Research & Development
As the sole connection with the road, tyres form a crucial part of any vehicle. This is why properties such as traction, braking and steering performance on snow and ice and dry and wet surfaces are so important. We also require our tyres to have a low roll resistance, high wear resistance, long lifespan, premium comfort and the lowest possible sound production.
Technical Centre Enschede
The R&D activities within Apollo Vredestein take place at the Technical Centre Enschede (TCE). The main goal is the on-time production of innovative products with a distinct design and performance; products that are in line with the latest trends and market demands, and that can easily be manufactured. TCE also serves as a major knowledge source within the organisation.
TCE develops and manages constructions, processes and materials, in which – crucially –constructors, process managers and material technologists work closely together. Development and control at TCE Vredestein is divided over the Research, New Products and Current Products divisions. Additionally, the Testing division supports the research performed at these three divisions, while QEA helps secure the quality and environmental management of Apollo Vredestein.
The goal of the Research division within the R&D department is to develop, collate and make available relevant knowledge, testing methods and product concepts to Apollo Vredestein in a useable and accessible format.
This is achieved via medium-length project studies into tyre properties. The objective is to develop knowledge and transfer it to the other R&D divisions via concrete models, (new) testing methods, working methods, communication and direct support using means such as finite element simulations (FEM) of tyres, (innovative) material research and making the causal connection between indoor laboratory measurements and outdoor tyre tests.
The division actively involves all internal clients in its research. Additionally it has contacts with universities (for applied research) and renowned knowledge institutes in the Netherlands and abroad. These contacts can lead to financing and supporting (doctoral) research as well as offering work placements and thesis projects. The division also involves suppliers as a development partner.
In cooperation with Marketing and Sales, the New Products division develops the tyres of the future based on a careful analysis of client demands, market demands and technological developments in the automotive market. After the results have been translated into product requirements, they are used as the foundation for developments by the various disciplines. Constructors design and test a construction in a product; material technologists develop the various rubber compounds in a tyre (sidewall, tread, etc.); and designers develop attractive and functional treads and sidewalls. These developments are then combined at an interdisciplinary level within various projects to create tyres that excel in terms of performance, safety and design. This often occurs in close cooperation with clients and raw material suppliers, while the manufacturability of the new products is tested and optimised in a production environment.
The main task of the Current Products division is to continuously improve and manage processes and products. This includes optimising existing products and production processes as well as developing and making applicable new technologies.
Current Products is also responsible for the size range and introduction of new tyre sizes. In cooperation with raw material suppliers the division seeks cost-saving measures and product improvements via the use of new materials. In addition, Current Products guarantees the quality of the raw materials used in production and development.
The Testing division supports the entire development process by performing material analyses and tyre tests in its superbly equipped laboratory. The division also has facilities for performing a wide range of indoor tyre tests, while various types of test cars are available to evaluate tyres in a range of practical conditions. Another important task of the Testing division is to continuously stimulate innovation and improve testing methods.
Quality & Environmental Assurance
The Quality & Environmental Assurance (QEA) division monitors the quality and environmental management system in accordance with ISO/TS 16949 and ISO 14001 respectively. QEA supports the company in guaranteeing and continuously improving the quality and environmental aspects of our operational processes.