ULVILA, Finland—Giti Tire Group has selected Cimcorp Oy to supply its car tire plant under construction in the U.S. with Cimcorp's "dream factory" turnkey automated logistics systems.
Cimcorp, a tire-handling and robotics systems supplier, said it will be responsible for the complete turnkey system, including all the automation equipment, total system control, project management and seamless integration.
Cimcorp called the contract a multi-million dollar deal. Singapore-headquartered Giti Tire budgeted $560 million for the 1.8 million sq.-ft. plant being built in Chester County, S.C.
"From the beginning, we decided to build an advanced tire-manufacturing facility equipped with the latest automation technologies," said Wu Zhicheng, general manager of the corporate equipment center at Giti Tire and responsible for the U.S. plant project. "Investment in Cimcorp's dream factory will ensure high throughput of high-quality tires."
The plant will be Giti's first in the U.S. and eighth worldwide; it has six in China and is a minority owner of Indonesia's P.T. Gajah Tunggal. The facility is expected to employ 1,700 and produce 10 million passenger and light truck tires annually when fully operational.
"Total control of the material flow and an optimized plant layout have allowed us to secure great space savings for Giti at its greenfield site," said Kai Tuomisaari, vice president of sales and projects, Cimcorp.
The plant is due on stream this year. The automated handling systems will be delivered and installed in three stages during 2017 and 2019, Cimcorp said.
The Cimcorp technology will carry out the handling and storage of raw materials such as natural rubber, polymer rubber, belt steel, bead wire and textile ply, and components such as calender rolls, belt carts, ply/inner liner carts, sidewall carts, tread carts and bead carts.
The automation technology will include conveyor systems for the unloading of the tire-building machines and transfer of green tires to the curing buffers; miniload automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) for green tire buffer storage; and monorail transfers for delivery to the presses.
Additionally, the system includes automation of the testing area, finished tire buffers and palletizing stations.
Automated equipment will be controlled by Cimcorp's warehouse control software (WCS), which will ensure availability of all materials at all process machines.
Cimcorp, which is owned by Japan's Murata Machinery Ltd. (Muratec) opened a U.S. sales and support office last year in Norcross, Ga. This enabled it to provide greater support to North American clients and growing warehouse and distribution market.
Rick Trigatti, Cimcorp's North America president, said the plant's location was ideal. He cited Norcross's central location within a growing "intralogistics" market, ease of airport access, proximity to major customers and access to skilled labor as reasons for settling there.
The company's North American headquarters, Cimcorp Automation Ltd., is located in Grimsby, Ontario.