LAWTON, Okla. (June 8, 2016) — Goodyear is expanding the footprint of its Lawton plant in a $27.5 million project that will add 16,500 square feet of factory space to accommodate curing presses for larger-diameter tires.
This investment follows expenditures totaling $77.5 million last year to upgrade mixing equipment and replace five older-generation tire-building machines with three automated machines capable of producing tires up to 24 inches in rim diameter, according to information from Plant Manager Brent Copeland.
The company did not say what effect, if any, this investment will have on the plant's overall capacity, which is rated at 65,000 tires a day.
Over the past several years, Mr. Copeland said, Goodyear has invested more than $100 million on modernizing the plant and has plans for more investment.
In a written statement, Goodyear said it is “committed to making strategic investments in its tire plants to continuously improve operations and efficiency. The upcoming modernization project planned for our Lawton…plant will allow the facility to produce more of the tires our customers want. Enhancements like these allow Goodyear to remain competitive and invest in the communities in which our plants are located.”
Smaller investments of late include $4.8 million to upgrade the plant's emissions control systems and $2.5 million for equipment that places foam into tires to help cut road noise for high-end autos.
Goodyear last expanded the physical size of the plant in 2010, adding 200,000 square feet of space to the 38-year-old, 2 million-sq.-ft. factory.
The non-union facility is staffed by 2,800 employees.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association recently singled out the Lawton plant for recognition under its Safety and Health Improvement Program (SHIP) honors. The plant earned an "improvement award," given to facilities that achieve Days Away Restricted Transfer rates that are both 10 percent better than the previous year and the same as or better than the RMA average.