AKRON — Tire-testing specialists Smithers Group has acquired the indoor tire and wheel testing assets of Standards Testing Laboratories (STL), comprising equipment designed for endurance, high-speed and rolling-resistance testing.
The acquisition, for which financial details were not disclosed, will allow Smithers to support its clients "with a broader portfolio of regulatory and compliance testing," Jim Popio, vice president of Smithers' Materials Science and Engineering division, said.
"Smithers is strategically and historically connected to the tire and wheel industries and is always looking to invest in opportunities that strengthen our ability to support clients in these spaces," he said.
STL did not comment on its reasons for divesting the testing resources and did not respond to Tire Business requests for comment.
Smithers said the dozen or so STL personnel who have overseen tire/wheel testing will join Smithers, and the equipment and team will continue to operate at STL's facility in Massillon, Ohio. Smithers said it has not yet determined whether to keep the acquired assets in place at STL's facility or relocate them to its own tire/wheel-testing facility in Ravenna, Ohio.
"We must determine how best to serve the tire and wheel industries with the combined capabilities and capacity," Smithers said.
Founded in 1971 by R.L. Fuller in Massillon, STL has evolved through the decades to become one of the world's leading independent tire and wheel testing laboratories.
The Massillon laboratory comprises three testing divisions on a 10-acre complex. STL claims the Massillon facility is the world's largest independent dynamic testing facility for tires, wheels and related automotive components, with more than 100 test positions available — capable of running 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
With this divestiture, STL's primary business becomes the design and manufacture of tire- and wheel-testing equipment. The company also maintains a tire-testing operation in San Angelo, Texas.