MARKETS

Tyre tech hub in Oz

JAPAN-based global tyre provider Bridgestone today has opened a development hub in the Hunter Valley to help mining and construction players in their cost-cutting regime, by getting the best out of their tyres.

Marion Lopez
Tyre tech hub in Oz

The Bridgestone Institute Global Mining Solutions (BIGS) is an industry first and will act as a global centre of excellence in tyre technology research and training.

BIGS will use data and concepts collected from Bridgestone’s global network of tyre production facilities and distributors to create industry-specific tyre solutions and packages, with for key goal to help miners and earthmovers prolong the life of their tyres.

To that end, Bridgestone said BIGS would not just focus on the tyre, but also on improving the quality of support services to ensure a tyre has “every opportunity to meet its maximum work-life”

“BIGS will not just be looking at the tyres, but at the tyre’s entire lifespan – from design, fitting, maintenance and inspection through to on-site servicing and engineering, rim management, repair, retreading and disposal,” BIGS managing director Tsuyoshi Kamiya said.

Research at BIGS will be seconded by training to ensure that the service solutions developed can be reproduced in any location around the world.

Kamiya said choosing to open BIGS in Australia was a testament to the country’s strength in mining.

He said the centre should help local and overseas players achieve better operational performance in the downturn caused by falling commodity prices.

“We could have established BIGS anywhere in the world, but Australia’s first-class resources and construction sectors make it an excellent location for us to develop the new technology and new integrated service packages to help reduce operating costs and downtime for our mining, construction and earthmoving clients,” he said.

“This is the first time anyone in the tyre sector has attempted this (based on Bridgestone’s industry knowledge), but Australia has the mining, construction and earthmoving technology, the qualified personnel and the infrastructure to make BIGS a huge success.”

Reflecting the importance Bridgestone places on BIGS, the site opening was attended by special dignitaries from Bridgestone Japan; vice president and senior officer international tyre business operations, Mitsuhira Shimazaki, and vice president and officer specialty tyre business and chief quality officer specialty tyre business, Tomohiro Fukuda.

It is expected BIGS would employ a number of specialists in the coming years and host dozens of trainees every year.

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