AKRON — Independent tire testing company Smithers Rapra has struck a deal with six U.S.-based tire makers to help fund the expansion of its Ravenna, Ohio, tire and wheel testing center and installation of a specialized piece of testing equipment.
Smithers Rapra's deal with the tire makers — Bridgestone Americas, Continental Tire, Cooper Tire & Rubber, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Hankook Tire, Michelin North America — covers the installation at the Ravenna facility of an MTS Flat-Trac CT Plus tire test system, which provides higher wheel torque and increased longitudinal and lateral load limits over the facility's existing capabilities.
Adding this piece of equipment will allow Smithers to test most passenger car and light truck tires on the market. It also will require expanding the Ravenna laboratory by 10,000 square feet, which should be completed by July 2018.
The cost of the project and the partners' share of the cost was not disclosed. Smithers expects to generate additional revenue by leasing time to companies other than the six partnership firms.