SHIYAN, China — Qingdao Doublestar Group started trial production Oct. 21 at its newest factory, a passenger tire plant Shiyan, Hubei Province.
The $220 million Shiyan factory is Doublestar's third "Industrial 4.0" factory in China with full-process smart manufacturing, according to Doublestar, which broke ground for the 4.3 million-sq.-ft. factory last year.
The plant replaces an older factory operated by the company's Doublestar Dongfeng Tire subsidiary in Shiyan.
The new plant is rated at 1.5 million truck/bus and 5 million passenger tires a year. It was built on a 3.23 million-sq.-ft. site in the Zhangwan District Industrial Park in Shiyan.
The plant will manufacture mid- to high-end products, such as military specialty tires and new-energy vehicle tires, Doublestar said.
Also on Oct. 21, Doublestar broke ground on a scrap tire recycling plant at the Shiyan site, the company's second scrap tire plant in China. The facility, which will have 100,000 metric tons of annual capacity, covers nearly 1.1 million square feet and involves a $45 million investment.
At the plant, scrap tires will be turned into primary oil, carbon black, steel cord and fuel gas. Everything in a tire can be recycled and the process has "zero pollution, zero emission, zero residue," according to Doublestar.