BIRMINGHAM, England (Oct. 27) — Dunlop Tyres U.K. Ltd. will invest $1.3 million in flexible manufacturing technology at its Fort Dunlop plant in Birmingham to upgrade the production of motorcycle racing tires.
The new technology includes advanced tire-building machinery that is designed to produce competition tires needed to suit the needs of specific riders, bikes, circuits and even climates during the Motorcycle Grand Prix season, the company said. The plant´s capacity for racing tires is about 300,000 annually with 300 employees in manufacturing research, logistics and administration.
In a prepared statement, Dunlop Tyres — a unit of Goodyear Dunlop Europe B.V. — said, "This machine not only constructs the body of the tire in a new way, it brings flexibility to the design and production process by precisely applying different elements and components to specific areas of the tire as it is being built."
The manufacturing system uses a sophisticated form of satellite navigation to map track surfaces, and these findings are analyzed by the system´s computer and the machine builds the tire accordingly, the company said.
"We can create tires with a variety of compounds across one tire tread face, optimized to the exact needs of each racing circuit. The circuit mapping means that we will design and build tires with specific compounds and construction elements to match the number of left- and right-handed corners on each lap, resulting in an asymmetrical tire that will precisely match the demands of the different cornering speeds, lean angles and surfaces of each circuit," the company said.
This new process will deliver "absolute accuracy and uniformity. Not only does this help the teams and riders, it improves efficiency in the production process by reducing waste in material, energy and time," said Jean-Felix Bazelin, general manager, Dunlop Motorsport.
Dunlop Tyres supplies racing tires to competitors in the international MotoGP championships and various national championships.