ZC Rubber has named Martin Wells as the company’s new European managing director and president of ZC Technical Center and Global OE. Meanwhile, Jörn Tietjens has been appointed as senior key account manager/senior automotive engineer of the European ZC Technical Center.
With construction of main buildings now complete, China’s first research and development facility for aircraft tyres is expected to open early next month. Guangzhou Development District Management Committee reports that the first scientific researchers are now moving into the Aviation Tire Exhibition Center, an integral part of the Aviation Tire Science Center, and are preparing to start work.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) and its research partners have developed a technology for measuring the structure and chemical state of matter at a nanoscale level and have employed this to visualise the sulphur compounds within lithium-sulphur batteries in greater detail than ever before. SRI anticipates not only improving the performance of lithium-sulphur batteries – the technology may also lead to better-performing tyres.
Omni United has appointed Olli Seppälä as its global head of R&D. The former head of R&D at Nokian, Seppälä brings with him expertise in passenger, light truck and heavy-duty tyres. His remit is to drive forward Omni’s product research, design, development and testing.
Sailun Tire Americas is planning to open a US technical centre in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA that will develop tyres for passenger, light truck, SUV, CUV and medium truck tyres applications as well as tyres for electric vehicles. Tyre developed there will ultimately end up at both OE and replacement destinations.
Olli Seppälä, formerly head of research and development at Nokian Tyres, parted ways with the tyre maker last week. The decision to move on after almost two decades wasn’t one taken lightly, Seppälä reports, adding that he leaves a company that “has a stronger product portfolio than ever” as well as “even better products in the pipeline and capable, talented employees who lead and drive the company forward.”
Apollo Tyres is investing £5 million in a London-based digital innovation hub as part of a five-year growth plan, which involves significant investment in technology and cloud infrastructure. The announcement is set against the backdrop of UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s visit to India to discuss UK-India economic partnership, with Johnson specifically commenting on Apollo’s investment.
The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. has decided to promote one of its senior technical executives, Koji Watanabe, and increase his area of responsibility. According to a statement issued by the company on 29 March, the decision took effect from 30 March 2022.
BWR Motorsports GmbH has developed technology which enables Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA tyre) testing to take place at the racetrack. Centred on a portable tyre testing unit called Motite, the system helps race teams across series such as Formula One and WEC to measure tyre grip levels and rank tyres on-track. The software allows an immediate grip level output and enables measurement and analysis to be carried out directly on the tyre.
The Audi Environmental Foundation has developed filters for urban runoff in conjunction with the Technical University of Berlin. They prevent tyre wear particles and other substances from being washed into sewers and bodies of water along with rainwater. Initial field and lab tests have now demonstrated the efficiency of the UrbanFilter project.
Nokian Tyres is launching an innovation challenge to change the future of driving. The “Fast Race, Big Change” challenge is an open competition inviting start-ups, businesses, students and academics to innovate for more sustainable tyres. The finalists will be offered the unique opportunity to pitch their idea at Nokian Tyres’ legendary – and rather dauntingly named – ‘White Hell’ tyre testing centre in Lapland, during one lap on a test track. The winner will have the chance to collaborate with the Nokian Tyres R&D experts to craft their idea into reality.
Bridgestone has inaugurated a new state-of-the-art wet handling track at its European Proving Ground (EUPG) near Rome. The tyre manufacturer says the track was designed to provide suitable testing for “both traditional vehicle manufacturers and new EV players” in a variety of weather conditions. Designed within a virtual environment ahead of construction, the project received an investment of approximately 3 million euros.
A decade after the first agreement, Pirelli, Milan Polytechnic and Polytechnic Foundation have signed off a three-year continuation of their ‘Joint Labs’ programme, which centres upon research projects that advance tyre-related technological innovation.
Vesevo has been awarded Hardware Innovation of the Year in the Automotive Testing Technology International Awards. According to the company, the VESevo system won thanks to its hardware which offers detailed analysis of the quality of tyres and predicts their interaction with the vehicle – offering advantages, above all, in safety, performance, and quality control.
An aquaplaning measuring solution devised by Tread Ltd founder Ray Collier has won the prestigious Autocar Drivers of Change Digital Award. According to the award citation, Collier’s one-box solution offers a unique way of reducing the R&D costs associated with car and light truck/van tyres.