SEOUL, South Korea (Dec. 24)—Kumho Tire Co. Inc. has opened a tire plant in the port city of Pyeongtaek, South Korea.
The 426,100-sq.-ft. factory cost $84 million to build, and has an initial capacity of 6,000 tires a day, or 2 million a year, Kumho said. The facility is equipped with an automated production system that integrates up to nine manufacturing steps that reduce labor, raise productivity and increase flexibility.
The firm's automated production unit concept combines tire making steps such as calendering, extrusion and tire building into an integrated manufacturing system. The process reduces the length of the tire production line by a third, to about 2,600 feet, the company said.
One of the goals of developing the system was to allow the company to set up independent mini factories, located strategically, the firm said in its 2002 annual report. The new plant, which took two years to build, is located in the Poseung Industrial Complex in the Pyeongtaek area.
Kumho operates two other plants in South Korea, in Gwangju and Gokseong.