The new tire plant of Nokian Tyres in Vsevolozhsk started its production in June 2006. Cimcorp had a hand in achieving the production capacity of four million tires by the end of 2007 with its robot technology.
When Nokian Tyres, specialized in the manufacture of winter tires, made a strategic decision in 2004 to build a new plant in Russia, it was against a background of the need to increase tire output dramatically.
The desired production capacity at the plant was achieved above all by means of effective management of the material flows. Cimcorp has supplied the plant with robot technology, which plays a key role in many different work stages. Thanks to automation, many manual handling stages have been eliminated, which means among other things that fewer employees are required.
”We believe that automation will help us to raise capacity and productivity. Purely on the basis of labor costs, the investment will not pay itself back quickly, but in my opinion the increased capacity and improved productivity should also be taken into account. Tires sell in Russia as fast as you can make them. Without automation we would not be able to keep up with the growth of the markets,” says Esa Eronen, technical director of Nokian Tyres.
”Automation also allows the work itself to be made lighter and more varied, which in turn makes it more pleasant. Product quality improves, capacity increases, and the yield gets better,” he concludes.
Right from the start, the possibility for phased expansion has also been taken into account in automating the plant. Plant expansion is part of the plan, and because of the booming Russian market this is now being fast-tracked. The aim is to have the equipment necessary for a production capacity of 10 million tires installed in 2010.
Cimcorp’s scope of supply to the Vsevolozhsk plant:
The material flows at the Vsevolozhsk plant have been automated using Cimcorp robots from tire-building machines to the storage of finished tires. Tire transfer and buffering is done with gantry and linear robots above the production equipment, so that the floor space can be utilized efficiently for production machinery. The buffer storage between the tire-building machines and the curing presses means that the amount of incomplete production is extremely low and the availability of the curing presses is top-notch. Efficiency and productivity have increased.