The investment in six new testing machines will improve the laboratory’s ability to serve clients in the global tire and wheel marketplace, according to the release.
“The new testing equipment gives the Suzhou lab a 35% boost in capacity and broadens testing capabilities,” said Smithers Rapra.
The additional testing capabilities include: Cleated tire and wheel endurance testing; wheel impact; salt spray; and tire air permeation.
“Since the opening of our Suzhou lab in 2012, we have strived to evolve and grow with our local clients to support them with world class testing technology and service,” said Nat Leonard, president of Smithers Rapra.
The lab expansion, he added, is part of a strategy to grow in line with client requirements.
“We will continue to invest in new technologies and capabilities to meet the needs of the global tire and wheel industry,” stated Leonard.
This year, the firm will expand and introduce a new Flat-Trac CT Plus machine at the Smithers Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, Ohio.
This expansion will enhance existing force and moment capabilities with higher wheel torque and the ability to test a wider range of tire sizes.
The project is being carried out in partnership with six tire companies who funded the investment.
Meanwhile, the opening of a new event centre, track surfaces, and two rental buildings at Smithers’ winter test centre in Brimley, Michigan, is scheduled for early 2018.