Hefei, China – Hefei Wanli is planning to complete the trial run in November for the phase-one project of its new tire plant in Hefei, Anhui, said to be the world’s first tire factory employing smart automation throughout processes from mixing to curing.
The machinery side of the trial was successful, and the company has finished testing about 80% of its MES system, Hefei Wanli’s general manager Shi Zheng told ERJ.
Phase I with €270 million investment contains 2 million unit annual capacity for truck and bus tires and is scheduled for full operation in May 2017.
There will also be a phase II project with 20 million passenger car tire capacity. The plant is able to reduce manpower needed by two thirds and raise productivity by 15 percent compared with industry average, according to Shi Zheng.
To make the production greener, the factory installed power generating facilities using steam pressure differential, saving €718,000 annually in energy costs. Its water recycling system also enables the factory to achieve zero wastewater discharge.
Set up in 2015, Hefei Wanli is a joint venture between China’s tire maker Wanli and auto maker JAC Motors. It has a total area of 333,000 square metres with 700 employees.