Circular Economy Concept for the Tire Industry: “TOWANOWA”

SUMITOMO RUBBER INDUSTRIES TOP > Innovation > Circular Economy Concept for the Tire Industry: “TOWANOWA”

Sumitomo Rubber Industries formulated our own unique Circular Economy Concept for the tire industry, which we call TOWANOWA. The word TOWANOWA is coined from two Japanese words: “TOWA,” or “Everlasting;” and “WA,” or “Ring” Combined, it stands for two rings that support the developing sustainable future and mobile society.
The ideal society that is the goal of “TOWANOWA” is where the finite resources are recycled for efficient use, contributing to realization of the sustainable, safe, secure and comfortable society such as the next-generation mobile society, by utilizing SRI's proprietary big data including those obtained with our proprietary sensor-less sensing technology “SENSING CORE, and providing new values to the customers. We will create our very own Circular Economy Business Model with the application of “TOWANOWA,” addressing various issues of the CASE society, contributing to realization of the sustainable world, and the creation of joy and well-being for all —indeed, embodiment of “Our Philosophy”.

Key Visual of “TOWANOWA”

Key Visual of “TOWANOWA”

Planning & Design

With the use of digital technologies such as the “Tyre Lifetime Simulation”, we will promote development of technologies for the “SMART TYRE CONCEPT”, seeking to provide lighter, extended mileage, longer-life and safer tires while achieving efficient use of resources. In 2027, we are planning to launch the next-generation tires for electric vehicles that are lighter by 20% and that have a 30% less rolling resistance*.

* Comparison with year 2019.

Material Development & Procurement

Taking advantage of the simulation technologies such as the “ADVANCED 4D NANO DESIGN” and analysis technologies, we are accelerating development of sustainable raw materials so that the ratio thereof will be as high as 40% in 2030 and 100% by 2050. This will promote recycling of resources and reduction in CO2 emissions.

Production & Logistics

SRI is promoting enhancement to the supply/demand forecast and optimization of the logistics system, by improving the product precision and productivity by means of the “Tyre Manufacturing Simulation,” wider use of AI and IoT platforms, and establishment of the digital data infrastructure on a global basis. We will also work on enhancement of the R&D efficiency with utilization of the simulation and reduction of the CO2 emissions by utilizing the solar light and hydrogen as energy for manufacturing. With these means for enhancement of production efficiency and saving of resources, we seek to achieve the just-in-time supply system, a 10% cut in CO2* emissions during transportation and a 30% modal shift rate of domestic transportation.

* Comparison with year 2021.

Sales & Usage

SRI is building a system for providing the optimal tire solution service that contributes to the driving safety of the customers, through the data obtained while the car is running with the help of the proprietary "SENSING CORE", tire pressure monitoring system, and non-contact radio frequency identification tags. We will provide optimal proposals about tires including the maintenance services and tires with the active tread technology, one of the technologies of the new technology development concept “SMART TYRE CONCEPT.” With these, we will provide products with improved energy saving performance, longer life and enhanced safety.

Recovery & Recycling

As for sales and uses, we will utilize the "SENSING CORE", tire pressure monitoring system, and non-contact radio frequency identification tags to manage individual tires for identifying tire uses and travel histories, and, with the data thus obtained, will enhance the number of retreads and recycling of materials. Specifically, we will also work on improving the recovery rate of the base tires for good-quality retread tires, not only for trucks and buses but also for light trucks, and use of end-of-life tires for recycling of materials. These will help realize the circular economy.

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