The new facility is equipped to provide air leak and burst, cleanliness, material properties, salt spray, and pressure, vibration, and temperature (PVT) testing. The new laboratory will be positioned to support the quickly evolving automotive market in China with fluid transfer system expertise and combines with existing labs in Akron, Ohio; Lansing, Michigan; and Shawbury, England to support Smithers’ global clients.
“The automotive market in China has experienced enormous growth over the past several years,” said Derek Read, Vice President - Asia Operations, Smithers Rapra. “Electric vehicles continue to experience enormous growth in China. Batteries being used to support this flood of new electric vehicle technology will require temperature regulation via hoses. These emerging technologies will drive changes in how hoses will be made and tested in the future, and our laboratory in Suzhou is primed to accommodate that shift.”
The new laboratory is able to support vehicle OEMs and their suppliers with validation testing for a wide variety of fluid transfer systems used on passenger cars, trucks, and other vehicles. The experienced local team can test to international and OEM standards as well as develop custom benchmarking programs to support R&D efforts for a wide variety of components, including all varieties of fluid and air transfer hoses.
“Smithers is adapting to a changing global automotive market. Our commitment to serving domestic and multinational clientele calls for us to grow with the market into electric and autonomous technologies and beyond,” said Nat Leonard, President, Smithers Rapra. “We’ve spent the last seven years building and expanding an industry-leading tire and wheel testing lab in Suzhou, and we’re thrilled to offer even more testing capabilities to new and existing clients with this new product testing lab. We plan to continue to evaluate expansion opportunities into other testing services for various automotive components.”
The Suzhou laboratory is ISO 17025-certified and will likely be followed by continued expansion in the region to support client needs. This investment in China comes as the country reported 579,000 electric vehicle sales in 2017, reporting the highest sales numbers for any country for the year according to Forbes.