David Chang, Executive Manager APEXway Products Corp., in an interview with LECTURA Press
2 September 2019
Why does Apexway focus on non-marking tires?
We focus on the product for 2 reasons. First of all we try to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. For example, most of them have an established line of production for black forklift tires. To switch to a non-marking production, a lot of energy and time will have to go into it, therefore shrinking their black tires production output. This is due to the fact that the production process of non-marking tires is more complex, as cleaning of the moulds has to be done with extreme care and detail. A contaminated mould would lead to an incomplete non-marking tire, which could be problematic for the end-user. Thus we try to be different and believe we can compete in this market as we produce them on a day to day basis. Secondly, we are one of the few producers that are able to produce non-marking tires in the smallest sizes, starting at 3.50-5 for forklifts to wheel loader tires at 29.5-25.
What does Apexway do, to curb their own carbon footprint in a rather environmentally unfriendly sector?
Trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible is a major focus for us. We achieve this in 3 stages.
The type of energy we use for production and at the site.
We use clean energy for this sector: natural gas and not oil or clean coal.
When not burning energy fully at a high temperature, some gases are created, which are bad for the environment and very rich in CO2.
Gas is the most efficient energy source for us and should not everything be burned, it can be reused, while the remains of burning gas is just water.
Control of environmental temperature (interior and exterior)
We don’t constantly burn the materials to keep the temperature high. Due to special coatings and walls, we trap the heat on the inside. This way, the heat does not escape, thus lowering the temperature and requiring us to constantly burn materials. As the exterior environment cannot be controlled, since temperature and humidity constantly fluctuate and could change very fast, we have also added a special coating on the exterior of the tanks and the curing room, to lower the effects of such. This way we try to control what we can by lowering our energy consumption during production or idle states, as temperatures should be kept at a constant.
Interior temperature control and texture of the tires
We use a temperature control prob by testing many but not all tires during the curing process. It is not possible to see with the eye, wether the mould on the inside has been well cooked or wether more time is needed. With the probe cord, this can be tested with a minimal incision, which does not damage the quality of the tire. Without this incision, the interior state of the mould cannot be determined and would lead to companies over-curing the tires to be on the safe side, rather than under-curing it. This leads to an excess energy consumption, which we avoid by using the control prob. A major factor for this is the fact that the natural rubber compound could vary, therefore a perfect time for curing a tire is impossible to determine. A further factor is also the exterior air, as humidity and temperature at which it was stored could also affect the natural rubber state and compound. By minimising all these factors, we can save energy consumption, which doesn’t only help us minimise our energy costs but also allow us to minimise our carbon footprint as a company in a rather environmentally unfriendly sector.
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Source: LECTURA Verlag GmbH; Petra Konheiser