Hankook Tire Co. Ltd, the world’s seventh largest tire manufacturer and the number one supplier in China, has taken delivery of an extensive automation and warehousing system from Cimcorp for its new tire production plant in Hungary.
The South Korean firm – which supplies tires for many leading brands including Daewoo, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, Renault, Smart, Volkswagen and Volvo – commissioned Cimcorp to supply automation systems that manage the material flow of finished tires from the production lines to the loading dock.
The new factory – Hankook’s first production plant in Europe – was built in response to burgeoning demand for the company’s products, which include tires for passenger cars, SUVs, light trucks, trucks, minibuses and buses. Hankook Tire has enjoyed phenomenal growth in recent years; with sales of USD 3 billion in 2006, the company achieved a growth rate of 20%, which was joint highest of the eleven global tire manufacturers. In order to sustain this growth, Hankook Tire decided to invest 500 million Euros in its brand-new manufacturing plant at Dunaujvaros, Hungary. Locating the new production facility in Europe means that Hankook is able to deliver to all destinations within Europe in less than five days, a significant time saving on the month-long voyage from factories in Korea and China and a considerable boost for its customer service.
Cimcorp’s scope of supply included state-of-the-art automation systems for the inspection, palletizing, high-bay storage and dispatch areas of the facility. The handling solution is based on Cimcorp’s proven TyrePick™ technology, empowered by the Cimcorp WCS™ (Warehouse Control System) software and with the total material flow management by Cimcorp MFC™ (Material Flow Control). The overhead gantry structure of the TyrePick™ robots and floor-based storage concept allow exceptionally high flexibility to meet fluctuations in production, resulting in higher capacity and improved earnings potential. In addition, real-time inventory and data tracking throughout the system ensure 100% traceability, higher product availability and improved overall control.
Winning the contract for this prestigious new plant underlines Cimcorp’s position as a leading supplier of comprehensive handling solutions for the tire industry.
After receiving the order for the automation systems in May 2006, Cimcorp began construction work at Dunaujvaros almost immediately. The new factory was completed in record time, with only six weeks from the set-up of the first production line to mass production, and the first tires were shipped on 9 August 2007. Production will increase to 15,000 tires a day in 2008 and Hankook aims to achieve full capacity – more than 30,000 tires a day or 10 million per annum – by 2010.