TOKYO (Feb. 15, 2012)—Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has established a technical center at its Hangzhou Yokohama Tire Co. Ltd. subsidiary in Zhejiang Province, China, for testing and evaluating raw materials.
Yokohama invested $3.2 million to set up the technical center, which includes building, evaluation/analysis machines and analytical instrument. There are 14 researchers at the center now, Yokohama said, but the number should grow to 23 by next year.
Establishing a base for testing and evaluation in China will make it possible to reduce “significantly” the lead time for procuring less expensive raw materials and thus help reduce costs through global deployment of raw materials employed in China. The Hangzhou center is YRC's first overseas base for evaluating raw materials.
Yokohama will test and evaluate raw materials for tires and industrial products at the new center and also will advise Chinese suppliers of raw materials on quality control and quality assurance through auditing. Chinese researchers trained in Japan will deal directly with local makers of raw materials, enabling accurate, speedy testing for employment.
Setting up the Hangzhou center reflects Yokohama's desire to improve and enhance testing and evaluation systems in countries where Yokohama Rubber has manufacturing bases, the firm said. The company up to now has used its research and development integrated center at its Hiratsuka factory in Kanagawa, Japan, for testing and evaluating raw materials.