AKRON—Smithers Rapra invested in expanded tire capabilities at the company's Tire and Wheel testing lab in Suzhou, China.
The introduction of six new testing machines will improve the laboratory's ability to serve clients in the global tire and wheel marketplace, according to a Smithers Rapra release.
The new testing equipment gives the lab a 35 percent boost in capacity and broadens testing capabilities by adding several testing techniques such as cleated tire and wheel endurance testing, wheel impact, salt spray and tire air permeation.
The lab expansion is the latest example of the company's strategy to grow in line with the kinds of testing requested by clients, said Smithers Rapra President Nat Leonard.
"We will continue to invest in new technologies and capabilities to meet the needs of the global tire and wheel industry," he said.
In addition to the updates to the Suzhou facility, the company expects to complete a building expansion and the introduction of a new Flat-Trac CT Plus machine at the Smithers Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, Ohio, in 2018, in partnership with six tire companies who funded the investment. The expansion will enhance existing force and moment capabilities with higher wheel torque and the ability to test a wider range of tire sizes.
The opening a new event center, new track surfaces and two rental building at Smithers' Winter Test Center in Brimley, Mich., is scheduled for early 2018 as well.