AKRON (Sept. 14)—The research and development unit of Netherlands-based VMI Group has come out with a unique drum for radial passenger tire assembly that it says will have a dramatic impact on the way tires are built. The tire carcass-building and shaping drum uses a set of mechanical arms that replace bladders and rollover cans presently used to make the carcass turn-up, the company said at the International Tire Exhibition and Conference. The new drum improves tire carcass uniformity, the firm said. The drum is designed for application in VMI´s single-stage radial passenger tire building machines, VRP 2020 and VRP 248/S, he said. It´s also suitable for retrofits to single stage machines and will be available in tire bead sizes up to 19 inches, the company said.