Bridgestone’s VT-TRACTOR tyre was developed and tested at Technical Center Europe (TCE) near Rome, Italy, the company’s European development centre, and is manufactured exclusively at the Puente San Miguel (PSM) plant in Spain.
TCE plays a leading role in materials research, tyre design, the manufacture of prototypes, and all forms of indoor testing. Within a total complex of 32 hectares, approximately 17,000 m2 of covered floor space house a self-sufficient range of design and development facilities. In 2010 TCE was expanded with new indoor facilities, and physical and chemical laboratories hosting new advanced equipment.
TCE’s testing capability has been further extended by the introduction of a dedicated 3-metre diameter drum that allows all size ranges to be validated indoors before exposure to the field. More than 200 tyres have been tested to confirm VT-TRACTOR performance (indoor, outdoor and field).
The 500 engineers, chemists, technicians and support personnel at TCE have three main roles:
2. 1) Design and development of tyres for passenger, commercial van, truck, bus and
agricultural vehicles, to meet European customer requirements;
3. 2) Process and equipment design for the six Bridgestone manufacturing plants in Europe;
4. 3) Quality systems to meet ISO-9000, QS-9000 and ISO-14000 requirements.
The VT-TRACTOR was developed at TCE by the agricultural tyre development group, a team fully dedicated to agricultural products. This group worked on two key features of the VT-TRACTOR: the use of VF standard and the Narrow Rim Option (NRO) technology.