Michelin is no longer just a tyre maker but is on a mission to become a global leader with central tyre inflation technology. This ambitious goal is a step nearer following the acquisition of German tyre inflation system firm PTG and French tyre pressure control system maker Téléflow.
Michelin says the acquisitions mark the beginning of a new approach for its agricultural product line and one that will allow the firm to launch lots of innovative global solutions. The first concrete example is Zen@Terra, which combines Michelin’s recently-launched EvoBib ADT (Adaptive Design Technology) tyres with a central inflation system. The company says the system allows users to take advantage of ultra-low-pressure tyres in the field, but then quickly increase the pressures on the road from an easy-to-use integrated in-cab touchscreen display.
The result of three years of R+D, five European farmers have initially been selected to test the system, with a commercial launch for high-HP tractors planned sometime next year. Michelin reckons to have brought three revolutions to the agricultural tyre market – radial technology in 1970, Ultraflex technology in 2004 and now adaptive design technology.
“Our ambition is to continue innovating to provide increasingly complete solutions that help farmers optimise the performance of their machines while protecting their soil,” said Michelin agriculture president Emmanuel Ladent. “Zen@Terra is a complete solution, managing all aspects of tyres and their interaction with the ground, both in the field and on the road.”