Bridgestone has chosen its Puente San Miguel plant in Spain to launch a new product line focused on 24in radial truck tires. It is hoped this will give a significant boost to the business in the region, and it will enable combined agricultural and truck tire manufacturing at the same time.
Approximately US$28.2m (€24m) will be invested in new machines and the infrastructure required to increase production and improve overall plant efficiency. Technologies including robots, auto-guided vehicles, high accuracy testing and production machinery will be installed.
This investment supplements another US$41m (€35m) earmarked under the 2018-2021 strategic plan devised for the Puente San Miguel plant. It adds to the investment announced last year in Burgos of US$82m (€70m).
It has been estimated that production will come online in 2019.
Bridgestone expects it will require 40 temporary members of staff in the initial launch years to stabilize production, raising employment levels in the area of the river Besaya. This hiring process will begin in a few weeks.
Plant manager Kepa Hernández said, “News of this kind does not only improve the expectations of the Bridgestone workforce, but also of many other local companies that are already working indirectly for Bridgestone and are involved in projects aimed at upgrading facilities and investing in actions like this.”
It has been estimated that daily production figures will climb to 500 tires per day, increasing the current capacity for agricultural products, which with the implementation of technological improvements, will allow the plant to be run more efficiently and achieve a higher level of competitiveness in what is a very tough global market.