THAILAND: Bridgestone rolls out Thai technical centre

The centre, which is the company's first facility of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan and China, will provide technical support across the region.

"As the markets in Asia continue to grow and diversify at a fast rate, Bridgestone believes that it is necessary to set up a technical centre in Thailand as a step to strengthen its framework for research and development in the region," said Yoshiyuki Morimoto, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Bridgestone Corporation.

"By establishing a technical centre close to the markets, Bridgestone will be able to grasp changes in its customers' needs constantly and reflect these in the development of its products," he said.

The centre will oversee the functions of tyre development, production technology, quality management, and procurement, and serve as a regional base to enhance safety, environment, product quality and delivery at its Asian plants.

Morimoto said Bridgestone plans to increase its presence in the Asia-Pacific region by enhancing research and development, expanding its sales network, and increasing its tyre production capacity.

The company recently began production of conveyor belts through its subsidiary Bridgestone NCR in Rayong. Total investments for the project will be approximately ¥3.0 billion (Bt956.8 million). Production is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2015.

Demand for conveyor belts is expected to be strong over the medium to long term, as global production of mineral resources increases. Because of this trend, Bridgestone determined that it needed to strengthen its global production and supply system for conveyor belts, leading to the company's decision to locate a new production source in Thailand, the company announced.

"As a way to contribute to customer efforts in the areas of total cost reduction and enhanced efficiencies, the Bridgestone Group is implementing a number of global development initiatives for its solutions business, which combine products such as tyres for construction and mining vehicles and conveyor belts, with services and maintenance practices," it stated.

Source: Daily "The Nation", Bangkok; 20 Aug 2013
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)