South Carolina plant extends company leadership in large and ultra-large earthmoving tires for mining and aggregates applications
Bridgestone Americas recently announced the opening of its first giant off road radial tire plant. Based in Aiken County, South Carolina, the 1.5 million-square-foot manufacturing facility produces various off road radial tire products used to equip heavy haul trucks in mining and aggregates applications. The new off road radial tire plant strengthens Bridgestone’s ability to meet the needs of its global customer base in this key market segment.
Kazuhisa Nishigai, COO and Board Member of Bridgestone Corporation, and Gary Garfield, President and CEO of Bridgestone Americas, were joined at a grand opening ceremony by South Carolina State Senator Nikki Setzler; South Carolina State Representative Bill Clyburn; South Carolina State Representative Bill Hixon; South Carolina State Representative Bill Taylor; South Carolina State Representative Don Wells; Aiken County Council Chairman Ronnie Young; and Aiken, Edgefield and Saluda Counties Economic Development Partnership President & CEO Will Williams.
“Bridgestone has made significant investments in technology and training to ensure we are producing the world’s leading off road radial tires in North America,” said Nishigai. “We remain highly committed to our mining customers around the globe and will continue to make the right investments for this important segment of our business.”
In 2011, Bridgestone announced a planned $970 million investment to build the company’s first U.S.-based off road radial tire plant, as well as expand production capacity at Bridgestone’s steel cord manufacturing facilities in Clarksville, Tennessee, and Saga, Japan. The opening of Bridgestone’s new Aiken County Off Road Radial Tire Plant completes the largest portion of this planned investment. The Clarksville and Saga locations are suppliers of the Aiken County Off Road Radial Tire Plant, as steel cord is a key component used to build large and ultra-large off road radial tires.
“Engineering large and ultra-large mining tires is a highly technical process, and Bridgestone has a long tradition of being a leader in bringing these tires to market. The opening of a new off road radial tire plant in South Carolina is a strategic business decision that will give Bridgestone the capacity to build these tires domestically and improve our supply systems globally,” continued Garfield. “Long term, the mining segment will grow, and we are now better-positioned to respond more quickly, efficiently and reliably to the needs of our customers.”
Bridgestone’s Off Road Radial Tire Plant is the second tire manufacturing plant Bridgestone has built in Aiken County, South Carolina. The company has operated a passenger tire facility in Graniteville since 1998. Approximately 350 people now work at the new Aiken County Off Road Radial Tire Plant, and Bridgestone expects to create an additional 200 positions when the location reaches full production in the next two to three years. At present, there are approximately 2,000 people working at Bridgestone’s two tire plants in Aiken County.
“South Carolina and Bridgestone have a long and successful history of working together, and we are excited to celebrate this next chapter in our growing partnership,” said Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina. “Bridgestone is a great South Carolina company, employing thousands of our citizens and playing an active and positive role in their local community. We look forward to seeing the new ORR plant reach full production and bring even more jobs to Aiken County.”
The new Aiken County Off Road Radial Tire Plant was constructed with many sustainable features and materials in alignment with Bridgestone’s global commitment to the environment. The plant is built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver construction specifications. In addition, sustainable and advanced technologies from Firestone Building Products, a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, were used throughout the facility. The new plant relies on UltraPly™ TPO roofing, ISO 95+™ insulation, UnaFoam™ Insulated Metal Wall Panels, pavers and geomembrane for retention ponds and water harvesting areas.
Overview of the Bridgestone Aiken County Off Road Radial Tire Manufacturing Facility:
Trenton, S.C. 29847
Start of Construction September 2011
Start of Operations August 2014
Plant Size 1.5 million square feet
Site Area 550 acres
Employees 550 employees and contract workers at full operation
I received the following in an e-mail today and it brought a flood of memories. I learned more about haul trucks, haul roads and the importance of haul road maintenance from “Phil” and LeRoy than you can imagine. Most of this information ended up as articles in a now long-gone magazine Equipment Management (EM) of which I was editor. It’s hard to believe that PHIL was started 45 years ago…
Congratulations to an innovator and a survivor. I hope the next 45 years are as interesting and exciting as the were.
