The Smithers Group has upgraded its tread wear testing capabilities at its primary Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, Ohio.

The improvements to equipment and software allow Smithers Rapra to run a variety of drive profiles for passenger, light truck and commercial vehicle tires while supporting benchmarking and development requirements.

Smithers says indoor tread wear testing provides "a more controlled, consistent and efficient" alternative to on road testing, in terms of determining how a tire will wear. Indoor testing also can provide researchers the ability to run wear studies that would be difficult or cost-prohibitive to perform on roads.

The tread wear machine can induce tread wear quickly and consistently for a combination of city and highway driving conditions, Smithers says. And the company can create custom profiles to match the particular tendencies of a vehicle and course.

“Our goal at Smithers is to provide our clients with the most expansive set of testing capabilities, while maintaining the most accurate results available in the marketplace,” says James Popio, vice president of Smithers Rapra North America. “As tread development continues to grow in importance, the market has been interested in finding more controlled and efficient ways of testing tread wear characteristics. We’re excited to be one of the only third-party labs to provide this valuable service to tire companies and material suppliers moving forward.”

For more information about Smithers Rapra visit