Pirelli Signs Research Agreement
On February 22 the Pirelli Group signed an agreement to collaborate with Italy’s Piedmont Region, Turin Province, the Municipality of Settimo Torinese and the Politecnico di Torino University in the development of programmes for research and innovation; specifically, the agreement covered the building of a new Pirelli industrial complex in the territory of Settimo Torinese.
The agreement includes the introduction of cutting edge technologies in Pirelli’s industrial facilities in Settimo Torinese, where the company’s tyre sector research is focused. These technologies include: next generation MIRS, which Pirelli refers to as “a significant evolution” in the automated process of tyre manufacturing and guarantees product quality and uniformity; the Cyber Tyre, an “intelligent” tyre containing sensors that will be able to transmit information pertinent to driving and control of the vehicle; and TSM, a new process for mixing materials that offers high levels of quality and reliability.
An important part of these activities will be realised in collaboration with the Politecnico di Torino. In particular, a research centre for the Cyber Tyre will be established in the Politecnico Citadel.
The agreement, says Pirelli, is an important step in the relaunch and development of the company’s industrial presence in Settimo Torinese, a connection Pirelli began more than 60 years ago. This development includes the creation of a new and more competitive industrial pole for the production of car and truck tyres, focused on the use of innovative technologies.
The new facility, thanks to the implementation of the manufacturing technologies described above, will be the Pirelli Group’s most advanced operation worldwide. Total investment by Pirelli is to be in the area of 140 million euros, and work is expected to begin, following the completion of Italian authorisation procedures and filing of EU authorisation procedures, during or after the second quarter of 2008. The Settimo project stems, says Pirelli, from the fruitful collaboration between the tyremaker and local institutions and is based on four key elements: competitiveness, technology, quality and sustainability, which make it possible to maintain such an industrial presence in Italy, despite the trend towards greater manufacturing in low-cost countries that characterises the tyre industry, and an unfavourable macroeconomic context. The project has been shared with unions, with whom an agreement was signed in November 2007. It is, therefore, a systemic initiative, based on public-private accord, which the Piedmont Region will support with an economic contribution of up to 27 million euros, mainly targeted to finance the research and innovation activities. The role of the Municipality of Settimo Torinese is also essential, in order to allow an adequate urban planning solution to support the new facility.
The new facility at Settimo Torinese will allow for industrial, manufacturing, and cultural synergies to be realised, Pirelli adds. The possibility to serve the most demanding customer segments will be of fundamental importance. The facility will be qualified by a significant improvement in traditional processes and by the introduction of new technologies, with the aim of obtaining a product mix with greater added value – the facility’s principle focus will be upon the manufacture of high performance and ultra high performance tyres