Leaders in innovation
The innovation gene
Michelin have been the leaders in their field for over 100 years thanks to our exceptional commitment to research and development. Innovation, one of our founding values, is at the heart of our activities and processes.
In a market as technological as the Earthmover tyre market, we have chosen to innovate rapidly and continually, focusing on three lines of research: constant acceleration of the development of new ranges, continuous improvement of performance and breakthrough innovations designed in partnership with machine manufacturers.
Behind us, we have the power of the whole Michelin Group R&D department, the biggest in the market: 6000 employees and 500 million euros a year dedicated to innovation.
A history marked out by innovations
- 1946: Michelin revolutionise the tyre by patenting the radial tyre.
- 1959: First radial tyre for Earthmover.
- 1977: Opening of the first test centre for Earthmover tyres at Almeria in Spain, still the only one of its kind.
- 1980: Radialisation of the whole Earthmover range.
- 1998: Launch of a low profile range for big dumpers.
- 2001: Launch of the MICHELIN XDR tyre range with a life expectancy 20% greater than the previous generation.
- 2002: Development of a 63” wide series tyre to fit giant RDT weighing more than 600T.
- 2007: MEMS, the first electronic surveillance system for Earthmover tyres on the market.
- 2009: C2 technology: redefinition of casing design reducing heat build-up in the tyre and/or increasing the height of rubber, and thus longevity.
- 2011: Launch of the MICHELIN XDR2, the new generation of the MICHELIN XDR range with even better performance.
- 2012: B2 technology: ‘Flat bead wire’, a patented system giving better torque transmission without rotation on the rim for loader tyres, and greater longevity for tyres for underground mine machines.
A testing centre unique in the world
In 1977, Michelin constructed a test centre at Almeria in Spain which is the only one of its kind in the world for Earthmover tyres, and is used also for Agricultural, Truck and Car tyres. 4500 hectares in size, with 48 tracks covering over 100 km, with different surfaces and compositions (earth, stones, asphalt, gravel, sand). Michelin tests their tyres non-stop (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) in real conditions of use. Rigid and articulated dumpers, loaders, graders and even a giant 600 tonne truck really push the tyres in the most extreme conditions to test them (handling, traction, grip, resistance to accidental damage, fuel consumption, …) and verify their performance.
The test centre also comprises 6 hectares of buildings (measurement, control, tyre stripping and fitting workshops), employing 220 people:
- A technical group (designing and analysing experiments & measurement methods);
- A drawing office (design & development of testing equipment & means of measurement);
- A measurement and analysis group.
Co-operation with machine manufacturers
Today, the most widely used machines in the Earthmover world are fitted with MICHELIN radial tyres.
Michelin are working in close collaboration with machine manufacturers to design the right tyre to suit each machine and to optimise their performance.
Michelin are already working with our partners on tomorrow’s great innovations, to design the new tyres which will revolutionise the market.