A new Solution Center has been officially opened by Continental in Lousado, Portugal, next to the manufacturer’s tire plant. The new facility will house cross-functional teams working on the development of targeted digitalization topics.
The company has employed IT, artificial intelligence (AI) and applied analytics, e-commerce and industrial engineering specialists at the site to provide global support for the digitalization of tire solutions, production processes and business workflows at Continental Tires.
Continental states that the Solution Center will bring added value. A recent tire quality control project saw staff from Lousado and from the Applied Analytics & AI team at the Tires global research and development hub in Hanover work together to investigate ways to use AI in final inspections on tires. This collaboration will enable AI to detect miniscule non-compliances which cannot be seen naturally by the human eye. The gathered data will help experts to optimize tire production processes, with Continental planning to use this AI-assisted tire quality control at other tire factories.
Another team from the Solution Center is supporting the development of new digital fleet solutions while also refining existing technologies, including the ContiConnect tire management system. Parts of the IT infrastructure and the associated apps and web-based user interfaces required for the digital tire monitoring system were developed at the Solution Center.
“We are working systematically on digital tire solutions, e-commerce and Industry 4.0 applications,” explained Christian Kötz, head of the tires group sector and member of the executive board of Continental, at the opening ceremony. “At the Lousado side, highly skilled employees are supporting our global Tires team: with new digital business models and our ecosystem of digital solutions for our premium tires.”
Pedro Carreira, head of the Continental Tires plant in Lousado and one of the board members of the Solution Center, added, “Continental once more expands operations at its Lousado site. Our new Solution Center is right next to our state-of-the-art tire plant. Both will be working in close collaboration. And the nearby universities of Porto and Braga are ideal for the recruitment of highly skilled new employees.”