RAVENNA, Ohio—Smithers Group is expanding the testing capabilities of its Ravenna Tire & Wheel Test Center with the addition of equipment to measure footprint, load deflection and inflation pressure loss rate.
The new custom-built machine can accommodate passenger and truck/bus radials, including wide-based singles, Smithers said, allowing the testing company to reduce testing lead times and support clients' evolving data requirements.
The machine also can test for longitudinal, lateral and vertical spring rate testing, Smithers said, the second such piece of equipment at Ravenna that can do so.
Smithers also has invested in a climate-controlled testing room that will allow it to condition and measure inflation pressure loss rate to most industry standards. The room is equipped with multiple heating/ventilation/air-conditioning systems that offer independent temperature zones for evaluating the rate at which a tire loses air pressure over a given time period.
Because proper tire inflation greatly increases safety, handling, fuel efficiency and tire longevity, this type of testing is crucial for tire companies looking to ensure the best possible experience for their customers, Smithers said.
"Maintaining our long-standing relationships within the tire industry is a top priority for us. Smithers is committed to adding new testing capabilities so we can continue to meet the evolving needs of our valued clients in this vital sector," Matt Kent, technical director at the Ravenna center, said in a statement.
Smithers did not disclose the investment value or identify the supplier of the new equipment.
A year ago, Smithers invested $10 million in at the facility to add about 10,000 square feet of space to the structure to accommodate new equipment and improve the facility's infrastructure.
Earlier this year, Smithers disclosed plans to move its headquarters and about 200 employees from to a redeveloped site in downtown Akron from an older facility a few miles away.
Smithers, which has been in Akron since 1925, describes itself as a multinational provider of testing, consulting, information, and compliance services.