Pirelli has announced an investment of $15 million over a period of two years for the construction of an advanced technology and digitalization hub for tire production at its factory in Silao, Mexico.
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The heart of the investment will be the creation of the Italian company’s first R&D Center in Mexico, which will incorporate tire production technologies designed for future mobility, such as electric, sustainable, and connected, the company says.
According to Pirelli, the Silao R&D center will help increase its technological and industrial competitiveness throughout the North American region and enhance the Italian company’s ability to serve and support premium brands, primarily in the US.
Inaugurated in 2012, the Pirelli 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. With a production capacity dedicated to the local market and North America, the plant today employs more than 2,800 employees, Pirelli says.
The investment follows a $36 million plan aimed at increasing the Silao factory’s annual production capacity to 7.2 million tires. Pirelli says the “technological hub” will have an area of almost 72,000 square feet.
The technological hub will combine local talent, training and knowledge transfer, generating jobs for specialized professionals, in addition to creating connections with local universities, the company says.
Pirelli said the Technological Hub will have these main areas:
- 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.
- Specialties: Robotic application of technologies such as PNCS (tire rolling noise elimination technology), aimed at future mobility developments.
Pirelli says technological innovation is an essential element of its strategy and plays a central role in the company’s business model: Annually, the company invests around 6% of its revenue from high-value products in R&D and has over 6,700 patents. The Mexico R&D Center will be in addition to the 13 existing R&D centers the group has around the world.