Financial analysts from Jefferies described Continental AG’s plan for fiscal improvements during the corona-crisis “encouraging”, according to an analyst report published 15 May 2020. That Conti’s management highlighted “positive data points in China and the European replacement tyre market”, would seem to be positive indications for the whole tyre business. Specifically, replacement tyre demand was described as “strong” in Germany. However, R&D budgets are likely to be cut and there was even the suggestion that European tyre factory numbers could also be cut back.
Ricardo has been contracted by Geely Automotive Research Institute, the research and development organisation of the leading Chinese automaker located in Ningbo to provide crucial functional safety support relating to a range of vehicle functions. Each of these functions is associated with key chassis and high voltage system operations.
Test World reports that it is remaining open to “operate and fulfill a busy schedule of indoor tyre and vehicle testing during the global COVID-19 pandemic”. Writing in an email to customers and contacts published 31 March 2020, company representatives said: “Operating within official health guidance to the strictest degree and treating the health and wellbeing of its staff as the utmost priority, Test World strives to minimise disruption to the industry in these unprecedented times.”
A new technique to observe and analyse individual materials within tyre rubber offers “enormous potential” for the development of high-performance tyres with unprecedented levels of efficiency and wear resistance, engineers at Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) and Ibaraki University claim.
Pirelli has inaugurated a new driving simulator at its research and development division in Milan. The manufacturer says it is using its experience with simulation in Formula 1 to accelerate road tyre development cycles and tyre testing, reducing lead times and reinforcing partnerships with leading car makers with increased agility. Pirelli is the latest premium brand tyre maker to implement new simulation technology into its R&D department, following announcements by Michelin and Goodyear. The Italian brand adds that the new simulator is the latest instalment of its digitalisation strategy.
Kenda Rubber Industrial has expanded its research and development centre in Germany, reinforcing its development team in Winsen (Luhe). Italian Antonio Gallo has joined Kenda Europe Technical Center (KETC) as a tyre tester to put the Taiwanese manufacturer’s high-performance tyres through their paces.
Recent funding grants given to LeHigh University mean the college’s friction and adhesion research department will continue to develop innovative solutions that could fuel tyre development. According to the University, Anand Jagota, professor and founding chair of Lehigh University’s bioengineering department, has arrived at a milestone in his 15 years of researching friction and adhesion.
Working together with a Japanese university, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. (SRI) has established a new technique for observing materials contained within tyre rubber. This process differs from existing methods as it enables an evaluation of the actual rubber used in mass-produced tyres rather than relying upon processed test samples. The company behind the Falken tyre brand foresees the technique facilitating the development of tyres with superior performance characteristics.
Currently transporting damaged and defective car batteries is an expensive process as they need to be placed in an explosion proof box which costs thousands of pounds, however researchers from WMG at the University of Warwick in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover engineers have been able to freeze batteries with Liquid Nitrogen.
Yokohama Rubber has teamed up with Alps Alpine to conduct research and development into CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services and Electric) compliant sensors for passenger car tyres. The tyre maker chose to partner with the Japanese electronics specialist as, in addition to experience in sensor development, Alps Alpine possesses system design and software development capabilities that Yokohama anticipates will deliver synergies to its new tyre business model.
In just a few months’ time, Toyo Tire Corporation will begin research and development work at a new site in Europe. The tyre maker is setting up an R&D centre in Willich, Germany to support its future factory in Serbia, and intends to start operations there in the autumn. Having a local R&D presence in the vicinity of vehicle manufacturers and related companies will, says Toyo, be beneficial in terms of the quality and freshness of the information gained.
Nexen Tire has a new R&D hub – the Nexen Central Research Institute, or Nexen univerCITY. Located in the Magok Industrial Complex in Seoul, South Korea, the 57,000 square metre facility will act as a research and development hub for Nexen Tire’s centres in the USA, Europe and China. More than 300 people attended an official opening ceremony for the Nexen univerCITY late last month.
Test World officially opened additional new indoor test facilities at its Ivalo, Finland operation on 27 March 2019, signalling the culminating of that latest part of a multi-million-euro series of investments in Test World. The recently constructed indoor facilities increase Test World’s capacity for year-round cold weather testing, allowing for simultaneous testing on snow, ice, and wet and dry asphalt, 365 days a year.