Pirelli Tire Case Study

Overview Pirelli Tire of Rome, Georgia

Originally founded in 1872 in Milan, Italy, Pirelli Tire has been a household name for decades. A major player in the automotive industry, the company manufactures quality tires used for a range of products including high speed race cars, motorcycles, bicycles and passenger vehicles.

Known worldwide for its cutting-edge technology and exceptional production value, Pirelli has made its mark across the globe. Remaining at the forefront of the industry, Pirelli has focused on developing products and features that are known for their cutting edge technology, high performance and focus on safety. Among one of the top producers of tires around the world, Pirelli is the only one dedicated exclusively to the consumer market.

Having established 19 production plants in 12 different countries, Pirelli Tire has its North American Headquarters located in Rome, Georgia, U.S.A. where tires for passenger, racing and specialty vehicles are produced.

The Problem

Indoor air quality was a big concern for the Pirelli Tire company. To manufacture their products, the Pirelli factory in Georgia engaged in a number of applications that produced harmful airborne toxins that put their workers’ health at risk. Cutting applications were used to open up the tires so the workers could inspect the rubber and interior wiring for quality. A grinding wheel was also employed to sever the tire into two fully separated sections. Burning rubber and severing metal cables created debris, dust and fumes that were extremely detrimental to worker health.

Some of the most common toxins typically found in grinding and cutting dusts are metal, rubber, composite and fiberglass. Even some highly toxic metals such as lead, cadmium and chromium can sometimes lurk in the byproducts of these applications.

Many of the most common ailments associated with cutting and grinding dust and fumes involve the lungs such as pneumoconiosis. When left untreated over a period of time, pneumoconiosis causes scar tissue to build up in the lining of the lungs, leading to serious, chronic disease.

Other health problems associated with exposure to grinding and cutting dusts include:

  • Chest Pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tuberculosis
  • Respiratory damage
  • Pulmonary Edema (excess fluid in the lungs)
  • Lung cancer

Besides the lungs, other organs are also at risk from long-term exposure to grinding and cutting dusts. Once inhaled, particles from the dusts may dissolve in the bloodstream and be carried to other parts of the body. These contaminants can then affect the liver, kidneys, nervous system or brain, leading to serious, chronic disease.

In addition to these health concerns, the associates at Pirelli Tire faced the threat of fire and explosion. Sparks generated by the cutting and grinding along with the fumes and rubber dust set the stage for a hazardous work environment.

The Solution

Understanding the immediate health risks their workers faced, the management at Pirelli Tire knew they needed to find a solution to their indoor quality air problem.

A leader in the industrial air filtration industry, Pirelli Tire called on Diversitech to inspect their facilities and help come up with a solution to their air quality needs.

After a thorough inspection of their shop, Diversitech determined that installation of one of their self-contained downdraft tables offered the best solution. They were able to execute the process uninterrupted while safely capturing the dangerous dust, fumes and debris so they were prevented from entering the workers’ breathing zones.

The application of the downdraft table allowed the Diversitech team to make no changes to Pirelli’s working height and process of inspection. As long as the tire was cut on the table, no dust or fumes could escape and contaminate the indoor air.

Best of all, Pirelli enjoyed big savings from their purchase of Diversitech downdraft tables. Because the unit is self-contained, installation work was minimal. Many traditional systems require additional duct work, which can be timely and costly to install. Set up of Diversitech’s downdraft table was relatively fast and easy.


Pirelli Tire couldn’t have been happier with their purchase of Diversitech’s downdraft table. According to James Lee, Facilities Manager, “This unit does exactly what we hoped. The maintenance is minimal and we never have complaints from our associates. We love the table!”

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