SUZHOU, China—Smithers Rapra is building on its presence in China with a new product testing facility, opened in the same site as its tire and wheel testing lab in Suzhou.
The new 4,000-sq.-ft. facility is part of the company's effort to grow and evolve with its clients in the changing local automotive market, said Derek Read, vice president, global development, Asia region. Financial details of the investment were not disclosed.
The laboratory provides for air leak and burst, cleanliness, material properties, salt spray, and pressure, vibration and temperature testing, Smithers said. It will work alongside the company's existing product testing labs in Akron; Lansing, Mich.; and Shawbury, England, for validation testing for original equipment manufacturer fluid transfer systems.
It can test products such as brake lines and coolant hoses to international and OEM standards as well as custom benchmarking programs to support research and development. The lab, which employs 23 split about 70-30 across tire testing and product testing, is ISO 17025-certified.
The product testing laboratory will share resources with the wheel and tire testing laboratory, including several senior engineers and some equipment, Read said.
"For example, our salt spray chamber is commonly used as part of our wheel testing services, and now will also be used to conduct corrosion testing on various automotive components, such as metal hose fittings and clamps," Read said. "Equipment such as our tensile tester, which has been used to test physical properties on rubber tire components, will now be used to test the resilience of hoses and their components."