Bridgestone Americas
Photo Warren County

Bridgestone expands Tennessee plant to support tire tech

Aug. 29, 2022
The $550M expansion will allow Bridgestone's tires to be equipped with sensors and RFID tags for fleets to practice more efficient data-driven asset management. The manufacturing plant for truck and bus radial tires is in Warren County, Tennessee.

Bridgestone Americas is expanding and modernizing its Warren County, Tennessee, truck and bus radial (TBR) tire plant located in Morrison. The $550 million investment will expand the plant by 850,000 square feet to support increased capacity and to accelerate the use of advanced technologies that aim to support cleaner, safer, and more efficient commercial truck and bus fleets, according to a Bridgestone press release.

The investment will allow for all tires made in Warren to be equipped with RFID (radio frequency identification) tags that enable more efficient asset management and optimization of fleets’ investments in tires, including retreading. The plant will incorporate technology for digital readiness in tires, including the integration of tire-mounted sensors that support advanced, data-driven insights for more efficient fleet management.

Bridgestone also will invest in AI control technology that increases productivity and the application of knowledge and data in a digital manufacturing environment. These technologies combined are part of the company's strategy toward its sustainability goals, including carbon neutrality by 2050.

See also: Bridgestone installing tire monitoring technology at 200 Pilot locations

The expansion of the 32-year-old facility is expected to begin before the end of this year, with construction expected to be substantially completed by May 2024. The plant’s footprint will grow from 1.97 million to more than 2.8 million square feet. The expansion will add 380 new jobs to the plant, bringing its number of workers to more than 1,400 and the total number of the company’s manufacturing workforce in the U.S. to nearly 10,000. 

“With new investment and new jobs, we are moving our Warren County Plant forward, driven by growing demand for our products, our commitment to investing in U.S. manufacturing, and our Warren team’s dedication to innovation, efficiency, and quality for our customers. We appreciate the state of Tennessee and Warren County’s committed partnership, which we celebrate today as an essential element of this plant’s continued success,” said Paolo Ferrari, president and CEO, Bridgestone Americas. “Our Warren County Plant team plays a vital role in supporting our company’s commitment to providing safe and sustainable mobility solutions.”

The Warren County Tire Plant is one of the company’s most productive operations globally. The facility shipped its one millionth tire in 1993, three years after it opened. That same year, the plant produced nearly 2,500 tires per day. The plant produced its 70 millionth tire in October 2021.

See also: Wheel-end monitors: From system to data to prevention

The expansion supports Bridgestone’s E8 commitment, which consists of 8 Bridgestone-like values starting with the letter “E” (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment) that Bridgestone has committed to creating together with employees, society, partners and customers to realize a sustainable society.

See also: Wheel-end monitors: Tech that helps avoid costly ‘thermal events’

The Warren County Tire Plant and its teammates are utilized by Bridgestone to accomplish its E8 Commitment with initiatives focused on education and environmental conservation and preservation. In 2004, the plant became a certified wildlife habitat site with 680 acres devoted to providing natural areas and grasses. Community and environmental partnerships led to the creation of the Bridgestone Environmental Education Classroom and Habitat, which now serves as an educational classroom for area students as part of Warren County Schools’ science curriculum. Since its inception, thousands of local students have visited the site to take environmental classes and experience educational nature trails.

“Our production and manufacturing capabilities continue to evolve with our products to meet the needs of our customers,” said Scott Damon, chief operating officer, Bridgestone Americas. “We are proud of our team for their 32 years of manufacturing excellence in Warren County, and our continued success is a tribute to the Warren teammates who remain driven and committed to providing our customers with the best truck and bus tires in the world. This investment will further improve the plant’s global competitive position and secure our future growth.”

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