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Friday, December 11, 2009

Looking Closer to the Leader of Tires Manufacture: Bridgestone Company


Tires become one of the important parts in a car and other vehicles due to its main function to keep them on the ground. While keep the car on the ground, it also has another function that very important such as to control the direction of the car, make progressive acceleration and breaking, reduce for over vibration, and etc. All of these great functions of tires are only obtained by a small area of tire that has the same size as a box of tissue paper. 

In correspond with this, on the November 10 we, students who took the Factory Study Tour (FST) class, are gone to the Bridgestone Company as the second trip in this semester. It takes approximately 1 and a half hours to travel using bus from O-okayama campus. Along the journey we were saw some companies and industries in Japan that located near with Bridgestone Company. One of these companies was TOSHIBA which I hope to visit it for the next trip.



Bridgestone is a big tires company that produces tires for automobile and other vehicle as well as their derivative. This company become the leader and holds the biggest market share in Japan and the world for tires production. The history of the name Bridgestone was taken from the name of its founder Shojiro Ishibasi (Ishi = Stone, Bashi = Bridge) which has started from making tabi Japanese traditional socks.

When entering Bridgestone Company, we were warmly welcomed from the management and staff. The first thing we did were to heard some introduction and speech from Bridgestone board and watched a film of Bridgestone profile. After that we were divided into 2 big groups to saw the Bridgestone museum and production process.

In the trip to saw production process of tires, we were passed what they said as the biggest tire on the world that located in this company. It also become the symbol for this company due to it's size and also to showed that they can make a very big tire in the world. Unfortunately I can’t take a picture of me in front of that tire due to we must left our camera in the presentation room.

Then when we arrived in the process production area, we were asked to make a line. It has a function to keep our safety during the tour because their many carriers traveling around. Inside the process area we were saw a lot of machines to produce and make tires. But the first thing that amazed me was the smell inside it. Although they said the smell is not hazardous but honestly the smell was very sting (my opinion). I wonder how the worker able to keep their work in this area for maybe 10 hours each day. Anyway, this process production area was gave me a real visualization for tires production. This process was started from the raw material processing continue with some processes until the step that I like the most: heating process. In the heating process, the green tire was pressed and shaped in very hot temperature to make the shape and channel on the tires. After several minutes the tire was come out from the heating machine and then continue to the final step and packing.

The next places that we have visited were the museum of Bridgestone Today. In this museum we can see many things related with tires technology and knowledge behind them. As an example we can see a miniature that showed how many layers that build a single tire and some basic simulation of tire technology. But the most beautiful things and most attracted me was the Formula 1 car belongs to Ferrari whose driven by Philipe Massa. This very awesome to saw a historical car in front of your eyes directly that was previously we can only saw it on television screen. The second things that I like very much were when we showed the new technology from Brigestone for a building to keep it strong and dynamic when earthquake or disaster appears. This technology was named Multi-Rubber Bearing equipment that plays as a seismic isolator for building.
After that we were getting back to the presentation room to heard another explanations and discussions about Bridgestone and their future. Finally it was closed by photo together between the students and Bridgestone board. Then we were gone back to O-okayama campus and that was the end of enjoyable and happy FST.

Thank you

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