TOKYO (Dec. 22, 2004) —Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has established the Yokohama Design Center (YDC) inside the head office building of the Minato-ku, Tokyo-based company.
The tire maker said the new YDC is equipped with advanced information technologies, workshop functions and audiovisual equipment aimed at contributing to the improvement of passenger tire appearance and reducing the firm's product development lead time.
By establishing the YDC, Yokohama Rubber said its goal is to create an enhanced environment for three-dimensional tire design. The company's solid-model molding system makes it possible to shorten the time necessary for conventional clay modeling—that is, three-dimensional model creation—and review life-like models from various aspects, Yokohama said. This enables it to improve tire appearance to increase commercial competitiveness and reduce product development lead-time, the firm added.
The YDC is furnished with a plasma display panel that can show three-dimensional data, an audiovisual presentation system that uses animation and audio, and a tire exchange system that the company said can mount a pilot design model to actual cars in order “to achieve dynamic product design.” Yokohama also will use the YDC's glass-walled office as a showroom to exhibit new designs as well as for new-design presentations to car makers in Japan and elsewhere.