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Nokian opens new R&D centre for heavy tyres

Nokian has opened its new €70m research and development centre in Nokia, Finland for its heavy tyre division.

It says the new 4,000 square metre state-of-the-art centre will greatly improve its testing capabilities thanks to added automation and capacity, in order to introduce more and better new heavy tyres.

For the company’s engineers, the new facility represents a considerable improvement both in terms of the volume of testing that can be undertaken and the quality of that testing. “For example, the drum testing capacity grew significantly,” noted R&D director Kalle Kaivonen.

He added: “The product development and OEM collaboration are much more efficient. Thanks to the added capacity, the earlier bottlenecks in testing have been eliminated. And there is plenty of room for future investments still. The new machinery enables us to gather more data and analyse it better, as the integration with the product development is more solid than before.”

Nokian says that the entire testing process, from installation to measurements and 3D scanning, from pressure testing to section cutting, has been optimised to provide quality data efficiently for different information needs.

“Different kinds of tests and analysis can be ordered by a product development team, customer service or by a machine manufacturer, for example,” added Kaivonen. “We can provide them with an extremely broad range of different analysis and in-depth information.”

In the design of the test centre, Nokian says that special attention was paid to the safe and ergonomic handling of the tyres and wheels. “Everything is more clearly laid out now and on the same level,” Kaunisto added. “This makes the work safer and more comfortable – and has clearly boosted the spirits of the whole team.”