Market and technical consulting, compliance services and testing leaders for the tire and wheel industry, Smithers, is investing in new equipment to measure footprint, load deflection and inflation pressure loss rate (IPLR) to its Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna, Ohio. Smithers is a multinational company headquartered in Akron, Ohio. The company explains that its new, custom built, footprint and load deflection machine can accommodate passenger, truck, and bus radial tires, including Super Singles- a single, wide wheel substituted for a dual/tandem assembly. It can conduct footprint shape and pressure distribution and offers a second station for longitudinal, lateral, and vertical spring rate testing. Smithers says the machine was developed in order to improve testing lead times and support customers changing data needs. Smithers says it has also set up the capability to condition and measure inflation pressure loss rate (IPLR) to most industry standards. Also located at the Ravenna test center, the new testing room is equipped with multiple HVAC systems, offering two independent temperature zones for evaluating the rate at which a tire loses air pressure over a given time period. This kind of testing is vital for tire manufacturers, as proper tire inflation greatly increases safety, handling, fuel efficiency, and tire longevity. Matt Kent, technical director at the Smithers Tire and Wheel Test Center, stressed that maintaining long-standing relationships within the tire industry is a top priority for the company, which is committed to adding new testing capabilities in order to meet the evolving needs of its clients in this vital sector. Located 15 miles northeast of Akron, The Smithers Tire and Wheel Test Center in Ravenna offers a broad range of testing services for measuring performance, durability, and other characteristics of passenger car, light truck, agricultural, fleet truck, off-the-road and specialty tires.