Two Bridgestone Americas Inc. tire plants have been honored for supplier excellence from General Motors Co. (GM) and Caterpillar Inc.
Bridgestone’s passenger tire plant in Wilson, N.C., received a GM Supplier Quality Excellence Award for 2016. This is the plant’s fifth year to receive the GM award.
“At Bridgestone, we are committed to working with GM to provide the highest quality products and solutions that reflect our combined focus on performance, sustainability and innovation. We are honored to be recognized by GM for the delivery of high quality products that meet the dynamic needs of the driving public,” says Michael Darr, Wilson plant manager.
Bridgestone says the Wilson plant has been a leader in tire manufacturing innovation during its 43-year history. It was one of the first Bridgestone plants to produce DriveGuard run-flat tires, the first full line of premium, all-season replacement tires engineered to go up to 50 miles after a puncture.
The Wilson plant is currently undergoing a major expansion, with Bridgestone planning to invest up to $344 million in the facility over the next 10 years.
The company says this multi-phase expansion will allow Wilson to meet global demand for high value added tires, as well as improve quality and productivity while reducing costs. The project will add manufacturing space to accommodate new tire assembly machines, materials handling systems, curing presses and associated equipment.
This new space will enable the Wilson plant to potentially increase plant capacity by up to 3,000 tires per day, which, if fully realized, could bring daily production at the Wilson plant to 35,000 tires by 2018.
Bridgestone’s agriculture tire manufacturing plant in Des Moines, Iowa, achieved the highest level in the Caterpillar Supplier Quality Excellence Process (SQEP) Certification: Platinum Level.
Bridgestone says this represents a significant milestone for the company and the Firestone Ag team, as the Des Moines Plant received Gold Level in the Caterpillar SQEP Certification for the past three years. “To achieve Platinum Level in the Caterpillar Supplier Quality Excellence Process certification program says a great deal about Bridgestone’s commitment to consistently achieve high standards of quality, productivity and efficiency in support of our customers,” says Greg Halford, Des Moines plant manager.
Bridgestone says the SQEP Certification demonstrates the strong values and ethical principles of Bridgestone in conducting business, as well as the company’s commitment to collaborate with Caterpillar to implement a culture aiming for “zero-defects” across the supply chain. Recognition levels of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, reflected in order of increasing difficulty, distinguish outstanding supplier quality performance.
Caterpillar’s SQEP Certification was created to recognize a supplier’s dedication to providing superior quality, and only is awarded to suppliers who demonstrate world-class performance on an ongoing basis. Each year, suppliers are evaluated with increasingly strict criteria for distinguishing outstanding supplier quality, exceptional service and delivery performance.
The Des Moines, Iowa, plant opened in 1945 and produces agricultural, construction, forestry and off-road tires. The plant has received numerous awards, including the 2016 Gold Leadership Award (Baldrige) Award from Iowa Recognition for Performance Excellence.
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