Smithers opening new test lab in China

Smithers Rapra is opening a new product testing laboratory in Suzhou, China. The 4,000 square foot facility provides air leak and burst, cleanliness, material properties, salt spray, and pressure, vibration, and temperature (PVT) testing. According to Smithers, the new lab will support the evolving automotive market in China with fluid transfer system expertise, combining with Smithers’ existing labs in Akron, Ohio; Lansing, Michigan; and Shawbury, UK to support global clients.

Derek Read, vice president of Asia operations for Smithers Rapra, commented: “The automotive market in China has experienced enormous growth over the past several years. In addition to traditional internal combustion engines, electric vehicles have become the wave of the future. New battery technologies require temperature regulation via hoses. We anticipate significant changes in how hoses will be made and tested, and our laboratory can accommodate that shift.”

The laboratory is designed to support vehicle OEMs and suppliers with validation testing for a wide variety of applications.

Nat Leonard, president of Smithers Rapra, added: “Smithers is adapting to a changing global automotive market. Our commitment to serving domestic and multinational clientele calls for us to grow with the market into electric, autonomous, and beyond. We have been in Suzhou for over seven years building an industry leading tyre and wheel testing lab, and plan to continue to evaluate the expansion into other testing services
for various automotive components.”

The company’s investment in China comes as the country reported 579,000 electric vehicle sales in 2017, which is the highest sales numbers for any country for the year, according to Forbes.

The Suzhou laboratory is ISO 17025-certified and will likely be followed by Smithers’ continued expansion
in the region to support client needs, the company said.

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