ROSEMONT, Ill. (June 18)—A coalition of robotics trade associations honored Pirelli Tire North America Inc. with the 2003 Robots & Vision User Recognition Award for its innovative robotic tire assembly process. Pirelli's Modular Integrated Robotized System, or MIRS, compresses the traditional tire making process, from raw materials intake to finished product, to 72 minutes from six days. The groups that sponsor the biennial award singled out MIRS for its modification to the traditional six-axis Comau robot to incorporate an additional auxiliary axis to provide drum rotation during the rubber application process. Pirelli has two patents on the process and has applied for five more, according to Andrew Kearton, director of manufacturing at Pirelli Tire in Rome, Ga., one of four Pirelli factories worldwide using MIRS. The award was announced at International Robots & Vision Show and Conference held earlier this month in Rosemont.