Vietnam Facility Gives Schwalbe Opportunity to Expand
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – Two large halls house the Vietnam facility of the Bohle Group which was opened in 2014. Together with its Korean partner Hung-A Ltd., Bohle set up the factory to meet growing demand for its popular Schwalbe products. One hall is fully dedicated to the production of tubes, while the tyres are made in the second hall.
Around the clock and for six days a week, 1,565 employees work in the H.A. Tire Vina factory 60 kilometers west of Ho Chi Minh City. Although Bohle was already operating a facility in Indonesia together with its production partner, it was decided to open another factory in Vietnam.
The investment climate in this South-East Asian country was at that time and still is regarded as very good. The local market is emerging as well. However, skilled people on all levels are not easy to get in Vietnam, Bohle learned. Training people in the factory to learn the skills of building tyres is now a common practice.
48,000 tyres per day
In one long production line the extruder prepares the triple compound. The nylon for the carcass is been coated with rubber and put on big 500-meter-long rolls. These hold enough carcass for 2,000 tyres. Every day 24 of these rolls are produced to make up the factory’s capacity of 48,000 tyres. Quality control is an integrated part of each different production step.
All tubes are tested
In the second hall of the plant, which is fully dedicated to the production of tubes, we see a number of extruder lines, which are needed to produce all the different kind of tube sizes. At the end of each production line all tubes are inflated and stored for 24 hours to test for air retention. Afterwards, every tube is carefully checked individually by visual inspection, to make sure they meet the high quality standards of Schwalbe. Unlike many other tyre factories, the penetrant rubber smell is fortunately missing at H.A. Tire Vina. The whole facility is clean, very tidy and clearly outlined. The tube talcum powder area is not covered in dust and even the curing department, which often feels like a hot oven, is not an inconvenient working space.
More than additional capacity only
Bohle and Hung-A started the Vietnam plant not only to get more capacity for the European market. It also gave them the possibility to focus more on the company’s 2nd brand; Impac.“With the new factory, we set up a second mainstay, to expand our production capacities,” explained Frank Bohle when the new factory was opened. “In addition, we are taking the strain off our main factory in Jakarta, Indonesia, where until now we have produced all the Schwalbe and Impac products.” He also stated that the delivery capability clearly improved: “Over the course of this year, the industry clearly saw the added capacity that has been provided by the new plant in Vietnam. When constructing the plant, we once again saw that the German-Korean cooperation is alive and well.” The South Korean family-owned company Hung-A and the German family-owned company Bohle have now been manufacturing tires together for the Schwalbe and Impac brand for more than 40 years.