The tire manufacturing sector is extremely competitive. It’s a real honor for Michelin to receive a prize as prestigious as "Tire Manufacturer of the Year”. Innovation has been the very heart of Michelin’s success for over 125 years and this award testifies to the pioneering work of more than 6,000 people working in Michelin’s R&D department today.
The jury of 31 international tire industry specialists - industry researchers, academic experts, vehicle and tire manufacturers - particularly appreciated and recognized the Group’s innovations to preserve the environment.
Michelin is one of the rare tire manufacturers to have sustainable development objectives for 2048, and this was highlighted by the expert panel.
Among the many innovations to Michelin’s credit is the development of a resorcinol- and formaldehyde-free resin used to make its tires. In 2018, Michelin sold around 30,000 tires made with this new high-performance resin. An innovation that required 10 years of R&D to identify the replacement polymers that guarantee the same level of performance, with about 40 patents filed. These resins will be produced and sold by our dedicated business unit called ResiCare.
The Group’s work on the performance of tires over time was particularly appreciated by the Tire Technology jury.
For years, Michelin has been driving the market forward with sustainability concepts and innovations. Their environmental initiatives, like micronized rubber powder and the intelligent tread design that always performs well even when it is almost worn, are just a few examples that could be mentioned.
The “Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence”
At an annual ceremony in Hanover, Germany, the Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence represent some of the most important awards for the tire sector. They celebrate the best new technologies and innovations from all over the world. The winners are selected by a completely independent international jury of industry experts and journalists. The ceremony takes place at the Tire Technology Expo, the most important European trade show and convention dedicated to tire design and manufacture.
ResiCare is part of the Michelin group. This business unit develops and sells a “clean” resin with the objective of creating a sustainable and competitive industry in a safer environment.
The ResiCare story began in 2008. At the time, Michelin research teams specializing in textile adhesion were identifying ways of replacing formaldehyde and resorcinol, which are used to make tires, with the creation of a new resin. The first tests were carried out in 2016. Convinced by the excellent results, Michelin wanted to use this resin in tires and other applications. ResiCare was created to develop and sell a resin for non-tire applications such as wood, insulation, abrasives, textiles and more.
The Michelin group actively helps repurpose tires at the end of their lives through recycling in the tire industry and other industries too. It is investing in innovative technologies to this end. An illustration of this approach was the purchase of Lehigh Technologies in October 2017. This company specializes in the design and production of innovative materials produced by recycling worn tires and other industrial products made from rubber. Through patented cryogenic micro-grinding technology, Lehigh’s teams successfully turned worn tires into recycled raw materials called micronized rubber powders and reincorporated them in the production of new tires and other industrial products like asphalt, construction materials, etc. This circular approach helped reduce the number of tires disposed of in landfills and develop new repurposing directions.
This innovative initiative was recognized in 2019. The Lehigh teams received the “circular economy” award in the SME category at the Davos World Economic Forum for their commitment to repurposing worn tires.
Sustainable performance strategy
Michelin is committed to a long-term sustainable performance strategy.
This strategy applies to all its Business Lines and all its car, heavy truck and motorcycle products. It provides the direction for MICHELIN tire design and the technologies developed by the Group.
The performances of a new tire and their evolution throughout the life of the tire are the result of the manufacturer’s design choices. The main technical challenge is to design a tire that guarantees a high level of safety, particularly in the case of wet roads, throughout the life of the tire.
The design choices Michelin makes maximize the use of the materials and resources invested in tire design, freeing up all the potential for consumers and guaranteeing their safety. Furthermore, they help reduce environmental* impact and prolong the life of the tire.
*In Europe, replacement of tires before their legal wear limit of 1.6mm would result in an additional 6.6 million tons of CO2 emissions, according to the calculations made at Ladoux (Technology Center, Clermont-Ferrand, France): technical report of 09/27/2016 on “Raw materials, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions associated with early replacement of touring tires.”