The top prizes for innovation awarded in advance of the 2017 Paris International Agri-Business Show (SIMA) were won by a pair of tire manufacturers — Michelin Groupe and Trelleborg Wheel Systems.

Michelin’s “2 tires in 1”

Today’s farmers are using progressively larger machinery which needs to perform both in the field and on the road. Michelin’s team of 6,700 research and development scientists have patented a “2 in 1 tire” that changes its shape and footprint according to the pressure and usage. Its footprint in the fields is +20% when comparing a Michelin VF 710/70 R 42 and a Michelin AxioBib IF 710/70 R 42 to 0.8b and 5.6t.

Working at ultra-low pressures the contact patch increases to reduce soil compaction, enabling power transmission to be increased. At higher pressures the tire transforms so that only the central continuous band grips the road, giving a smoother vibration-free ride, fuel savings, and improved safety.

Emmanuel Ladent, director of Michelin’s agriculture business unit accepted the 2017 Innovation Gold Medal at the SIMA preview event in Paris. “It is a privilege to receive the SIMA Innovation Gold Medal on behalf of the dedicated, hardworking teams at Michelin. The ‘2 in 1 tire’ is a real game changer and is the latest in the line of innovative new tire technologies brought to the market by Michelin, such as Ultraflex technology and the Connected tire, and we are looking forward to the first presentation of this ‘2 in 1 tire’ at SIMA in March 2017.”

Trelleborg’s variable inflation pressure system

Trelleborg’s innovation award is for its soon-to-launch variable inflation pressure (VIPTM)  system. It was developed in partnership with tractor manufacturer Agco Fendt, and the VIPTM system is capable of self-adjusting the pressure of a combine harvester’s tire according to its precise load during operation, optimizing the tire’s footprint in order to reduce soil compaction.

Paolo Pompei, president Trelleborg agricultural and forestry tires, said, “To receive the SIMA Innovation Award Gold Medal is a tremendous honor for us. It gives us great pride that the agricultural industry recognizes Trelleborg’s long-standing commitment to developing innovative solutions.”

Piero Mancinelli, research and development director for agricultural and forestry tires at Trelleborg said, “Precision farming technologies are, today, in use across over 5% of cultivated land which is projected to reach 20% within the next decade. As a result, driverless machines and robots connected with the Internet of Things are fast becoming a reality in modern agriculture, helping farmers to produce more, with less.

The VIPTM system consists of a set of sensors measuring several parameters including load, pressure, and temperature along with an electronic central processor controlling a compressor and a valve to adjust the pressure. The VIPTM system is directly integrated on the tire rim, allowing farmers to reduce soil compaction without manual intervention. The concept will launch at 2017 SIMA.

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