Smithers Rapra named Tire Industry Supplier of the Year at Tire Technology Expo

Tire Technology International has named Smithers Rapra, a world leader in rubber, plastics and composites testing expertise, its Tire Industry Supplier of the Year as part of the Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence 2018.

The award was presented during the Tire Technology Expo 2018 in Hannover, Germany.

Nat Leonard, President of Smithers Rapra, was on hand to receive the award on behalf of the company. The company made multiple new investments in 2017, from upgrades to the analytical chemistry offering, a 35% increase in testing capacity in China, to a partnership with global tire manufacturers to expand the Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, Ohio, and the addition of new buildings and track surfaces at the Smithers Winter Test Center in Brimley, Michigan.

“Smithers is honored to receive the Supplier of the Year Award at Tire Technology Expo 2018. We are driven by our commitment to being the best global partner for our clients,” said Leonard. “Each of our investments was made to offer additional technical depth along every part of the tire development cycle, as well as geographic breadth to our global clients allowing us to provide the highest level of support for their tire development efforts.”

The Tire Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence, founded in 2008, reward the smart thinking and hard work of the tire design and manufacturing industry. The shortlist is compiled from nominations received from the readers of Tire Technology International, and with the input of the magazine's editorial team. It is then sent to an independent panel of international tire industry experts for them to cast their votes and determine the winners, with the presentations being made at Tire Technology Expo in Hannover each February.

"Few companies have packed as much into the past 12 months as Smithers Rapra. Its investments in test facilities around the world include an innovative partnership with tire makers to bring a new Flat-Trac laboratory to Ravenna, Ohio,” said Graham Heeps, editor, Tire Technology International and chairman of the judging panel. “These new developments reconfirm a place at the forefront of the industry for one of the oldest names in tire and rubber testing."

Smithers also exhibited at Tire Technology Expo, and Bruce Lambillotte, Vice President of Technical Consulting, delivered a presentation on the present and future landscape of lightweighting in passenger car tires, titled “Lightweighting in Light Vehicle Tires: A Case Study Approach.”

Smithers Rapra operates laboratories in North America, Europe, and China, covering a wide variety of testing and consulting services from material chemistry and product durability testing, to tire, wheel and winter testing. Smithers’ global network of ISO 17025 accredited tire test laboratories perform a wide variety of SAE, ASTM, ISO, UNECE and EC tests supporting raw material suppliers, tire manufacturers and automotive OEMs. For more information about Smithers Rapra visit

About Smithers Rapra:

Smithers Rapra has been a trusted partner of the rubber and plastics industries for over 90 years. Our business is built around delivering a complete portfolio of rubber and plastic testing services to support a wide range of industry sectors including tire, automotive, polymer products, oil and gas, medical device, pharmaceutical, transport, packaging, industrial, and consumer products. By integrating science, technology and business expertise, Smithers adds value throughout the life cycle of our clients’ products. Please visit

About The Smithers Group:

Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, The Smithers Group includes Smithers Apex, Smithers Avanza, Smithers Pira, Smithers Quality Assessments, Smithers Rapra, and Smithers Viscient. Each Smithers Group company provides technology-based services focused on a defined market. As a group, the diversity of market sectors and technologies provides stability and a platform for long-term growth. By integrating science, technology and business expertise, Smithers’ goal is to add value throughout the lifecycle of our clients’ products, by utilizing testing, consulting, information, and compliance services. All Smithers companies are known by their clients as Trusted Providers of Innovative Solutions. For more information, visit

You can reach the Smithers Rapra North America office at:

425 West Market Street
Akron, Ohio 44303
Telephone: 330-762-7441