KOBE, Japan (June 16, 2009)—Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. is building a $56 million tire technical center at its Kobe headquarters as part of its 100th anniversary celebration this year.
The 86,000-sq.-ft. facility will replace a smaller center when it opens later this summer. It will be powered by “clean energy” generated by wind power, solar power and biomass that can help reduce CO2 emissions, Sumitomo said, as well as a rooftop garden and other amenities to improve the working atmosphere.
Sumitomo said the upgraded tech center will help it accelerate the development of eco-friendly products such as tires that are free of fossil resources and tires with a 50 percent reduction of rolling resistance.
Sumitomo also has established a manufacturing training center at its Shirakawa, Japan, plant, where the company will train the next generation of tire workers, tapping into the knowledge and expertise of a generation of employees nearing retirement age.