Tokyo – Bridgestone Corp. plans to increase capacity for radial aircraft tires at its plant in Kurume, Japan, to meet what it terms projected “strong medium-to-long-term global demand” for these tires.
Bridgestone is budgeting $20.1 million through year-end 2018 for the project, which the company said “will contribute to enhance the group's overall aircraft tire solutions operations and help Bridgestone better respond to the growing and ever more diverse needs of customers.”
Bridgestone did not quantify the size of the capacity expansion at Kurume, where it also produces passenger, light truck, agricultural, industrial and racing tires. Capacity is listed as 10,080 units a day.
The 85-year-old plant covers 4.6 million square feet and employs 1,089. The factory also is used as a training site for Bridgestone employees globally, playing “central role in fulfilling its mission of ‘Serving Society with Superior Quality’ for 85 years.
Bridgestone also produces radial aircraft tires at its 56-year-old plant in Tokyo, which is dedicated solely to that product.
The company also retreads aircraft tires at plants in China, Belgium, Japan and the U.S. and maintains sales and service companies in those countries as well.
Bridgestone is one of five major producers of radial aircraft tires worldwide, along with Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, Group Michelin, Goodyear and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. China’s Sentury Group is also growing in the sector.
Goodyear recently disclosed its own expansion plans, a $162 million investment at a plant in Phathumthani, Thailand.