and fewer tires produced.

Our work made it possible to make over half a million more tires every year

We exceeded our initial target achieving:

  • 45% reduction in down time
  • 100+ more tires per machine per day
  • 550,000 more tires per year

Thought Leaders

Jordan Reynolds 2018
Principal & Global Practice Leader, Data Science