Mt Thorley home to Bridgestone’s Institute Global Mining Solutions
A global centre for tyre excellence opened at Mt Thorley in April to better support the economically vital mining sector both here and overseas.
An industry first, the Bridgestone Institute Global Mining Solutions (BIGS) will develop high-quality, total solution packages for the mining industry around the world.
“We could have established BIGS anywhere in the world, but Australia’s first-class resources and construction sectors make it an excellent location for us to develop the new technology and new integrated service packages to help reduce operating costs and downtime for our mining, construction and earthmoving clients,” said
Tsuyoshi Kamiya, Managing Director, Bridgestone Institute Global Mining Solutions.
“This is the first time anyone in the tyre sector has attempted this, but Australia has the mining, construction and earthmoving technology, the qualified personnel and the infrastructure to make BIGS a huge success.”
As a global tyre leader, Bridgestone already has a worldwide commitment to these industry sectors, providing everything from application-specific tyres and retreads to smart services and real-time on-site problem solving. BIGS will take that commitment to an even higher level. Using data and concepts collected from Bridgestone’s global network of tyre production facilities and distributors, BIGS will not only create the next level of industry-specific tyre technology, it will also act as a training hub to ensure its service solutions can be reproduced in any location around the world based on consistency of quality and expertise within these areas.
In the resource and construction industries tyres are vital to production and safety, but are an on-going cost and maintenance issue. As they can represent a significant component of a customer’s operating costs, it is important to prolong the life of the tyre.
To that end, Bridgestone is not just focusing on the tyre but also on improving the quality of support services to ensure a tyre has every opportunity to meet its maximum work-life.
“BIGS will not just be looking at the tyres, but at the tyre’s entire lifespan – from design, fitting, maintenance and inspection through to on-site servicing and engineering, rim management, repair, retreading and disposal,” Mr Kamiya said.
Reflecting the importance Bridgestone places on BIGS, the site opening was attended by special dignitaries from Bridgestone Japan; Mr Mitsuhira Shimazaki, Vice President and Senior Officer International Tire Business Operations; and Mr Tomohiro Fukuda, Vice President and Officer Specialty Tire Business and CQO, Specialty Tire Business.
Established as a subsidiary of Bridgestone Earthmover Tyres, BIGS is located in the Hunter Valley for easy access to the region’s coal mines while still being relatively close to Sydney for international visitors.
It is expected BIGS will employ a number of specialists in the coming years, and host dozens of trainees every year.