ERJ staff report (TB)
Akron, Ohio -- Goodyear, which recently announced plans to produce its own line of 63-inch radial OTR tyres, is on schedule for a full production launch of the tyres in the first half of 2011, said John Cavanaugh, vice president of Goodyear's off-highway tyre business.
The Akron-based tyre maker is working to add capacity at its Topeka, Kansas, plant, where it will produce E4 and E3 treads in sizes 53/80R63 and 59/80R63.
â€œThe setup of equipment, manufacturing processes and workflow are being planned now,â€ Mr. Cavanaugh said. â€œWe are on track to have production under way in the first half of 2011.â€
Mr. Cavanaugh did not disclose Goodyear's investment in its line of giant OTR tyres, but he said that the state of Kansas is contributing funding that will be used on the project.
Goodyear is the latest tyre maker to add a 63-inch tyre to its line among a group that also includes Bridgestone Corp., Group Michelin and Titan International Inc., which produced its first 63-inch OTR radial in 2008. In addition, Eurotire Inc. plans to produce a 63-inch tyre at its plant in Romania, while a few Chinese companies also list them among their product offerings.
Mr. Cavanaugh said several factors-including availability of funds and other investment priorities-contributed toward the Goodyear's decision to hold off on a 63-inch tyre until now.
As far as plans go for a tyre with a larger rim diameter than 63 inches, Mr. Cavanaugh said Goodyear's first priority is to focus on â€œadding only the 63-inch tyre to our production, but we will monitor changes in mining equipment in the future.â€
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)