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Goodyear has big plans for IMPACT

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. hopes to extend its IMPACT manufacturing system to "all platforms," says Ted Fick, vice president of Goodyear's commercial division.

IMPACT -- which stands for Integrated Manufacturing Precision Assembly Cellular Technology -- is currently being used to build 40% of the medium truck tires produced at Goodyear's Danville, Va., plant.

Goodyear is installing the IMPACT system at its Lawton, Okla., passenger and light truck tire plant and will do the same at its Topeka, Kan., truck tire plant later this year.

IMPACT boosts productivity by 135% while cutting cycle time by 70%, according to Goodyear officials.

It uses a proprietary calendering system to produce and form 12 out of a truck tire's 23 components in one continuous process.

"Tires have traditionally been made from a lot of unique components," says Dan Harrison, manager of quality and technology at Goodyear's Danville facility, which started using IMPACT in 1999.

IMPACT "takes the variability out" of manufacturing, he claims.

Goodyear is using the process to manufacture its G395 LHS steer tire, which was officially unveiled this past week.

Two more steer tires will go into IMPACT production later this year.

The Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker has not set a deadline for IMPACT system installation at other factories beyond what it has already announced regarding Lawton and Topeka.

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