SILAO, Mexico — Pirelli & C. S.p.A. plans to build a technology and digitalization hub for production at its tire factory in Silao in a bid to implement Industry 4.0 principles and strengthen the "innovation ecosystem" at the nine-year-old facility.
Pirelli has budgeted $15 million for the project, which will be housed in a 71,900-sq.-ft. expansion of the factory premises.
This investment is in addition to $36 million budgeted last fall to raise the plant's annual capacity about 9% to 7.2 million tires.
The heart of the new investment will be the creation of Pirelli's first research and development center in Mexico, which will incorporate cutting-edge technologies for the production of tires designed for future mobility.
The new hub will include area for:
- Modeling: Application of virtual mathematical models to predict vehicle dynamics;
- Testing: Development of new internal tire testing methodologies;
- Digitalization: Adoption of digital practices for tire manufacturing;
- Cyber: Development and implementation of technologies that allow the tire to send essential information, such as pressure and temperature, directly to the vehicle; and
- Specialties: Robotic application of technologies such as PNCS (tire rolling noise elimination technology), aimed at future mobility developments.
The Silao R&D center will contribute to increasing Pirelli's technological and industrial competitiveness throughout the North American region, the company said, and enhance its ability to serve and support premium brands, primarily in the US.
The hub will combine local talent, training, and knowledge transfer, generating jobs for specialized professionals, in addition to creating connections with local universities, Pirelli said.
Inaugurated in 2012, the plant is located in the state of Guanajuato, one of the country's major logistics centers and one of Mexico's key economic and technological reference points.