Dear Greg Sitek:
November 4, 2014 marks the 45th Anniversary of Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. which was co-founded by L.B. “Phil” Philippi (Pat Hagenbuch’s Father) and LeRoy Hagenbuch, P.E. Since its founding, PHIL has grown into an international company focussing on innovations for haulage equipment that has a wide reach, yet retains its modest, family owned footprint here in Peoria, Illinois.
It all started with two shoe boxes that led to the first prototype of what would become our Autogate(R) Tailgate; a need was presented and a dream was born. Forty-five years, over a hundred patents, thousands of tailgates and hundreds of sideboards, truck bodies, water tanks, trailers and other specialty haulage equipment later and PHIL is going strong. From PHIL’s humble beginnings in the basement of the Philippi house on Millbrook Road to our current 50-acre campus, PHIL has grown from servicing Quarries to a diversified group of stable industries made up by the Aggregates, Mining, Steel Mill, Landfill, Power Plant, Oil Refinery, Heavy Duty Agriculture and Forestry markets.
Today, PHIL is led by the third generation of the Philippi and Hagenbuch families, ushering in new technologies, business practices, and products in an effort to further establish PHIL in the industries we serve through the dedication of our highly motivated tight-knit group of associates.
None of this would be possible without the support of our amazing clients, vendors, industry partners, licensees and the support of off-highway truck OEM’s. Thank you for helping us build such a legacy!
To commemorate this anniversary, the Associates of PHIL are putting together a milestone memory book. If you would like to share a story, picture of your PHIL product or a note of congratulations that will be included in the book, please click here.
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Caterpillar Inc. plans to shutter three component production facilities in Illinois, affecting about 170 jobs in Sterling and Dixon, moving the work to a similar facility in Michigan.
The sites, all Anchor Coupling facilities — a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar — make or distribute hydraulic hose assemblies for both Caterpillar and other equipment manufacturers. The work will be moved to an existing site in Menominee, Mich., in an attempt to cut costs and boost efficiency, the company said in a Friday afternoon news release.
“You’ve got three facilities spread out across two (locations) in Illinois that are doing essentially, primarily the same work as one facility is doing in Menominee,” company spokeswoman Rachel Potts said by phone Friday.
Combining them in the site about an hour northeast of Green Bay, Wis., will allow the company to eliminate some “redundancies in management structures” and internal logistics costs that come from having the work spread out over four locations, she said.
Production at the Illinois plants — one in Dixon and two in Sterling — will be slowed during the fourth quarter this year, and complete the consolidation in the first quarter of 2015, the company said in a news release.
Existing employees will have opportunities for relocation to the combined site, Potts said, though she could not cite the exact number of positions that would be available on the Upper Peninsula for Illinois-based workers to be considered.
The company eyed “a variety of locations across North America” before settling on the existing Michigan location, which will expand operations into a building across the street that Caterpillar currently leases, Potts said.
“In the end, the financial analysis just showed the team that the location in Menominee is a better location for efficiency reasons,” she said.
The analysis not only looked at overall business climate, but also at other costs. She said the Illinois sites also were reviewed, but would not detail what other locations in the United States or Mexico also were considered.
“We recognize that this decision will be difficult for our employees,” said Greg Folley, vice president with responsibility for Caterpillar’s Remanufacturing, Components and Work Tools Division, in a prepared statement. “We value and appreciate the work that our Sterling and Dixon employees have contributed and their dedication to producing and distributing quality products. This decision is not about the performance of these plants, but rather about improving efficiency across the component manufacturing footprint and reducing the cost structure driven by three independent facilities, while providing the highest quality products to our customers.”
This is the latest in a series of plant closures or consolidations for the company, which shed 10 percent of its total work force — about 13,000 employees — last year according to the International Business Times.
The shifts include the closure of a Pulaski, Va., coal hauler plant and the planned shutdown of a marine engine plant in South Carolina that was announced in April. Jobs at that latter facility are expected to be moved to other facilities in Georgia and Texas.
Chris Kaergard can be reached at 686-3135 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisKaergard.
Terex Completes Sale of Truck Business to Volvo for $160 Million
Terex Corporation (NYSE:TEX) today announced that it has completed the sale of its truck business to Volvo Construction Equipment for a purchase price of $160 million. The truck business manufactures and sells off-highway rigid and articulated haul trucks. Included in the transaction is the manufacturing facility in Motherwell, Scotland.
Source: Terex Corporation www.terex.com