Nokian tyres adds R&D and more

Wednesday 7 Aug 2019

Since announcing expansion plans in 2018, Nokian Heavy Tyres are progressing a plan to increase the production of commercial tyres up to 50 percent and more than double the number of new products by investing heavily on production and product development. What started as a vision is quickly becoming a reality. At their R&D site they’re installing hollow-core slabs and test machinery. The Euro 70 million investment, the largest in Nokian’s history, will reach full production capacity in 2021.

Matti Kaunisto, Development Manager at Nokian Tyres, is satisfied. After months of planning all the details and getting intimate with the Building Information Model BIM) on his computer, he can actually see the vast new 3,500-square-meter R&D building taking shape. “Seeing it on a screen is one thing”, Kaunisto says, “but being able to walk there is another. The size gets lost in the computer screen, but once you stand there you really sense the space.” Nokian says expanding a working factory is a bit like fixing a bicycle while riding it. Using agile change management for planning has proven successful. By implementing ‘Lean’ model principles, they have been able to increase their delivery ability by 15% already this year – during ongoing renovations.

Besides enabling more capacity and future growth, the new facilities serve an important role by supporting smoother flow and safer work. The planning, construction and setup are important steps, but the real innovation lies within the people involved in the process. The goal for the investment is to produce 50% more and more than double the number of new products.

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