Richfield, Ohio — Nexen Tire Corp. has opened its $5.2-million (€4.7-million) America Technical Centre in Richfield in order to improve its position as an OE tire supplier in North America.
In a ceremony 12 Nov, CEO Travis Kang cut the ribbon on the 35,000-sq.-ft. facility which is up and running with a staff of 18.
The facility — one of three technical centres Nexen operates worldwide — is built to house a staff of up to 40, according to Dean Rogers, senior manager, tire technology
The facility's activities thus far encompass computer design/3-D modelling 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 characterisation.
Still in the planning phase are 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.
Half of the facility's efforts are devoted to OE tire development, a quarter to replacement market tire development and the rest to future tire technology, Nexen officials said at the opening ceremony.
Earlier this year Nexen commissioned research/development facilities in South Korea, in Seoul, and in Germany, in Kelkheim.
The Korean centre, dubbed "Nexen UniverCITY," spans 613,000 square feet and represents an investment of $178 million.
The 118,000-sq.-ft. German facility houses both the Nexen Tire Europe commercial activities and the Nexen Tire Technical Centre.
Nexen has been conducting R&D in the US for the past seven years, operating out of two buildings in Richfield.