New Testing Lab to Support China’s Expanding Automotive Market

Smithers Rapra opens 4,000 sq ft product testing laboratory in Suzhou.

Fluid transfer system component testing at Smithers Rapra’s new Suzhou product testing lab.

Fluid transfer system component testing at Smithers Rapra’s new Suzhou product testing lab.

Provider of testing, consulting services, training and market reports for rubber, plastics, and composites, Smithers Rapra has announced that it is opening a new product testing laboratory in Suzhou, China. The new 4,000 sq ft facility provides air leak and burst, cleanliness, material properties, salt spray, and pressure, vibration and temperature (PVT) testing.

According to the company, the new laboratory will be positioned to support the quickly evolving automotive market in China with fluid transfer system expertise. This lab will combine with Smithers Rapra’s existing labs in Akron, Ohio; Lansing, Michigan; and Shawbury, England.

“The automotive market in China has experienced enormous growth over the past several years,” said Derek Read, VP – Asia Operations, Smithers Rapra. “In addition to traditional internal combustion engines, electric vehicles have become the wave of the future. New battery technologies require temperature regulation via hoses. We anticipate significant changes in how hoses will be made and tested, and our laboratory can accommodate that shift.”

The laboratory is intended to support vehicle OEMs and tier suppliers with validation testing for a wide variety of fluid transfer systems used on the vehicle. From brake and fuel lines to coolant hoses, radiators, and turbochargers, the local team will test to international and OEM standards as well as develop custom benchmarking programs to support R&D efforts.

“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, autonomous, and beyond,” said Nat Leonard, President, Smithers Rapra. “We have been in Suzhou for over seven years building an industry leading tire and wheel testing lab, and plan to continue to evaluate the expansion 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.

For more on automotive testing, find out The 5 Most Common Errors in Automotive Leak Testing.