RICHFIELD, Ohio—Nexen Tire Corp. CEO Travis Kang cut the ribbon Nov. 13 on his company's newest investment, the $5.2 million America Technical Center in Richfield, a facility expected to help the South Korean tire maker improve its position as an OE tire supplier in North America.
Just two years after breaking ground for the project, the 35,540-sq.-ft. facility is up and running with a staff of 18. One of three technical centers Nexen operates worldwide, the structure is built to house a staff of up to 40, according to Dean Rogers, senior manager, tire technology. Plans call for hiring most if not all the additional staff locally, he added.
The facility's activities thus far encompass computer design/3D modeling and measuring, NVH (noise/vibration/harshness) testing, field testing with its own and customer vehicles, tire dissection, limited rubber lab testing and tire loading/structural characterization.
There are plans to add a fully equipped rubber testing lab and an indoor test wheel capable of running both rolling resistance and high-speed uniformity, Rogers said during a tour of the facility. The space for those activities is vacant now.