Bridgestone is enhancing its tyre development capabilities in the USA with an expansion to its Americas Technology Center campus in Akron, Ohio. The project includes the construction of a new vehicle dynamics test track that will facilitate the development of future tyre technologies by allowing team members to drive prototypes first-hand and thus quickly ascertain which further enhancements are necessary. The track will also supplement tyre testing operations currently performed at Bridgestone’s Proving Grounds in Texas, Ohio, Mexico, and South America.
Akron Rubber Development Laboratory, Inc. (ARDL) has purchased all Experimental Services Inc’s (ESI) assets on 16 October, ARDL announced in a statement on 5 November. ESI describes itself as, “An engineering laboratory for engineers and researchers.” Providing static, dynamic, fatigue and vibration testing for the past thirty years, ESI’s focus has “allowed it to become the best at what it does” ARDL stated.
Triangle Tire USA has named Brad Wurst as senior development engineer of A3T, the company’s technical centre in Akron, Ohio. Wurst joins Triangle from Smithers where he has worked since March 2018. Prior to Smithers, Wurst spent more than seven years with Cooper Tire & Rubber, including a one-year assignment as a truck tyre development engineer at the company’s facility in Shanghai, China. Before that Wurst was spent 20 years with Bridgestone Americas.
Smithers, which provides testing and consultancy services, has upgraded its low temperature retraction instrumentation and capabilities at its rubber physical testing laboratory in Akron, Ohio. According to the company, the new instrument offers improved temperature control for low temperature retraction and the instrument is said to be significantly more efficient, which will improve turnaround times for customers.
According to a report emanating from Goodyear’s hometown, the tyre maker intends to bring its regional headquarters for Latin America back to company headquarters in Akron (Ohio, US) next year. The Akron Beacon Journal wrote on 16 December that efforts to relocate the headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil will begin early in 2015 with the transfer of senior management to Akron. Goodyear will spend several months evaluating which other positions it will move from São Paulo to the US, the Akron Beacon Journal added. The headquarters has been based in São Paulo since 2005, after it was moved from Akron.
Goodyear has confirmed what many must have already realised – tyre makers build factories in economically favourable sites. The US doesn’t top any list of low-cost locations, and therefore the bid its home town launched to host a new factory planned for the Americas was always going to be a long shot. Akron City Council nevertheless declared itself “willing to do what it takes” to host the new plant – but its hopes have now been dashed by Goodyear’s chief financial officer, who has sent word that Akron – where Goodyear last produced car tyres in 1977 – is considered too costly.
The world’s top golfers will once again descend on Akron in the US as the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational returns to the Firestone Country Club’s South Course between 31 July and 3 August. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational is one of four in the WGC series, the international golf tournament organised by North American tour organiser PGA TOUR. The top players of the six major global tours – the PGA Tour, European Tour, Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia, and Sunshine Tour – and players in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings are eligible to compete in the tournament.
The shortlist of locations for Goodyear’s new factory in the Americas is said to include Brazil, Columbia, Mexico and the US. It goes without saying that numerous factors will be weighed up before a final decision is reached, and we can expect regional councils and development agencies to try and make their local area as attractive to Goodyear as possible. Authorities in the tyre maker’s hometown have been the first to officially show their interest.