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Bridgestone to expand use of AI-based manufacturing system

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Bridgestone Examation
Photo by Bridgestone Corp. Bridgestone plans to install its Examation tire assembly system at plants in Tatabanya, Hungary, and Ulyanovsk, Russia.

TOKYO—Bridgestone Corp. plans to install its artificial-intelligence-based Examation tire assembly system at plants in Tatabanya, Hungary, and Ulyanovsk, Russia, in order to improve quality and raise productivity at those facilities.

Bridgestone disclosed earlier this year the development of the Examation system which uses artificial intelligence to control the optimal placement of all components in a tire. The company claims this results in an improvement of uniformity of 15 percent or more.

Examation is derived from Evolutional/innovative X attractive plus automation.

Bridgestone is using the system at its Hikone, Japan, plant, where it was developed.

The installation of the Examation system at Tatanbaya will play a role in an expansion project under way at the 8-year-old that will increase daily capacity to 18,000 units by early 2017.

Bridgestone also is installing the system at its $375 million passenger tire plant in Ulyanovsk, which is scheduled to begin production before year-end.

Bridgestone will continue developing and deploying “innovative production technologies to strengthen its production competitiveness while at the same time seeking to provide customers with even higher quality products.”

The new system minimizes the amount of employee hands-on activity in the tire building process, Bridgestone said, thus enabling high-precision manufacturing. The new system also integrates the data generated in the tire building process into the entire factory’s operating system, thereby contributing to the process capability improvements of the entire plant.