Ahead of May’s introduction of the new-style European tyre label, Test World has begun ice grip testing for customers at its facility in Ivalo, Northern Finland. The existing 3PMSF ‘snowflake’ symbol indicates that a tyre is suitable for both Central Europe and Nordic countries, but Test World says that, in reality, the technical demands of these two markets are very different. Nordic winter conditions are typically far harsher than in Central Europe, with more snow and ice on the roads.
This year the well-known Finland-based tyre testing centre Test World turns 30. What better way to celebrate than to redouble its efforts to become a comprehensive test centre for summer, winter and all-season tyres? Following the acquisition of Test World’s parent company Millbrook by UTAC CERAM, which was completed at the start of February 2021, key developments towards this goal include: the purchase of the world’s first all-electric winter tyre traction testing light truck and the addition of a new soon-to-be opened proving ground in Morocco. Tyres & Accessories me up Jukka Antila, Technical Director at Test World as well as Millbrook business development manager Andrew Kern in order to find out more.
In December 2020 French group UTAC CERAM announced that it was buying British test specialists Millbrook, which also owns well-known tyre test centres such as Test World in Finland. The plan is to merge the two companies, creating “a market-leading group in vehicle testing, vehicle type approval and emerging technologies for autonomous, connected and electric vehicles”.
Test World, the Millbrook-owned tyre and vehicle testing facility based in Northern Finland, is poised for re-opening with a full programme of outdoor winter testing as the first snowfalls signal the onset of winter. Located 300km north of the Arctic Circle, Test World’s outdoor facilities include a 20km track at its Airport Proving Ground and 80km of track at the Mellatracks Proving Ground.
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.”
Test World has announced the appointment of two key, new staff to manage demand from customers in Asia and mainland Europe. Investing in business development managers in China and Germany is intended to sustain and build on recent business expansion. Test World continues to meet the increased demand for its tyre and vehicle testing services at its Ivalo proving ground in northern Finland.
Test World is expanding its service offering to include tyre testing using a skid trailer, co-operating with Applus+ IDIADA to enhance its winter testing capabilities. The test equipment captures tyre adherence measurements, behaviour and characteristics in snow and ice driving environments.
Test World recently won Inari Entrepreneurs Association Company of the Year due to the importance of Test World across the whole Inari region. Since 96 per cent of Test World’s customers are international, local Finnish companies also benefit from the business of Test World’s customers when they travel to the site.
Test World is starting its full programme of winter tyre and vehicle testing after expanding its outdoor tracks in Ivalo, Northern Finland. The team has added 4km of new tracks to meet the rise in demand for tyre and vehicle test services, making the total length 84 km. Some tracks have been reshaped based on customer feedback and to meet changing requirements.
Millbrook’s Test World facility in Finland has been selected as the official partner of Traficom, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, to carry out assessments across the studded tyre market. Test World will work with Traficom over a period of three years, beginning this summer.
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.
Test World has won the ‘Tire Industry Supplier of the Year’ award at the Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence 2019. According to the company, the win recognises continued investment in Test World, with expanded indoor test facilities due to be officially opened during a ceremony on the 27 March.
Next month, Test World will open its new temperature-controlled wet and dry asphalt indoor tracks at its facility near Ivalo, Finland. These new tracks complement the new and extended snow and ice indoor tracks that opened in April.
Since launching with the mass-market focused DX390 and high performance DX640 in 2015, UK based Davanti Tyres has developed and tuned its range to target expansion into global markets. Last year the company produced its first winter tyres to increase its ability to access customers in the northern hemisphere, especially those countries with legislation requiring the fitment of cold weather tread. Now, in a press launch event at Millbrook, where development partner Tread has been testing for the brand, Davanti has brought to market another fitment designed to increase its reach into global markets, the all-terrain Terratoura, in 10 initial sizes between 15 and 17 inches.
Test World has appointed Andrew Beach as its new business development director. Beach will be responsible for all sales activities at Test World, and play a key role in continuing to accelerate its growth.
Andrew Beach has spent his career working in automotive test and development. He joined Millbrook in 2000 and has been working closely with Test World since its acquisition by Millbrook in September 2015.