Ravenna, Ohio — Smithers Group is expanding the testing capabilities of its Ravenna tire & wheel test centre with new equipment to measure footprint, load deflection and inflation pressure loss rate.
The custom-built machine can accommodate passenger and truck/bus radials, including wide-based singles, said Smithers.
This will reduce testing lead times and support clients' evolving data requirements according to a company statement.
The machine, it noted, also can test for longitudinal, lateral and vertical spring rate testing – 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.
As proper tire inflation greatly increases safety, handling, fuel-efficiency and tire longevity, this type of testing is crucial for tire companies, Smithers said.
The statement did not disclose the investment value or identify the supplier of the new equipment.
A year ago, Smithers invested $10 million to add about 10,000 square feet of space at the facility and accommodate new equipment.
Earlier this year Smithers disclosed plans to move its HQ and about 200 employees 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.