Future of Non-Pneumatic Tires Market Outlook

Due to a fall in ore grades at the surface level, mining companies are exploring opportunities to implement underground mining methods. Thus, growth of underground mining equipment is expected to surpass surface mining equipment’s market growth.

Global economic growth, expected increase in exploration activity in brownfield operations and mechanization of mines could further drive the demand for non-pneumatic tires.

Demand growth is expected to come from metals such as copper, nickel, zinc, and iron ore. For instance, copper output is expected to increase by 1.3 percent CAGR between 2017and 2019.

Demand for Off-the Road Tires is expected to improve due to the increase in metal production, construction activities, and upsurge in new mines.

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Growth Drivers

Growing Research and Development Activities by Major Players

Increased Versatility Through Improved Load-Bearing Capabilities and Driving Performance. Companies are further optimizing the spoke structure by using high-strength but flexible high-performance resin as a material and employing finite element method (FEM) simulations in the design to reduce stress and deformation in the inner part of the tire. By doing so, the second generation of “Air Free Concept tire” has increased versatility through improved load-bearing capabilities and driving performance compared with the first generation . High-speed travel (maximum 60 km/h) in ultralight vehicles has also become possible.

Pursuing Low Rolling Resistance to Reduce CO2 Emissions: About 90% of energy loss from tire rolling resistance comes from repeated changes in the shape of tires as they roll. In the second generation of airless tires, many companies have succeeded in making a significant reduction in energy loss by using proprietary materials technologies and simplifying the structure of the tires. As a result, these “Air Free Concept tire” have achieved the same level of low rolling resistance as our pneumatic fuel-efficient tires, making possible a contribution to reductions in CO2 emissions.

The world’s leading tire makers committed more than USD 7.3 billion in the past year toward new plants and capacity expansions, a measurable drop from record spending of USD 10 billion-plus in 2015–16 but still ahead of the annualized average for the past decade.

Market Restraints

Lack of Effective System and Infrastructure to Recycle Tires

End-of-life tires (ELT) or waste tires are a chronic environmental issue in western countries and so now in developing countries. The only difference is that these countries have started tackling this issue recently, but not effectively as its western counterparts.

As BRIC nations are riding on robust growth, more and more vehicles are hitting the roads, so are tires. In the last five fiscals (FY10 to FY15), the tire industry in these countries has grown at a CAGR of 12%. On the flip side, the impressive growth has brought in its wake more challenges to the environment.

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Knowing the impact of waste tires on environment and cumbersome processes to dispose them of, developed countries have not only banned imports of waste tires, but also are aggressively pushing exports of such tires to developing countries such as China, India, Southeast Asian countries, Middle-East and some African nations. Countries which are less serious about waste tires` impact are the preferred destination for disposal of waste tires.

Lack of Effective System and Infrastructure to Recycle Tires

Designing the right tire for large wheeled vehicles used to haul coal and other materials in underground mines presents an enormous design challenge. Pneumatic tires present risks because of the danger of an explosion in a confined space while solid tires are associated with relatively large vibrations experienced by the driver.

Many mining companies have switched from pneumatic tires to solid wheels because of the dangers presented by pneumatic tires underground. Further Non-pneumatic tires e tires eliminate the risk of punctures but their dampening properties are inferior to pneumatic tires so operators experience considerably more vibration. In some mines, operators are restricted to spending no more than 90 minutes a day on machines with solid wheels due to the effects of vibrations. Another problem is that foam-filled solid tires don’t provide as even a distribution of pressure on the ground as pneumatic tires. The highest pressure is usually seen in the center of the tire which can lead to the formation of ruts on the floor of the mine where the mine is working on soft strata.

Opportunities to Opt

Autonomous Construction Equipment

Someday soon, everyone in the car will be a passenger during their daily commute. For construction and mining operations, that type of technology can’t just stop there. We need equipment to be able to function without anyone in the cab at all. Tire and track technology is critical in these operations because getting a flat tire or unexpected downtime just cannot happen. Flat-free solutions like solid tires and tracks are trends we already see in the construction industry today, and it will become even more of the standard in the future.

Autonomous Construction Equipment

A broad-reaching term used to describe a lot of different advances, at its core smart technology is all about machines getting smarter and communicating. The key questions companies are addressing right now are what kind of information is valuable to collect, how do they collect it and finally, how do they use and share it. Using embedded sensors and other resources, the possibilities are endless for construction equipment functionality. In the area of non-pneumatic tires, we see large earthmover tires helping to make adjustments to the way a machine is operated by tracking operating hours, air pressures and temperatures. Using that information, operators and fleet managers can make more better, quicker decisions to helping to reduce expenses and increase productivity.

Various companies are developing smarter tires and tracks for smaller compact equipment, too. As they want to make sure no matter what size of equipment end use industry operate they can access information that delivers value.

Fuel Savings

In addition to labor and equipment expenses, fuel costs are a significant expenditure for most operations. In many sectors of the construction and mining industry, we see a rise in electric and hybrid equipment. It’s a trend that will continue to impact more segments of the industry as engineering knowledge and capabilities continue to grow. Developing products with a lower rolling resistance is key to achieving a lower energy consumption. Weight is also a big consideration. To achieve the required output of energy to lift, transport or dig, electric and hybrid equipment needed to be lighter. However, weight reduction could not come at the expense of performance, which means everything from the tires to other components of a machine need to reduce weight. Companies have worked with several manufacturers to meet those requirements. And, we know the trend for lighter, more fuel-efficient machinery will continue to evolve into gas- and diesel-powered equipment.

Developing Regions

Today, we have ushered into an era where developing countries has emerged as one of the leading manufacturing and consumption hubs of OTR tires primarily in the Agriculture and Mining Segments. In order to meet the growing demand, manufacturers are complimenting their production capacities with rigorous Research & Development (R&D) and innovation, a telling example of which is the gradual shift to radialization.

Written by

Goldstein Market Intelligence helping businesses to be successful at strategy and take informed decisions to grow the business in future.

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