Investment in innovation produces third-generation tyres

An investment project from tyre manufacturer Bridgestone in Poznań has allowed the company to diversify itself and introduce cutting edge products to market. Production capacity at the tyre plant has increased from 24 000 to 30 000 units per day and more than 200 jobs have been created.

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The cutting edge products are run flat tyres or RFTs, which enable a vehicle to continue driving on a punctured tyre for up to 80 km. As well as increasing safety and driver comfort, the tyres house an innovative cooling system, which gives them additional strength and durability.

There is also a marked reduction in rolling resistance (the amount of force resisting the motion when a tyre rolls on a surface), which diminishes the amount of fuel the car consumes, thereby reducing CO2 emissions.

Embracing technology

Bridgestone has also invested in new production technologies that use less heat and water and decrease emissions from tyre vulcanisation – a chemical process used to strengthen tyres. Emissions at the factory are therefore set to decrease.

An automatic point for sorting and stacking tyres was also built, as was a new tyre warehouse. Technical infrastructure was added to the plant, including an electrical system that supplies steam, air and nitrogen to the newly extended production halls.

In all, 201 new jobs have been created, mainly for operators of new machines acquired. In addition, five new posts have been added to the company's expanded research and development division.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Diversifying production by introducing innovative technological solutions in the tyre sector” is EUR 139 140 335, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 24 039 451 from the Operational Programme “Innovative economy” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. Work falls under the priority axis “Investments in innovative undertakings.”

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