Bridgestone Corporation is investing 10.2 billion yen (£68.0 million) in “cutting-edge equipment” for certain facilities at its Shimonoseki plant in Japan, the company’s flagship production base for tyres used in mining and construction applications. Installation of this equipment is scheduled to begin next year and be completed by the end of 2025.
The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. has announced a global first, the development of a technology for efficiently producing butadiene from a biomass. It achieved this breakthrough via the ‘Bio-monomer Production Laboratory’, which the company established jointly with Riken and Zeon Corporation.
The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. has appointed Koji Watanabe to the position of Associate Officer, Deputy Head of Tire Development Div., Head of Tire Designing Dept. No.3. Previously he was Associate Officer, Deputy Head of Tire Development Div., Head of TBR Tire Design Dept.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has presented the “next evolution” of its proprietary Advanced 4D Nano Design materials development technology. The manufacturer of the Falken and (outside Europe) Dunlop tyre brands also reports it is utilising supercomputer technology to accelerate its work on materials simulation.
Bridgestone Corporation has released a new commemorative logo and webpage to mark the 90th anniversary of its founding. The company notes that as well as highlighting the anniversary milestone, the logo looks to the future that lies beyond. “It also expresses a commitment to pursuing innovation and swift progress while treasuring its connections with stakeholders.”
Akebono Brake Industry Co., Ltd., the well-known Japanese brake manufacturer, has admitted “inappropriate conduct” relating to periodic inspection reports destined for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) dating back to January 2001.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) is working to achieve carbon neutrality in its tyre manufacturing processes by 2050, and as part of these efforts recently began examining the possibility of utilising hydrogen energy within its major tyre factories in Japan. In order to “participate more actively in efforts to overcome the challenges involved in bringing about the hydrogen economy while also exchanging useful information with other companies and organisations,” SRI has joined the Japan Hydrogen Association.
Three Japanese firms are jointly conducting pilot testing that involves joining data gained from an internet-capable tyre with a road surface sensing system to map data. The trio – tyre maker The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd.; map and navigation technology specialist Zenrin Co., Ltd.; and technology company Alps Alpine Co., Ltd. – have now also begun studying ways to monetise this technology.
The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. has expressed pride in its inclusion in two stock indices that focus on companies with strong Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices – the FTSE4Good Index Series and the FTSE Blossom Japan Index. This is the 16th consecutive year that Yokohama Rubber has been included in the global FTSE4Good Index Series, and the company considers its continued selection further confirmation that its ESG activities and disclosure practices “meet the highest global standards.” It is also the fourth year in a row that Yokohama Rubber has appeared on the FTSE Blossom Japan Index.
Yokohama Rubber reports it has developed a system that utilises artificial intelligence to predict the physical properties of rubber compounds, and from this breakthrough that it achieved last December has produced a proprietary system that is already being used to design rubber compounds for Yokohama tyres. The manufacturer expects that the system’s ability to conduct a large number of virtual experiments will accelerate compound development, reduce development costs and lead to the development of better-performing products. In addition, the system will simplify the compound-creation process for less-experienced engineers.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) has announced the next evolution of Sensing Core, and says this latest update to its tyre sensing technology is “revolutionary”. In addition to tyre pressure, tyre load and load conditions, Sensing Core can now detect tyre wear.
Bridgestone Corporation has invested in NEXT Logistics Japan, a company established by truck manufacturer Hino Motors in 2018 to explore new technologies and solutions for the logistics industry. The new investor will work together with NEXT Logistics Japan on a new long-distance transportation scheme that aims to reduce the number of drivers required for road haulage.
As part of a range of structural changes taking effect on 1 April, Toyo Tires will draw upon its experiences making tyres for the demanding European market in order to benefit its development programme for other regions. The tyre maker is integrating its Europe/Module Development department, which currently operates under the Technology Development division within its R&D Headquarters, into the R&D Headquarters’ Replacement Tire Development department.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries has inaugurated a winter tyre test facility at its Nayoro Tire Proving Ground on the northern island of Hokkaido, one of its main development sites for winter tyres. The 3,000 square metre Nayoro Indoor ICE Field – NICE for short – is one of the largest indoor on-ice tyre testing facilities in Japan.
Outlining Bridgestone Corporation’s Mid-Long Term Business Strategy on 22 December, chief executive officer Shu Ishibashi spoke of the company’s plans through to 2023. The immediate priority has been to implement crisis management measures to address the impact of COVID-19; Bridgestone began implementing these in 2020, and the measures extend into this year. Beyond this, Bridgestone will work to rebuild earning power within the core Tire & Rubber business.