HEFEI, China (Oct. 25, 2016) — Hefei Wanli Tire Co. Ltd. is planning to complete trial runs in November for the phase-one aspect of its truck tire plant in Hefei, Anhui Province, which the company claims is the world's first tire factory employing smart automation throughout processes from mixing to curing.
The plant — a joint venture involving Guangzhou Fengli Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., and Chinese vehicle maker China Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd. (JAC) — is located on a 3.58 million-sq.-ft. site at JAC's industrial park in Hefei and will have 700 employees at full capacity.
The company has completed a trial of the machinery, Hefei Wanli General Manager Shi Zheng told European Rubber Journal, a sister publication of Tire Business, and has finished testing about 80 percent of its system.
The $325 million Phase I investment calls for 2 million units of annual capacity for truck and bus tires and is scheduled for full operation in May 2017.
The partners also are planning to add capacity for 20 million passenger tires a year in Phase II, Shi Zheng said, without disclosing the timetable for that aspect.