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Bridgestone to boost capacity at OTR plant

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NASHVILLE?Bridgestone Americas, citing strong demand for giant loader tires, will boost capacity in the coming months at its Bloomington, Ill., bias-ply OTR tire plant with a $27.3 million investment that's in addition to a $19.5 million project under way at the plant.

Bridgestone said the investment will go primarily toward new equipment that will produce at minimum the three most popular sizes?53.5/85-57, 58/85-57 and 70/70-57. Capacity at the 47-year-old factory is about 300 tires a day.

PARIS?Bridgestone Corp. has developed a concept tire made of ?100-percent sustainable materials? that represents the company's use of advanced materials technologies to achieve its commitment of shifting its tire manufacturing to sustainable materials by 2050.

Bridgestone is showing the tire at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, which runs Sept. 29-Oct. 14.

The tire uses natural rubber from hevea trees and guayule and fibers from plants, Bridgestone said, along with synthetic rubber, carbon back and chemical agents made from bio-sourced monomers.

Bridgestone said the next step is to develop technologies to begin mass production.

TIA opens registration for OTR conference

BOWIE, Md.?The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has opened online registration for the 2013 OTR Conference, which will be held Feb. 20-23 at the Gran Melia Golf Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

The association urges potential attendees to register for the conference soon to ensure they can make their golf reservations since spots are almost gone.

Juan Antonio ?Chi-Chi? Rodriguez, the first Puerto Rican inductee to the World Golf Hall of Fame, will be the keynote speaker at the conference's general session. He also will be present at the golf tournament, TIA said.

To register for the conference, go to http://tinyurl.com/tia-otr2013 or the events section of TIA's website at www.tireindustry.org.

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France?The radial truck tire is marking its 60th year in existence, according to Group Michelin, which received a patent in 1952 covering the use of radial ply technology in commercial vehicle tires.

From that beginning in France in 1952, radial truck tires have come to command the road, accounting for 73 percent of sales worldwide, Michelin said, although acceptance of radial truck tires varies widely from region, from a low of only about one-third throughout Southeast Asia to 100 percent in Europe.

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