Michelin Opens World’s First Manufacturing Plant To Build Revolutionary Airless Radial Tire

7381451-Tweel-Logo-2Piedmont, S.C., is site of new state-of-the-art facility making the MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® — a tire that never goes flat

Michelin recently opened its newest plant in North America, which will produce the innovative MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® Airless Radial Tire™ for commercial applications.

An idea first conceived by Michelin research engineers in the United States, the TWEEL is a revolutionary non-pneumatic tire that changed the configuration of a conventional tire, bringing together the tire and the wheel assembly into one solid unit. The TWEEL comprises a rigid hub connected to a shear beam by means of flexible, deformable polyurethane spokes, all functioning as a single unit.

New Tweel Plant

New Tweel Plant

Unlike conventional tires, the TWEEL has no air, thereby solving what had seemed to be the unavoidable challenge of chronic flat tires that plagues the landscape, construction, contracting, refuse/recycling and agricultural industries.

Tweel 1

“The TWEEL being built here in South Carolina is yet another dramatic example of Michelin’s long-standing commitment to breakthrough innovation,” said Pete Selleck, Michelin North America chairman and president. “The TWEEL concept was born at Michelin Americas Research Company in Greenville, S.C., one of Michelin’s three global technology centers, and now the Tweel will be manufactured right here in the Greenville area to satisfy a growing commercial market.”

The new plant gives Michelin the ability to boost output of its award-winning MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® SSL skid-steer tires and begin production of the new MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® TURFTM as original equipment for John Deere to equip its ZTRAKTM 900 Series line-up of zero-turn commercial mowers.

Tweel“Differentiating us from competitors, the TWEEL airless radial tire is the industry’s first commercialized airless radial solution and verifies Michelin’s leadership for the next generation of mobility,” said Ralph Dimenna, head of Michelin Tweel Technologies. “The TWEEL airless radial tire enables Michelin to enter new markets and expand its reach in existing business segments within the low-speed application category. The industry is hungry for solutions contributing to productivity, safety and bottom lines. Serving our customers is at the center of our strategy for success.”

The new 135,000 square-foot facility in Piedmont, S.C., represents Michelin’s 10th manufacturing facility in South Carolina and the 16th in the U.S. The company will invest about $50 million in the new plant.

“Michelin has been a global leader for over 125 years, and we are proud to say they have been part of the South Carolina family for over 40 years,” said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. “Michelin is a leader in the tire industry, and they are innovative in their product development, which continues to put South Carolina on the world stage.”

About MICHELIN® X® TWEEL®

Originally introduced as a concept at the 2005 North American International Auto Show, the X TWEEL is Michelin’s highly advanced airless radial tire and is the only commercial product available to offer the advantages of no maintenance, no compromise and no downtime. It performs with traditional radial tire technology but requires no air, thereby eliminating the risk of a “flat tire.” Desperate to find a solution to reduce their flat-tire downtime, many industrial users resort to alternatives that result in diminished traction, handling and ride comfort. The X TWEEL provides the advantages of no air pressure maintenance, easy mounting, damage resistance, increased operator comfort, reduced operator fatigue, improved productivity and longer wear life than pneumatic tires.

To learn more about the MICHELIN TWEEL, visit www.michelintweel.com

Wells Fargo Reports: Existing Home Sales Rise Again in October

Existing home sales rose 1.5 percent in October to a 5.26 million rate from an upwardly-revised 5.18 million unit pace in September. In typical cyclical fashion, listed inventories fell 2.6 percent to 2.22 million units.

Existing Home Sales Rise for Second-Straight Month

  •  Sales activity in the resale market continued to strengthen in October, increasing to its highest level this year. Distressed sales remained low in October, garnering just 9 percent of total sales. Despite fewer bargain homes in the market, all-cash transactions rose 3 percentage points to 27 percent in October. The share of first-time home buyers remained stuck at 29 percent for the fourth month in a row.

Mortgage Purchase Applications Firming

  •  Mortgage applications for the purchase of a home rose for the second-straight week in November following a string of weak readings in mid- to late October. For the week ending November 14, purchase applications hit its highest level since June. Normalization in lending standards and further strengthening in the labor market will be key drivers to an even more robust housing market in 2015.

