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Smithers Rapra expands winter test center in Brimley, MI  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Akron, OH - Smithers Rapra announced a major expansion at the Smithers Winter Test Center in Brimley, MI, to be opened mid-January 2018. The additions include a conference center, cafeteria, 130 acres with new track surfaces and two rental buildings. The 5,304 square-foot multi-purpose conference space includes a garage door for showcasing vehicles, a large open area holding up to 115 people, a divider wall that allows for multiple room configurations, a small group meeting room for 12-14 people, and a private kitchen area for food prep. Two new on-site rental buildings will feature furnished office space for clients, with a double bay garage, a kitchen area and wireless internet. “Having a space to showcase new vehicle technology and hold driving events, as well as supporting on-site staff with a cafeteria, was a critical need for our clients,” said Sean Connolly, general manager, Smithers Winter Test Center. “The expansions at our winter proving grounds will address these needs, while providing additional track space for driving and training events, along with new testing areas. The new facility will also be a great asset to the local community for events and meetings.” The 130-acre track expansion will be comprised of 38 acres for developing a large snow field, deep snow area and expanded ice area; 13 acres dedicated to demonstrations, training and exclusive use tied to the new conference building; 30 acres for an exclusive track with a testing partner on site; and 49 acres available to other testing partners to expand. “Our Winter Test Center can fulfill just about any testing for snowy or icy surfaces; the new additions of space and facilities will give our clients a winter ‘whiteboard,’ where we can recreate almost any scenario they wish,” said Jim Popio, vice president, North America, Smithers Rapra. “Automotive components need to meet the challenges of real world conditions, and winter driving can be some of the most challenging terrain for development engineers to consider in their development efforts.” The Smithers Winter Test Center currently features over 750 acres of snow, ice and bare pavement surfaces. The facility is staffed by more than 40 employees who create and maintain a variety of snow, ice and dry area surfaces. It is ideal for testing a variety of vehicle types, from small automobiles to Class 8 trucks, vehicle components, snow handling equipment, construction equipment, recreational sport vehicles and military equipment. 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 test laboratories perform a wide variety of SAE, ASTM, ISO, UNECE and EC tests supporting raw material suppliers, tire manufacturers and automotive OEMs.


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