CHENNAI, India — Apollo Tyres Ltd. has enhanced its tire-development capabilities with the commissioning recently of new equipment designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of product-development cycles for tires.
Company officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in early December for the advanced tire testing facility at its 7-year-old Global R&D Centre in Chennai. The new equipment will help it accelerate development of tires for passenger vehicles and two-wheelers, including ones for electric vehicles (EVs).
Apollo also is looking at ways to reduce expensive and time-consuming testing at different tracks around the world by augmenting its advanced testing capabilities.
Key features of the new facility include a custom-designed Flat-trac machine and an anechoic chamber, which Apollo said will help it characterize various tires' dynamic and acoustic performance, leading to faster product development for both OE and replacement markets.
"We strongly focus on continuous improvement in efficiency and effectiveness of product development, and this new facility will further augment our testing capabilities for future vehicle models," Daniele Lorenzetti, chief technology officer, said at the inauguration of the facility in early December.
"We will be able to fine tune the performance of our products by simulating closely to the real-world conditions using this facility. This is aligned with Apollo Tyres' 2026 vision, of which technology is a key pillar."
The Flat-trac machine enables users to characterize handling parameters and tire models, measuring force and moment (F&M) properties of tires, as per vehicle's improved dynamics, Apollo said.
The machine at the Apollo center is custom designed to address tire simulation needs of future vehicles, such as EVs and autonomous vehicles, Apollo said, offering replications of real-life situations, including emergency maneuvers of vehicles like high slip angles and high torque ramp-up.
Another component is a high-speed uniformity machine combined with an anechoic chamber that helps simulate the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) properties of the tires. This installation combines the study of mechanical and acoustic comfort parameters, Apollo said, by building different road profiles.
Apollo did not disclose its investment in the new equipment.
Apollo opened the Global R&D Centre near its Chennai tire factory in 2016, designed to service the product development needs for the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions.