Michelin Innovations Presented at the 2014 Michelin Challenge Bibendum

Michelin Innovations Presented at the 2014 Michelin Challenge Bibendum

For over 125 years, Michelin has been the industry leader in terms of innovation

Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 9:00am

CAMPAIGN: Michelin Challenge Bibendum

CONTENT: Newsletter

Michelin, partnering the FIA’s Formula E Championship
Michelin, the exclusive partner of the first Formula E Championship

Since September 2014, Michelin has been the official tire supplier of the Formula E Championship, a unique all-electric single-seater competition organized by the FIA. Races are hosted across three continents on fully urban circuits in 10 cities, including Beijing, Buenos Aires and Rome, bringing the event as close to the public as possible. This partnership has led to the creation of a brand new tire, the Michelin Pilot Sport EV, which is being used on all the cars in the competition.

The Michelin Pilot Sport EV, an innovative solution

Electric, urban, sustainable and technologically innovative, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport EV is a unique tire that is revolutionizing the design and styling of single-seater racing cars. With an interior diameter of 18 inches, its features remain the same in all conditions, whether dry or rainy.

The tire meets four criteria:

•   Safety on dry and wet roads.

•   Maximum energy efficiency.

•   Longer mileage that allows both the trials and the race to be completed on the same set of tires over the entire weekend. Like on roads, tire changes are no longer par for the course.

•   The use of an 18-inch rim, similar to that used on road cars.

These criteria will make it possible to deploy innovative racing tire technology more quickly on road tires.

Motorsports, a testing ground for the innovations of tomorrow
While Michelin has a long history of performance combined with technological invention, the Formula E challenge is particularly interesting because of the competition's city-center backdrop. For Michelin, it represents a technical challenge that is perfect for testing and validating technological advances. Progress made as part of this competition will be used to work toward safer, more efficient and more sustainable mobility solutions for everyone.


Michelin is setting new standards in automotive safety with its MICHELIN® PREMIER® A/S tire

Michelin® Premier® A/S improves driver safety

Wet grip is a particularly important factor in road safety: for a given distance, accident risk is twice as high in wet conditions than dry conditions. Until now, tire traction diminished excessively on wet surfaces as the tread became worn over time. Groove depth decreased, thereby reducing the tire’s capacity to evacuate water and increasing braking distances and the risk of aquaplaning.

Unlike conventional tires, MICHELIN® Premier® A/S tires have unique features that allow them to deliver excellent grip on wet surfaces, even when worn.

MICHELIN® Premier® A/S with evergrip™ technology combines three essential factors:

  • A rubber compound that delivers high grip on wet roads.
  • Expanding rain grooves: on most tires, the shallower the rain grooves become, the less water is evacuated. The MICHELIN® Premier® A/S has rain evacuation grooves covering its entire circumference. Because the rain grooves’ special shape widens as the tire is used, more water can be evacuated compared with conventional tires when the grooves become shallower.
  • Self-regenerating grooves: the MICHELIN® Premier® A/S has an extra layer of grooves. Placed along the tire’s shoulder, the grooves appear as the tire wears down. In this way, more than 150 additional grooves help evacuate water and ensure excellent grip throughout the tire's life.

Exceptional performance on wet roads

These three factors work together to give the Michelin Premier A/S tire excellent grip in a wide variety of situations, over many years. For users, this translates into reduced stopping distances, enhanced aquaplaning resistance and improved grip whether the tire is new or worn.

The Michelin Premier A/S with evergrip technology has been on the market in North America since April 2014.


Michelin Near Zero Growth (NZG) technology: practical and innovative solutions to challenges in modern aviation

A single tire structure, for greater safety

Thanks to NZG technology, Michelin can offer practical and innovative solutions to challenges in modern aviation:

•   Ensuring optimum reliability for tires in extreme conditions.

•   Improving total mileage.

•   Significantly reducing fuel consumption.

Aircraft tires have to be built to bear a weight equivalent to that of a truck while travelling at the speed of a racing car. At very high speeds, tires are subjected to significant stresses, which can stretch them. By combining radial technology with an inelastic belt using unique composite textile cables made of nylon and aramid fibers, tire stretching is reduced to below 3% for NZG tires (compared with 8% for radial nylon tires and 12% for conventional cross-ply tires). 

More resistant than conventional models, Michelin tires can withstand twice as many landings while at the same time reducing the number of maintenance operations required. As a result, they are much safer and more cost-effective.

Lighter tires for real fuel savings
11 kg lighter than a cross-ply tire and 2-3 kg lighter than a conventional radial tire, the MICHELIN NZG tire also helps lower the weight of the aircraft, thereby reducing fuel consumption. Every year, airlines could avoid emitting 160,000 tonnes of CO2 and save $36 million of fuel if all their planes were fitted with Michelin NZG tires.

These tires also require 22% less raw material than standard tires.

Already mythical status
Guaranteeing optimal safety, the Michelin radial tire with NZG technology helped to get the Concorde back in the air and is now used on planes such as the Airbus A380, the Airbus A320 Neo, the Boeing 737 Max 7 &8 and the Dassault Falcon 8X.


Michelin ultraflex technology: a response to the needs of farmers and farm equipment manufacturers

A more flexible, resistant tire that is gentler on the soil
Michelin tires with ultraflex technology have a unique composition and structure enabling them to both carry heavy loads and work at particularly low pressure. This structure meets a threefold objective: protecting soil, increasing loads, and reducing fuel consumption.

Better yields per hectare with more productivity and less fuel
This unique flexing capacity increases the tire’s footprint and more evenly distributes the load of farm machinery over the ground, thereby reducing the depth of the ruts left in the fields. It protects the soil from compaction and rut depth, which damage yields. By way of comparison, a rabbit exerts more pressure per square centimeter of soil than a MICHELIN axiobib tire inflated to low pressure.

Increasing the tire’s footprint and reinforcing the shoulders improves grip and reduces slippage. Farmers can work faster and use up to 10% less fuel. Compared with conventional tires, Michelin tires with ultraflex technology can withstand loads that are up to 40% heavier.

These results are demonstrated annually through close to 50 field tests, carried out for example in Brazil, Russia and China.

The largest tractor tire in the world with ultraflex technology

Michelin has developed the MICHELIN axiobib IF900/65R46, the biggest tractor tire in the world, which measures 900 millimeters wide with a diameter of 2.32 meters. With this tire, Michelin takes the features of the ultraflex range even further, enabling the largest farm machinery to get the best power, soil protection, and fuel efficiency.

Thanks to Michelin ultraflex technology, Michelin tires remain the most cost-efficient, versatile and soil-friendly solution.


Innovation in materials

Michelin and the circular economy
With more than two billion vehicles on the road by 2050, mobility needs to be safer, cleaner, more efficient and more comfortable

Demand for mobility is constantly growing around the world, particularly due to rising living standards in emerging markets and the increase in international trade. According to OECD forecasts, nearly 2 billion vehicles could be on the roads by 2050.

As a partner to carmakers and drivers, Michelin’s mission is to support this process, while facilitating safer, more sustainable and more responsible mobility.

Michelin’s 4R strategy for a circular economy
The tire industry uses 32 million tonnes of materials every year, three-quarters of which are fossil-based. At the same time, road mobility will double – maybe quadruple – between 2010 and 2050.

There are many related challenges: securing supplies, reducing the impact of mobility on health and biodiversity and limiting its effects on climate change. Throughout a tire’s lifecycle, the impact on natural resources (energy, raw materials and water) must also be improved by adopting a comprehensive circular economy approach. Note that more than 90% of a tire’s environmental impact occurs during its use.

Michelin’s idea is to simultaneously activate four levers, thereby providing a combination of solutions to ensure that resources are used more wisely. This is Michelin’s 4R Strategy: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Renew.

•   Reduce: the goal is to reduce the amount of resources used while obtaining the same result by getting the most out of each gram of material used and each kwh consumed. To do this, tires must be made lighter, longer lasting and more fuel-efficient. In addition, tire-related services must be sold that will make them even longer lasting and even more fuel efficient. This is the reasoning behind the Michelin solutions approach.

•   Reuse: By repairing, regrooving and retreading tires, raw material savings can be achieved.

•   Recycle: Even though end-of-life tires are recycled, they are not generally recycled for use in tires. This is why Michelin launched the Tire Recycling (TREC) project in 2014 to develop two processes for reusing end-of-life tires.

The first, TREC Regeneration, aims to manufacture high-quality regenerated rubber from scrap tires and use it to manufacture new tires, while continuing to improve tire performance.

The second, TREC Alcohol, is designed to develop an ethanol production channel starting with used tires. Ethanol is a good chemical intermediate that can be used to synthesize a number of materials.  At the same time, Michelin is involved in the biobutterfly project, which will develop a process for producing butadiene (currently petroleum based) directly from alcohol. The alcohol will be supplied through the TREC Alcohol production channel or directly from biomass sources. For each project, an industrial demonstrator will be used to illustrate the financial, social and environmental performance of the solutions concerned.

•   Renew: renewable materials currently account for just 25% of the Group’s supplies (mostly natural rubber and some plant-based oils and resins), and it’s time to move to the next level. That’s why Michelin has launched two major projects: biobutterfly (mentioned above) and a project to produce isoprene from biomass, working with two companies, Amyris in California and Braskem in Brazil. By simultaneously activating these four levers – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Renew – Michelin is preparing for the future so it will be able to provide sustainable solutions to the world’s growing mobility needs.


Michelin innovation: more than just tires

The contribution of Michelin Travel Partner tools to sustainable mobility

A strategic vision focused on sustainable mobility
The Michelin brothers, who founded the eponymous tire company in 1889, had a vision for the mobility of goods and people. André and Edouard Michelin set the corporate ambition of developing products and offering services that help enhance the mobility of goods and people, and Jean-Dominique Senard has now taken up this challenge. Michelin guides, tourism guides, maps and mobility assistance products developed by Michelin are fully aligned with this strategic vision. We equip everything on wheels – cars, trucks, bicycles, planes, etc. – with high performance, safe and energy-efficient tires, but no one travels without a purpose, desire or need.

Complementary and integrated solutions for everyone 
According to Michelin Travel Partner, the sustainable mobility ecosystem takes shape before the trip begins. It includes the family that unfolds a 1/200,000 scale map to get familiar with an area before a holiday. It includes the trucker who uses the viamichelin application to prepare a journey and pinpoint at a glance the best places to take a break, fill up the tank and have a meal. It includes the businesswoman who carefully selects the right Michelin starred restaurant from the guide for an interview she has been preparing for several days. Mobility support tools have been developed by Michelin with a view to improving efficiency for customers. Its complementary maps, guides and digital solutions, which are updated by teams of experts and are available to everyone, meet day-to-day needs and open up new opportunities.

Innovation for travellers
Everyday, our teams innovate to develop this unique knowledge platform and open it up as widely as possible via modern devices. We have chosen three examples of work carried out by our developers.

Viamichelin is currently the only tool capable of combining journey advice, trip budget calculations (fuel costs, tolls, etc.), road traffic updates in real time, and the content of two collections of world-renowned guides, Michelin Guides and Green Guides. Our digital mobility support ecosystem has won over many carmakers, who have integrated Michelin Navigation into the onboard telematics system of a number of vehicles, such as the latest Peugeot 208 and Ford Focus cars.

Michelin Restaurant, a multi-criteria search function accessible on computers, tablets and smartphones, enables users to find a suitable restaurant using reviews and recommendations from inspectors for restaurants selected in the Michelin guide. From this year, users can now make reservations directly through the application.

The most recent example of this 360-degree deployment of our skills regards tourism support. Michelin teams are the first to include QR codes in local, regional and national editions of the Green Guides to extend the traveller's experience. By scanning the QR codes in the guide, the user can access supplementary information prepared by the authors, including videos, interviews, enhanced cultural content and examples of routes with photos. The print version is now a comprehensive travel support tool, adapted to new uses from consumers who want expert and educational advice when they travel.


MICHELIN® solutions: a committed response to today’s mobility challenges

End-to-end expertise covering every mobility challenge
Now more than ever, the mobility sector is operating in a difficult competitive and regulatory environment. Every company in the sector is faced with numerous challenges:

•   Ensuring optimal security.

•   Cutting costs.

•   Delivering on time.

•   Optimizing asset management.

•   Finding efficiency drivers.

•   Reducing fuel consumption.

•   Respecting environmental constraints.

•   Monitoring all indicators.        

A certain number of specialists offer one-off solutions to each of these challenges, without making any commitments. Only Michelin solutions provides a comprehensive approach to the issues at hand and, in addition, commits to efficiency targets.

Michelin solutions has end-to-end expertise in a wide range of areas as varied as outsourced tire management, with its EFFITIRES™ solution, vehicle productivity with its 24/7/365 emergency breakdown solution, marketed in Europe under the MICHELIN EURO ASSIST brand, and fuel-savings, with its EFFIFUEL™ solution.

For over 70 years, Michelin has been supporting fleets and providing services to over 500,000 vehicles. Michelin created Michelin solutions in June 2013 to tackle efficient mobility issues experienced by trucking companies. It is backed by a unique ecosystem of carefully selected partners, chosen for their expertise and technological edge in telematics, electronics, training and fleet management.  

The originality of these solutions is based on several key components
For EFFITIRES™, Michelin solutions is contractually bound to optimize tire use allowing trucking companies to focus on their core business while getting more out of their tires.

Michelin solutions provides four main levers to help trucking companies improve tire fuel efficiency.

•   Payment based on driving style and a tire budget linked to the nature of the fleet's activity.

•   Frequent fleet inspections to ensure complete and cost-effective safety.

•   A dedicated team of tire experts and day-to-day advice.

•   Reports and management tools for complete control.

For EFFIFUEL™, Michelin solutions is contractually bound to reduce fuel consumption. EFFIFUEL™ works on a no result, no fee basis. Convinced that a comprehensive strategy is the best approach to reducing costs, Michelin solutions focuses simultaneously on all avenues for improvement, going far beyond the scope of tires. The EFFIFUEL™ service provides real support to mobility companies over the long-term to help them reduce their fuel consumption and keep it low.

EFFIFUEL™ from MICHELIN® solutions, a commitment to reducing fuel consumption
Fuel accounts for nearly 30% of fleet expenses in Western Europe and for up to 40% in Central Europe. It can be a mobility company’s largest expense item in some countries. This is why EFFIFUEL™ represents the Michelin solutions pledge to trucking companies to help them reduce their fuel bill.

Forging real partnerships with companies, Michelin solutions provides four main levers to help trucking companies reduce fuel consumption:

•   Eco-driving training courses provided by experts and monitoring of drivers’ at-the-wheel behavior based on individual eco-scores.

•   Michelin solutions Fuel Analysts, who are experts in gathering and studying data that influence fuel consumption.

•   The installation of telematic display units that give truckers visibility and help them remotely analyze vehicle parameters and track fuel use.

•   EFFITIRES™, an optimized outsourced tire management solution, based on a price commitment per kilometer, for more cost-efficient consumption.

A Michelin solutions Key Account Manager presents a quarterly fuel consumption report to the partner company’s management.