We ensure the technical quality of our products by testing and studying each raw material used in tire manufacture and by continuously improving our rubber compounds. We are actively looking for and testing sustainable raw materials, such as recycled materials.
Our tires undergo several tests to examine the tire’s behavior in a range of conditions as well as its durability and eco-friendliness. Communities, regions, and organizations (such as EU and UN) have all specified standards that a tire must meet before entering the market. Our large markets use a total of 28 tire tests that examine the properties of finished products. The amount of testing is increasing as more tests and more stringent requirements are being put in place.
The wet grip requirement in the European market tightened in 2018 and applies to all van and light truck tires on the market. In addition, stricter rolling resistance limits for passenger car, van, and light truck tires became effective in 2018.
Our company’s operations are annually audited by our customers, car manufacturers, and the parties behind various standards. The national regulatory authorities on tires and authorities regulating methods and equipment carry out periodic inspections in order to supervise and evaluate Nokian Tyres’ research and work on ensuring the quality and safety of our tires. Furthermore, we use internal controls for ensuring the high quality and compliance of our operations.
We systematically conduct internal audits and management reviews and continuously improve our procedures. Our ability to comply with the regulations and take care of our contractual obligations is also evaluated each year by our customers and partners. Their own audits verify whether our tire manufacturing processes and R&D functions are appropriate.
The annual FINAS (Finnish Accreditation Service) audits of our ISO 17015 accredited Testing Laboratory ensure that we can conduct part of the regulatory testing. The type approvals of the relevant national authority are issued based on these audits. Part of regulatory testing is ordered from external, accredited laboratories. We also carry out other audits at our factories, for instance in connection with our quality and environmental management system and the Chinese CCC Certification.
Our internal audits focused on product quality and safety. This was done in preparation for the new version of the automotive industry’s IATF 16 949 quality management system, which includes product safety. The internal audits reviewed the entire manufacturing process and identified the risks and the required measures. The possibility of materials mixing up was identified as the most significant risk to product quality. To address this, we implemented a system that prevents the possibility of human error in choices of materials.
We also created a new product safety procedure that covers manufacturing in both of our factories. In the future, our factories will have appointed people responsible for product safety.
In addition to our own activities, we supervise the quality of operations and compliance concerning our subcontractors, suppliers and partners.