A new manufacturing facility in Dudelange, Luxembourg has officially been opened by Goodyear. Following a US$77m investment in the new facility and its Industry 4.0 digital manufacturing processes, manufacturing for large rim diameter passenger tires will now be four times faster than previously used methods.
The facility is the first of its kind for the company and Goodyear aims to learn, test and mature a wide range of technology as production capability increases. Within the new factory, a new process developed by Goodyear engineers will focus on the small-batch production of large rim diameter ultra-high performance and ultra-ultra-high performance tires. This process enables the tire maker to produce tires four times faster than when using a standard production cycle, resulting in increased efficiency.
Goodyear states the process anticipates and responds to increasing complexity in the tire industry. With a focus by OEMs on large rim diameter tires and there being a multitude of vehicle models and options available to consumers, the need for developing and producing UUHP tires in small-batch quantities on-demand for replacement and original equipment customers is increasing.
The latest technology requires a new skillset, and Goodyear has hired 90 staff for the facility and plans to recruit 20 additional electromechanical technicians in the near future.
“We needed to design this integrated product and process to deliver for the changing needs of the market. By doing so, we are enabling a new business model to serve our customers and consumers in this important and increasingly complex part of the market,” said Chris Helsel, senior vice president, global operations and chief technology officer, Goodyear. “The new process will give us a competitive advantage, targeting world-class quality and responsiveness.”
“The company’s new manufacturing facility in Dudelange is confirming the assets of the Grand Duchy as a destination for high-tech industrial investment by international groups,” said Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy of Luxembourg.