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Innovation
In an effort to raise road safety, a new prototype for an airless tire was produced by Michelin, an automotive tire company in partnership with General Motors.

The prototype, called Uptis needs to be tested and approved before they become commercially available.  We expect to see them on models in 2024 at the earliest.  The partnership has plans to test the Uptis in Michigan on the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle within the year.

The Uptis prototype was created with two main objectives in mind. The first was to give the drivers of the road another layer of safety by eradicating the chance of flat tires or blowouts. The second was to reduce environmental harm by limiting the need for replacement or spare tires.

Uptis was first revealed in 2017 as Vision. The project hoped to develop the mobility of the future that would incorporate features like airless, 3D printed and renewable or bio sourced materials 

According to Michelin, the airless tires can work with all types of vehicles from autonomous self driving cars to all electric cars and many other applications.

The composite material that the tires are made of and the architecture removes the need for compressed air so the tires have an almost non-existent level of maintenance. There are around 200 million tires that are thrown away annually due to flat tires or penetrations from road hazards. Uptis removes the need to replace these 200 million tires, helping the environment by saving the raw materials used to make spare tires.

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Press Releases
From IronWorkers Magazine – August 2015 Local 401 Member Invents the “Cable Vault” to Protect Ironworkers In March 2014, Tom Scannell, an 18-year ironworker member of Local 401 (Philadelphia), attended a foreman’s safety meeting at the Local 401 meeting place hosted by Steve Rank, executive director of safety and health for the Iron Workers International, Susan Dachowski of Northwest Erectors and Michelle Paxton of Berlin Steel. At that meeting was discussed the importance of maintaining the integrity of the perimeter cables on a jobsite, and the responsibility, man-hours and liability involved with maintaining the perimeter and interior safety cables. Everyone involved with the erection of a high-rise building is well aware these cables are often removed or altered during the construction process. There are many reasons to alter the cables, whether it is for loading materials, better access to a particular trades work, working with a Lull or to create head room for clearance for a crane pick. Unfortunately, there have been many fatalities and serious injuries attributed to altering perimeter cables. On Tom Scannell’s way home from the meeting he had an idea to design a product that could prevent the removal of cable clamps on safety cables. Tom developed a working draft and prototype of the cable vault and realized there was a great potential for the product to prevent incidents involving the alteration of safety cables. The cable vault can be easily slid over safety cables and clamps immediately after using a cable dog, come-along and installing the cable clamps. Once the cable vault covers the safety cable and clamps, it is locked and cannot be removed without a key. The cable vault is made from HDPE high density polyethylene molded plastic, colored yellow for high visibility, reusable and durable for a shelf life of 2 ½ years, and designed to withstand extreme hot and cold weather conditions. Enser Corp., located in Cinnaminson, New Jersey, fabricates the cable vaults, a family owned company for over 40 years and proud members of American Made Matters. Tom Scannell’s cable vault product helps to prevent workplace incidents attributed to unauthorized removal of perimeter and interior safety cable systems. Congratulations Tom, another great safety innovation developed by a union ironworker. For more product information and to view a photo gallery and video on the cable vault, visit Tom Scannell’s website at cablevault.net or call (215) 708-0189.
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