On 11 October, a 59/80R63 radial engineering tyre rolled off the production line at Aeolus’s Jiaozuo manufacturing base. This giant OTR tyre has a diameter of over four metres and a weight of nearly six tons. It is mainly used for giant mining weighing about 400 tons.
According to local news sources, the Michelin earthmover tyre factory in Starr, South Carolina will reopen today. The Anderson Observer writes that the facility’s reactivation will be made official at an event held at the plant today.
The entry of Belarus-based tyre maker Belshina into the giant tyre market comes another step forward with the successful testing of the 57- and 63-inch tyres at quarry sites. The tyres were fitted to 360 and 450 tonne payload BelAZ dump trucks; Belshina has been approved as an original equipment supplier to the manufacturer, whose BelAZ 75710 is said to be the highest capacity haul truck in the world. Belshina reports that the results of these operational tests are a prelude to volume production.
The 63-inch OTR radial is a standard fitment on many large mining vehicles, yet the limited customer base for these behemoths and the complexities involved in their production means only a handful of tyre makers deal with this particular tyre size. The list of 63-inch OTR tyre manufacturers may be a short one, but one further name has now been added – Triangle.
The northwest region of India’s Gujarat state is home to large areas of desert where you may encounter thorny shrubs, packs of wild animals – and a state-of-the-art US$500 million tyre factory. On a 312 acre site, Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT) has erected one of the largest off-road tyre plants in the world, a facility capable of producing 325 tonnes of tyres per day. Tyres & Accessories visited in early December.
Citing “weak market conditions that are not expected to improve during 2016,” Titan International has given word of layoffs that will take place at its Bryan plant in the US state of Ohio. The layoffs will begin on 8 February 2016 and affect at least 130 employees. The tyre maker anticipates these layoffs will be temporary and last a minimum of six months, however some may become permanent should market conditions fail improve.
Every year, Indian off-road tyre specialist Balkrishna Industries Ltd. invests three to four per cent of its turnover into research and development, and through this focus the company is able to bring 60 to 80 new types of tyre to market annually. The reported average development time for these tyres is six to eight weeks.
Michelin North America says operations at its giant earthmover tyre factory in Starr, South Carolina will be suspended by the end of this year in response to a slowdown in global demand for these products. The decision to put production at the relatively new factory on hold will effect some 100 employees; Michelin says they will be offered jobs at other Michelin facilities in the area.
Belarus-based tyre maker Belshina JSC says its goal of producing 63-inch tyres for mining trucks should be realised by the end of next year. The company reports that modernisation of the milling facility at its Babruysk plant is currently taking place, and according to the project’s schedule further equipment for upgrading the plant will begin arriving in January 2016. A group of Belshina specialists will also complete tyre building training at a location within Europe in the coming months and will assemble prototype tyres ahead of the first Belshina 63-inch OTR tyres leaving the factory some time in 2016.
On 20 May 2015, Uniroyal celebrated the golden anniversary of its ‘Giant Tire’. The 80 foot (24.4 metre) tall model tyre – the largest ever made – was feted by an event at its home in the Detroit suburb of Allen Park. The Giant Tire sits at the entrance to the site where the Uniroyal – now part of the Michelin Group – sales office was formerly located.
Bridgestone Americas has opened its giant off-road radial tyre facility in Aiken County, South Carolina. Kazuhisa Nishigai, COO and board Member of Bridgestone Corporation, and Gary Garfield, president and CEO of Bridgestone Americas, were joined at a grand opening ceremony for the 140,000 square metre (1.5 million square feet) plant by state and local dignitaries.