Continuing our deep dive into Pirelli’s development, manufacturing and testing world, our next stop was Pirelli’s facility in Sandbach, Germany.
While Pirelli’s headquarters and evaluation department are centered in Milan, a large contingent works in parallel from the German technical center. This keeps them close to the large O.E. vehicle manufacturers based in Germany. Similar to their Italian counterparts, the German technical team is quartered adjacent to the test center. The same sorts of indoor tests are carried out here as in Milan, speeding test turnaround time for the German O.E. customers.
Two separate tire manufacturing plants are also housed in the industrial campus. In what must be the cleanest tire plant we’ve visited, small batches of prototypes and short runs of specialty tires are hand-built alongside large volume runs of more mainstream product.
Also tucked into the old-world complex is one of Pirelli’s MIRS robotic manufacturing facilities. This system is something to behold, as an army of robot arms spin and dance in a precisely choreographed routine that produces tires without any human contact. Amazing.
Next we head to the Nurburgring, to see how Pirelli tests tires on one of the world’s most challenging tracks.