RAVENNA, Ohio—Independent, third-party laboratory Smithers Rapra broke ground recently on a new expansion at the Smithers Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna. Six of the top global tire manufacturers, including Bridgestone Americas, Continental Tire, Cooper Tire & Rubber, Goodyear, Hankook Tire and Michelin, partnered with Smithers to introduce a new MTS Flat-Trac CT Plus Tire Test System.
The new system requires a 10,000-sq.-ft. building expansion at the Ravenna laboratory, as well as addition of several technical roles to support the partnership. The partnership helps fund the expansion, and supports the installation of the MTS Flat-Trac system. Expansion at the Ravenna laboratory is expected to be completed by July 2018.
The cost of the project and the partners' share of the cost was not disclosed. Smithers expects to generate additional revenue by leasing time to companies other than the six partnership firms.