MILAN, Italy (June 18)—Pirelli S.p.A. has developed a continuous compound mixing system it claims uses 20-percent less energy, reduces batch variability by 70 percent, cuts process time by about two-thirds and raises productivity by 25 percent. The invention—dubbed CCM, for continuous compound mixing—is based on two pneumatically fed double-screw extruders working together and was developed alongside the firm's Modular Integrated Robotized System for tire manufacturing. The pilot plant is operating adjacent to the MIRS tire manufacturing line at Pirelli's Bicocca, Italy, factory. Put together over the past 24 months at a cost of $9.4 million, the CCM occupies an area of 8,600 square feet and can produce 635 pounds of compound an hour. At full capacity, the CCM should turn out more than 2,500 pounds an hour, Pirelli said. The CCM is covered by a range of global patents.