In 2019 Nokian Heavy Tyres will begin building a new research and development center in Nokia, Finland. The facility will have an area of 11,482ft² (3,500m²) and will enable testing for all the company’s forestry and agriculture, mining and transportation tires to be done under one roof and near to the production lines; as a result, processes will be much more efficient.
The facility will be outfitted with modern machinery and systems enabling easy data collection. The demand for premium tires to carry out heavy-duty work is growing and new, bigger tires for bulkier machines are needed.
“In the history of Nokian Tyres, this will be the most remarkable investment in the product development of heavy tires,” commented R&D manager Kalle Kaivonen.
A year ago, Nokian Heavy Tyres announced an ongoing three-year investment in R&D and production of approximately 70m (US$80m) and a target of ramping up production output by 50%.
“Everything is on schedule. The first stage of the production plant expansion is complete, and the second part will be ready in April 2019. In summer 2019 we will start the installation of new machinery,” said Pasi Antinmaa, plant director at the company’s Nokia factory.
“The center will be filled with modern machinery. We can triple the number of tires tested and test more variables to serve our OEM clients with the highest standards,” said development manager Matti Kaunisto.
The company expects demand for its tires to increase in particular in the driverless machinery market, explained Kaunisto: “Unmanned tractors will be working among us in the future, and these machines need premium tires as well as comprehensive data to make steering safe and accurate.”