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Experts from Ford, Firestone Polymers and Pirelli are among the many tire industry leaders who will be sharing their expertise at Smithers Rapra Inc.'s first Future of Tire Technology conference and exhibition.

The event will take place Oct. 28-30, 2013, in Charlotte, N.C. It is designed to bring together tire OEMs, Tier 1-4 system and component suppliers, and materials producers to address the following question:

"How can tire companies, suppliers and OEMs balance innovation, regulatory requirements and cost concerns with consumer perception and actions?"

The 2013 program was built to deliver relevant information and business opportunity to all sectors of the industry, and has been shaped by conference co-chairs Dr. James Popio, general manager/director of engineering for Smithers Rapra; and David Rohweder, global chief engineer for tire and wheel engineering at Ford Motor Co.

Joining them on the advisory committee are Dr. John Baldwin, technical advisor, Discount Tire Co. Inc.; Bob Handlos, chairman and CEO, Firestone Polymers Co.; Thomas Hanel, head of innovative materials, R&D -- material development, Pirelli Tyre SpA; and Dr. Charles Herd, director, RCB technology, Birla Carbon.

“Each segment of the industry has different needs for tire performance, cost and how the formulas align to create a profitable business model," says conference Director Andrew Smaha. "The Future of Tire Technology 2013 explores the hard facts for materials and products, and the legislative and standards reality we must all deal with.

"No other conference will tackle this dilemma from every angle with such depth of knowledge and expertise on tire materials and technology. Relying on our significant history in the tire industry, Smithers Rapra is excited to provide the resources and relationships that business leaders need to shape a clear path forward.”

The agenda features perspectives from tire manufacturers, consumers, automotive companies and material designers and suppliers including Birla Carbon, Cosin Scientific Software, DuPont, ExxonMobil Chemical, Firestone Polymers, Ford, Helmond, Lanxess Corp., Lehigh Technologies, Pirelli, Pratt & Miller Engineering, Reklaim, Smithers Rapra and VMI Americas. Conference attendees also will hear from Cambertire LLC, Consumers Union, Ergon, Esslingen University of Applied Sciences, Performance Fibers, Teijin Aramid USA, University of Akron and Vantage Intermodal.

The two-plus days of discussions will begin the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 28, with a focus on "What the Tire Needs to do for Us," plus, an in-depth dialogue on establishing performance expectations, reporting against those expectations, and the dichotomy between expectations and the realities of the retail environment.

The second day of the conference will focus on the trends, costs, compliance, automation and technology of making tires to ever-changing specifications, as well as the latest innovations from raw material suppliers in response to the needs of tire manufacturers and customers.

The Future of Tire Technology also will offer a short course on component level tire modeling on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 30. For the first time in North America, two of the best known and commercially applied tire characteristics approximations (FTire, SWIFT) will be presented by their original authors, including the theoretical background, parameterization and adaptation based on measurements and corresponding software presentation.

Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are available. Modern Tire Dealer is a media sponsor. For more information about The Future of Tire Technology, visit www.futuretiretech.com.

Smithers Rapra, a Smithers Group company, is a global leader in rubber, plastics, polymer and composites testing, consulting and information products and events, with key focuses including the tire, industrial, transportation, consumer and medical industries. For more information, visit www.smithersrapra.com.

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