Mark Goode

Director, Business Insights, Kal Tire Mining Tire Group

Supernova Award Category: 
AI and Augmented Humanity
The Organization: 

Kal Tire is one of Canada’s largest independent tire dealers and one of North America’s largest commercial tire dealers, with warehouses strategically located across Canada servicing more than 250 Kal Tire retail and commercial stores. Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group is an international leader in mining tire service and supply, servicing more than 150 mine sites across five continents. The company owns and operates six OTR retreading facilities located in Canada, the United Kingdom, West Africa, Chile, and Mexico. Kal Tire employs more than 6,500 team members. 

The Problem: 

Kal Tire Mining Tire Group is a trusted partner for more than 150 mine sites globally, providing essential support in managing all tire-related processes. Notably, mining tires are colossal, standing more than twice the height of humans and weighing up to 50 times more in some cases. The sheer size of these tires drives up expenses and safety issues as each tire service necessitates highly trained technicians employing specialized tools and processes.  

The goal is to maximize tire utilization and fleet availability; therefore, determining the optimal time for tire replacement without compromising safety is challenging and was determined based on operating hours, distance traveled, and other metrics. Tires replaced prematurely result in unnecessary downtime and cost, or tires that reach a critical point of wear increase the risk of tire explosions. Moreover, inadequate inventory of new and spare tires can lead to delays or earlier-than-planned new tire replacements, incurring substantial costs. Any downtime is disruptive and drives up expenses, leaving customers dissatisfied if service agreements are not met. 

The mining industry is also challenged in recruiting and retaining skilled personnel. Finding specialized individuals who can service equipment and tires while managing safety concerns is a daunting task. For example, a tire explosion can translate to a $5 million vehicle loss and pose a risk to human life.

The Solution: 

In response to the challenges faced in tire replacement, such as costs, safety, efficient maintenance scheduling, inventory management, customer satisfaction, and skilled professional recruitment and retention, Kal Tire has turned to Infor Augmented Intelligence (AIS).  With the aim to determine the optimal timing for tire servicing, with the right tires on hand, Infor AIS provides Kal Tire with pre-built ML solution templates along with expert data science and engineering professionals to help augment their business and drive rapid adoption of AI for various business opportunities.  

The data science approach was to leverage different data components of work order history, to predict tire replacement time.  Additionally, the approach is used to create inventory forecasts, ensuring that the right quantity of tires is available when needed.  

The Results: 

Utilizing AIS, the machine learning models generate forecasted numbers and a comprehensive list of work orders, replacing the past approach of manual estimates and calculations. These AI recommendations provide mine site tire operators with the insights they need to have better stock levels or the right mix of new and spare tires at the right time and execute the work orders identified as optimal tire replacement time.

AIS service predicts tire replacement time, driving more accurate forecasts and work orders, which result in improved site productivity, fleet availability, and safety.

  • More accurate and efficient maintenance schedules improve uptime, safety, and tire/vehicle lifespan
  • Optimal scheduling improves site productivity, drawing fewer resources from a limited pool of talent
  • Improvement in customer service with increased fleet availability and decreased safety risks
  • More strategically equipped to transition to the autonomous world  to eliminate labor-intensive, error-prone, and high-risk work

Infor AIS is key in providing the solutions for Kal Tire to transition to autonomous vehicles, addressing the recruitment and retention challenges in the mining industry. It’s difficult to find people to manage and replace tires on mine sites. With Kal Tire deploying autonomous vehicle inspection, more contracts can be fulfilled when no humans or inspectors are available. The goal is to reduce the 900,000 manual visual inspections conducted annually.

  • 30% reduced downtime due to more accurate tire forecasts  
  • 75+% Of New and Spare tire work orders forecasted within 14 days (compliance period) 
  • 45k optimal work orders generated each week across 150 mine sites, 1 work order per tire position. 
  • 1000 optimal work orders are recommended each week across 11 mine sites for the next 6 weeks. 
  • The Manufacturer tire performance analytics tool is available on a weekly basis.  
  • Use Case Video 
The Technology: 

6 years of work order data collected in Infor Data Lake to generate 45k short-term optimized work order prediction using ML models in Infor Coleman AI. The model is run weekly to predict the next work order for each tire position within the next 6 weeks. This helps the operator identify the tires that will require attention. Automated workflow: data transformation, ML Forecast and Optimization Models applied to data, predictions sent to the asset management system and reporting tools.

Disruptive Factor: 

In our data-driven world, having access to data is just the beginning. The real game-changer lies in the seamless interoperability of that data, enabling us to harness its power and make informed decisions. While AI is undoubtedly a key piece of the puzzle, it's not the sole ingredient for success. Equally important is the connectivity that bridges the gap between sensors, system processing, and the delivery of valuable insights to our field workers and customers. And this is where Infor shines brilliantly. 

What sets Infor apart is its exceptional Infor OS platform technology, which acts as the glue that brings everything together. Establishing seamless connectivity between systems is no easy feat, yet Infor OS achieves this efficiently, making it an invaluable asset. It's fascinating how this aspect often goes unnoticed and fails to generate excitement. However, it is these foundational building blocks that lay the groundwork for the successful utilization of AI. After all, engineering and the consistent movement of data in a usable form are the true heroes behind the scenes. 

Shining Moment: 

With the success of Infor Augmented Intelligence, we are confident in moving toward AI-enabled autonomous platforms. Doing tire-related work 100 times faster and without human intervention is unimaginable. Bringing Infor into the equation will provide the ‘glue’ or cloud technology needed to apply and scale AI to key workflows for site operators and technicians, especially the less experienced personnel, to make better decisions and feel confident in the decisions they make.

About Kal Tire Mining Tire Group

Kal Tire is Canada’s largest independent tire dealer and one of North America’s largest commercial tire dealers. In addition, Kal Tire’s Mining Tire Group is an international leader in mining tire service and supply — servicing more than 150 mine sites across five continents.