"This new space offers a significant opportunity for us to increase our service portfolio in support of our clients in Asia," said Derek Read, vice president of Asia operations, materials science and engineering. "We are already working to determine the next steps of our plan to invest in additional testing capabilities."
In addition to laboratory space, the new building includes state-of-the-art classrooms and conference rooms for training and industry meetings.
"We look forward to hosting our industry partners and peers in our new on-site training and gathering annex in the future," Read said.
The new facility increases Smithers' testing space in all three areas (tire, wheel and product), but specifically in product testing (pressure, vibration, temperature, fatigue, among other parameters) by about 90 percent.
Smithers also plans to invest in more equipment to increase its testing capabilities. The company already has added a slip angle and camber angle tire durability machine to the new Suzhou lab, a machine that can provide dynamic camber and slip angle control from minus-5 degrees to 5 degrees—all features that have the potential to assist OEMs.
With the new facility, the tire and wheel lab also was able to expand its capabilities to test truck and bus tires, in addition to passenger and light truck tires.
Founded in 1925, Smithers provides consulting, information and compliance services to a range of industries.