Yokohama Opens Second Onomichi OTR Plant

Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., held an opening ceremony for the second plant at its Onomichi site in Japan on 22 October. The plant is located in Onomichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture, and specialises in the manufacture of off-the-road (OTR) tyres. Tooru Kobayashi, director and corporate officer of Yokohama Rubber, announced that the company would further increase production capacity at the Onomichi plant by another 2.2 times above its 2007 production to 2,500 tons a month by the end of 2012. Approximately 60 guests attended the opening.

Yokohama Rubber reports that it is “aggressively investing” in plant and equipment in the face of continued strong demand for OTR tyres. The second plant has been designed to manufacture middle- to small-sized radial tyres with internal diameters of 25, 33 and 35 inches for use in wheeled cranes and dump trucks of the 30- to 75-ton class – tyres that are in strong demand around the world. Yokohama Rubber has invested 3.5 billion yen (over £15 million) since February 2006, with full operation scheduled to begin in October 2008.

Yokohama Rubber held the opening ceremony in order to commemorate the start of full-fledged production of 25-inch tyres this month. By October, 2008, when the second plant begins full operation, the total production capacity at the Onomichi plant will reach 1,620 tons a month, an increase of 1.5 times that of February 2006. At the same time, the plant’s radialisation ratio will reach 40 per cent.

The first phase of additional investment will see Yokohama invest 5 billion yen in increasing the production capacity of super-large tyres for use in dump trucks of the 100- to 250-ton class by the end of this year. In addition, the company also plans to expand the production capacity of middle- to large-sized tyres for large industrial vehicles for use in port, vehicles for use in underground mines and dump trucks of the 30- to 100-ton class.

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