Sumitomo Rubber opens winter tire test facility

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Sumitomo Rubber Industries has opened a new testing facility, NICE, at one of its main development bases for winter tires, the Nayoro Tire Proving Ground in Hokkaido, Japan.

The Nayoro Indoor Ice Field (NICE) is one of the largest indoor on-ice tire testing facilities in Japan, featuring a 100m braking test course as well as a 30 x 30m (approximate) turning test course. The indoor facility allows for high-precision on-ice testing regardless of the weather conditions, and it plans to take full advantage of the facility to further improve the performance of winter tires and accelerate its development process.

Attending the facility’s opening ceremony remotely, president Satoru Yamamoto of Sumitomo Rubber Industries gave a speech in which he promised, “NICE now ranks among the largest indoor on-ice tire testing facilities in all of Japan. So that we can get the most out of this new facility in order to provide the world’s best winter tires from right here in Nayoro to countless satisfied customers all over the world, our employees will be working hard on united efforts to put this facility to good use toward more robust tire development.”

Sumitomo owns and operates three tire proving grounds in Japan, its Okayama Tire Proving Grounds, which is used for comprehensive tire performance testing, in addition to the Nayoro and Asahikawa Tire Proving Grounds, which are both used in the development of winter tires.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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