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Komatsu America Introduces the PC210LCi-10 Hydraulic Excavator

Meet the world’s first intelligent Machine Control excavator

Komatsu America introduces the PC210LCi-10 intelligent Machine Control excavator to the North American market. The PC210LCi-10 features Komatsu’s unique machine control and guidance technologies, built upon the successful foundation of the standard Komatsu PC210LC-10 excavator. Thanks to the exclusive control function, the PC210LCi-10 goes beyond simple guidance to semi-automatically limit over-excavation and trace a target surface. From rough digging to finish grading, the PC210LCi-10 excavator offers improved efficiency and accuracy over traditional methods.

PC210LCi-10_1

“The PC210LCi-10 represents a huge leap forward by bringing automation features to excavators,” said Jason Anetsberger, Product Manager of Intelligent Machine Control. “Thanks to the exclusive semi-automatic control function, customers will unearth their productivity and operators can focus on moving material while the machine semi-automatically protects the target surface.” Anetsberger added, “The efficiency improvement, greater value and operation simplicity of the PC210LCi-10 mirror what has been proven with Komatsu’s established intelligent Machine Control dozer products: experienced and inexperienced operators alike will realize the benefits.”

With an operating weight of 52,036 pounds and a net horsepower of 158 hp the PC210LCi-10 is powered by a Komatsu SAA6D107E-2 engine and is EPA Tier 4 Interim and EU Stage 3B emissions certified. 

Innovative: Automatic Real Time Digging Control

The bucket of the world’s first intelligent Machine Control excavator is semi-automatically limited from digging beyond the target surface. The control function also semi-automatically follows the design surface allowing for accurate finish grading, with real-time bucket edge positioning in relation to the machine and the job surface.

Integrated: Standard Factory Installed Integrated Machine Control System

Factory installed, Komatsu’s fully integrated intelligent Machine Control system includes GNSS antennas, stroke-sensing hydraulic cylinders for the boom, arm and bucket plus an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), for precise real time bucket edge positioning. Status is instantly displayed on the full color, multi-function 12.1” control box monitor, eliminating the wait time associated with conventional sensors.

PC210LCi-10_2

Intelligent: Enhancements for Optimized Performance

The Komatsu PC210LCi-10 allows the operator to focus on moving material efficiently, aided by the intelligent Machine Control technologies. The touch screen control box monitor makes grading easy and accurate with a facing angle compass, a light bar and audio guidance. Information such as real-time “as-built” status, a magnified fine grading view or a 3D-view may be displayed simultaneously.

PC210LCi-10_3

Customer peace-of-mind is standard

Both the base machine and intelligent Machine Control technologies are fully supported by specially trained distributor-based Technology Solutions Experts. Every customer who purchases a PC210LCi-10 has the support of Komatsu intelligent Machine Control certified personnel.

Komatsu remains focused on lowering the customer’s ownership costs by engineering machines with increased fuel efficiency and productivity. To further reduce owning and operating costs, Komatsu CARE® complimentary scheduled maintenance is standard on all PC210LCi-10 excavators for three (3) years or 2,000 hours (whichever occurs first). Services are performed by factory-certified technicians using only Komatsu genuine parts and fluids.

The PC210LCi-10 is equipped with KOMTRAX® remote monitoring technology, which sends machine operating information to a secure website or smart phone application utilizing wireless technology. Data such as fuel level, operating hours, location, cautions and maintenance alerts are relayed to the web application for analysis. The KOMTRAX® fleet monitoring system helps increase machine availability, reduces the risk of machine theft, allows for remote diagnosis by the distributor, and provides a wealth of other information to drive business efficiency and productivity.

Komatsu product engineers said that the machine can help improve productivity significantly while reducing costs. The intelligent machine controls can virtually eliminate the need for correcting “over dig” a time consuming and material-wasting process that results from removing too much material

According to some of the comments that were made, the intelligent machine control will make a good operator great and new operators become better quicker.

EarthCam: Official Construction Time-Lapse Available for SF-Oakland Bay Bridge Anniversary

This is a spectacular time-lapse viewing of the construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It’s five years, 42,000 hours condensed into minutes.

EarthCam’s Time-Lapse Documents San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Construction

WHAT: Today marks 78 years since the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic. During the Bay Bridge East Span Replacement from 2008-2013, EarthCam documented more than 42,000 hours of construction and archived nearly 2 million images.

WHY: On November 12, 1936, the first cars drove over the bridge and now nearly 250,000 vehicles cross it every day. During the East Span Replacement project, workers constructed a safer, more durable structure. Watch five years of work on the $6.4 billion bridge come together in four minutes with EarthCam’s official time-lapse!

HOW: See five years of construction and nearly two million images of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project with EarthCam’s time-lapse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDUIYZKlknk.

