Smithers Rapra Announces New Conference Center and Track Expansion at Winter Proving Grounds

Press Release ( - AKRON, Ohio - Aug 17, 2017 - Smithers Rapra, a world leader in rubber, plastics, and composites testing expertise, announced today 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.
• 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.

About Smithers Rapra:

Smithers Rapra has been a trusted partner of the plastics and rubber 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. A member of the Smithers Group of companies, Smithers Rapra is one of six member companies providing technology based services to a diverse set of industry segments. By integrating science, technology and business expertise, Smithers’ goal is to add value throughout the lifecycle of our clients’ products. Learn more at

Source : Smithers Rapra
Business Info :
Smithers Rapra

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CATEGORIES : Automotive
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