Bridgestone Americas is to make an additional US$180m investment in its Wilson, North Carolina, passenger tire manufacturing facility, in addition to the US$164m that was allocated in January 2016.
As part of the program, the company is to install a new, state-of-the-art rubber mixer, which is expected to add 16 jobs, and implement innovative new manufacturing processes and technologies. Groundbreaking on the new 50,000ft² building addition for the new mixer is expected in spring 2017 with start of production slated for the autumn of 2018.
The multi-phase expansion will allow the plant to meet global demand for higher rim diameter tires, as well as improve quality and productivity while reducing costs. Combined, the project is adding manufacturing space to accommodate new tire assembly machines, materials handling systems, curing presses and associated equipment to increase plant capacity by 3,000 tires per day, bringing daily production to 35,000 tires by 2018.