The officials who gathered for the groundbreaking were, left to right, Frank Seman, Mayor of Ravenna; Keith Grabo, Goodyear; Kelvin Standard, Michelin; John Sabistina, Bridgestone; James Fogarty, Hankook; Nathaniel Leonard, Smithers; Mike Hochschwender, The Smithers Group; Jim Popio, Smithers Rapra; Jeff Endicott, Cooper; Knut Budde, Continental; and Bradford Ehrhart, Portage Development Board.

The officials who gathered for the groundbreaking were, left to right, Frank Seman, Mayor of Ravenna; Keith Grabo, Goodyear; Kelvin Standard, Michelin; John Sabistina, Bridgestone; James Fogarty, Hankook; Nathaniel Leonard, Smithers; Mike Hochschwender, The Smithers Group; Jim Popio, Smithers Rapra; Jeff Endicott, Cooper; Knut Budde, Continental; and Bradford Ehrhart, Portage Development Board.

The Smithers Group has broken ground on an expansion of the Smithers Tire and Wheel Test Center which will allow for tests of higher wheel torque and increased longitudinal and lateral load limits. The expansion follows an investment by Smithers Rapra and six tire makers — Bridgestone Americas Inc., Continental Tire the Americas LLC, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Hankook Tire America Corp. and Michelin North America Inc. — to introduce the MTS Flat-Trac CT Plus Tire Test System.

The expansion at the Ravenna,Ohio, laboratory is expected to be complete by July 2018.

“Smithers is deeply rooted in the tire industry,” says Mike Hochschwender, CEO and president of The Smithers Group. “Founded in 1925 to serve a growing number of manufacturers, we are approaching 100 years of service and we are committed to continuing that legacy with this new partnership.

“The original Force and Moment partnership, created by Smithers and tire manufacturers, was established 30 years ago and has been a tremendous success for everyone involved. We’re building on that cooperation between Smithers and tire manufacturers with this new testing partnership to introduce a new MTS Flat-Trac CT Plus Tire Test System at the Smithers Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, Ohio. Sharing costs and access to the new machine allows all partners to benefit both technologically as well as economically.”

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