EarthCam’s Time-Lapse Documents San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Construction

WHAT: Today marks 78 years since the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic. During the Bay Bridge East Span Replacement from 2008-2013, EarthCam documented more than 42,000 hours of construction and archived nearly 2 million images.

WHY: On November 12, 1936, the first cars drove over the bridge and now nearly 250,000 vehicles cross it every day. During the East Span Replacement project, workers constructed a safer, more durable structure. Watch five years of work on the $6.4 billion bridge come together in four minutes with EarthCam’s official time-lapse!

HOW: See five years of construction and nearly two million images of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project with EarthCam’s time-lapse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDUIYZKlknk.

Connect with EarthCam!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/earthcaminc

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/earthcam

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/earthcam

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/earthcam

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/earthcaminc

BuzzFeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/earthcam

ABOUT EARTHCAM

EarthCam is the global leader in delivering webcam content, technology and services. Founded in 1996, EarthCam provides live streaming video and time-lapse construction cameras for corporate and government clients in major cities around the world. EarthCam’s revolutionary gigapixel camera systems deliver superior billion pixel clarity for monitoring and archiving the world’s most important projects and events. Most recently, EarthCam launched ConstructionCamTV, a new 24-hour “TV channel” devoted to live construction cameras and educational time-lapse movies. In 2013, EarthCam’s technology documented more than $120,000,000,000 of construction work.

Projects documented by EarthCam include: National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Barclays Center, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Statue of Liberty and Washington Monument Restoration, New NY Bridge, Panama Canal Expansion, Smithsonian Institution Restoration, Brickell City Centre, Minnesota Vikings Stadium, Disneyland, Los Angeles International Airport, Denver Station, George W. Bush Presidential Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, Louvre in Abu Dhabi, Levi’s Stadium and National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Learn more about EarthCam’s innovative solutions at www.earthcam.net.

Connect with EarthCam!

 

ARTBA Reports: Another Big Election Winner: Transportation Funding Initiatives

Nearly 70% Approved by Voters Across the Nation, ARTBA Report Shows  

Voters across the nation again demonstrated they strongly support increased investment in transportation improvements, approving 60 of 90 (67 percent) transportation-related initiatives that were on the November ballot, according to a report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center (ARTBA-TIAC).

The measures will provide nearly $21 billion in additional in revenue for transportation projects, the ARTBA-TIAC’s post-election analysis finds.

“These election results show, once again, the public wants our government to invest in our mobility and safety and are willing to pay for it,” ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane said.  “It doesn’t make a difference whether it is a Republican- or Democratic-leaning state.   The newly-elected Congress and the White House must take note and do their job and permanently fix the Highway Trust Fund.  Transportation funding cannot remain frozen in the ice of political inertia and partisanship.  The states rely on federal funds for, on average, 52 percent of their highway and bridge capital investments.”

Texans approved the largest state funding initiative, redirecting nearly $1.2 billion in oil and gas revenues from the state’s rainy day fund for transportation.  Voters in Maryland (81 percent) and Wisconsin (80 percent) overwhelmingly approved measures to ensure that transportation-related revenues are used exclusively for their intended purpose, and not diverted to non-transportation programs.  With support of 60 percent of voters, Rhode Island voters also approved a statewide $35 million bond proposal.  A Louisiana proposal to approve creation of a state constitutional amendment establishing a state infrastructure bank was defeated.

Of the county and local initiatives:

  • 20 of the 32 measures (63 percent) to increase a gasoline or general sales tax for transportation investment were approved.
  • 13 of the 14 measures (93 percent) to issue local bonds for transportation investment were approved.
  • 23 of the 35 measures (66 percent) to increase property taxes for transportation investment were approved.

Historically, voters have approved ballot measures to increase transportation revenues, including 86 percent of initiatives in 2013, 68 percent in 2012, 55 percent in 2011, 61 percent in 2010, 78 percent in 2008, 63 percent in 2007, 77 percent in 2006, 83 percent in 2005, and 76 percent in 2004.  In sum, over the past 10 years, voters have approved an average of 72 percent of the measures.

TIAC, which was launched by ARTBA in March, is an online educational platform that features detailed case studies of recent transportation funding campaigns—both successful and unsuccessful—mounted in numerous states.  It includes television, radio and print ads, polling, an overview of state and local funding and finance mechanisms, and an ongoing blog detailing new developments across the nation.

Established in 1902 and headquartered today in the Nation’s Capital, ARTBA is the “consensus voice” of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry.