AKRON—Tyler L. Smith, 49, an engineer for Steelastic Co. L.L.C. who spent his career working on equipment in the tire and rubber industry, died July 26 after undergoing heart surgery.
Smith specialized in internal and intermeshing mixer design, installation and troubleshooting, and he worked on production lines at tire plants for all the major tire manufacturers. His friends described him as being a favorite of co-workers, customers and vendors.
He joined Steelastic in February and was involved in Apex machine installation and startups for Pirelli in Settimo, Italy; Cooper Tire in Tupelo, Miss., and Nexen in Yangsan, South Korea.
Before that he spent more than 20 years at Kobelco Stewart Bolling Inc. He started as a project engineer, moved up to team leader of the Banbury Mixer Group in engineering management, and spent the last six years as a sales application engineer. During that time he worked on equipment at every Bridgestone America plant, as well as every Goodyear factory that operates a rubber mixer.
Smith began his rubber industry career in 1983 at Cooper Tire in Findlay, Ohio, as a mold drafter. He later worked moved to Akron and worked as a tire mold designer at General Tire from 1985-86, and he then spent eight years with Quality Mold Inc.
He studied engineering and math at Owens Technical College and took additional courses in engineering and business at Kennedy Western.