Video Exclusives


Dynamic tire testing

Sentury

XSensor has developed a new high-speed tire sensor to provide tire design and test engineers with accurate footprint pressure data on a timescale of milliseconds during dynamic analysis

Click here to watch the video


Inside Arctic Falls' Indoor Flex facility

Sentury

Raw footage taken in the new test hall at the Swedish proving ground, scheduled to open later this month

Click here to watch the video


Michelin launches recycling campaign

Sentury

The French tire maker has unveiled its ambitious future recycling strategy to ensure that by 2048, all of its tires are manufactured using 80% sustainable materials, and 100% of all end-of-life tires are recycled.

Click here to watch the video


Who developed the Magic Formula Tyre Model widely used for the analysis of tire behavior?

Web Exclusive Articles

« back to listing

Interview: Tom Williams, Kenda Tires

Taiwanese tire maker Kenda Tires recently established a new tech center in the USA. We speak to Kenda’s VP of engineering who’s been tasked with developing the facility while also expanding the company’s R&D activity in Taiwan

by Rachel Evans

 

Kenda Tires only made its first vehicle tires around 15 years ago, having previously focused on bicycle tires and tubes. But via its passenger car, truck and other vehicle offerings, the mid-market tire producer has been rapidly growing. To accelerate its sales in key regions, particularly the USA, and add to its portfolio of OE equipment deals – which currently comprises fitments in China with some spare tire deals in North America – Kenda has established a tech center in North Canton, Ohio, in the US Midwest.

The operation is being led by Tom Williams (above right), VP of engineering, who was hired in March 2014 and brings to the role his experience working in the R&D departments at Firestone, General Tire and, most recently, Hankook.
 

Above: Investment has totaled around US$2m with ongoing investments planned for the future

Williams has been setting up infrastructure for the center, which was officially opened in November 2015. He’s recruited the first members of his team, which now numbers 18, however that total could rise to 70 people depending on market growth.

“The majority were hired from the local area. From an experience point of view there are many tire experts based in Akron. We also have Akron University close by,” Williams notes.

The facility’s location is said to offer other advantages, too: “We’re in close proximity to the Akron-Canton airport and there are lots of hotels, restaurants and other amenities in the area.”
 

Above: The facility has a combined total floor space of 50,000ft² and provides room for future expansion

A significant revamp of the North Canton-based building was required, during which time, Williams was based out of a partner company’s facility in Tallmadge. “We completely rearranged walls and remodeled the inside area to make an office with new furnaces, air conditioning and mechanicals,” he says.

Staff here will work in collaboration with experts from Kenda’s two other R&D centers in Yuanlin, Taiwan and Kunshan, China, with cross-fertilization of ideas, technologies and experiences.

“We’ve had lots of meetings into how we can improve the overall global R&D process and we are cross-training people; I’ve had employees over from Taiwan,” says Williams. “In my 19 months with the company, I’ve spent around eight months of that time working in Taiwan. Otherwise, I talk to my counterpart there, multiple times a month.”
 

Above: Three departments have been established at the tech center comprising research, development and testing

The procurement of equipment, which is still underway, will include a typical array of tire test equipment as well as all the necessary CAD tools. Future investments could include a force and moment tester and an indoor wear machine. Kenda is also reportedly developing its own modeling software.

December 1, 2015

 

RECEIVE THE
LATEST NEWS


Your email address:



Read Latest Issue

Read Latest Issue

Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusives

Arctic Falls' Indoor Flex facility now operational
The grand opening of Arctic Falls' new Indoor Flex facility, which will offer new tire and vehicle testing possibilities, is scheduled for the end of June.
Read Now

ETRMA consolidates used tire management data for 2016
Data gathered by the ETRMA from 32 countries in the EU shows that 94% of used tires in 2016 were collected and treated
Read Now

BKT in R&D tie-up with Kultevat
Indian tire giant BKT has entered into a research and development partnership with US biotechnology firm Kultevat to further the use of TKS rubber as a substitute for natural rubber
Read Now

Completely truckworthy
Bridgestone America's director for commercial tire development, Mitchel Kritzell, gives an update on the SuperTruck II program
Read Now

Q&A: Sam Visaisouk, CEO, Tyromer
The Retread Tire Association (RTA) speaks with Tyromer CEO, Sam Visaisouk, about the testing of its new tire-derived polymer recycled rubber product in truck and passenger car tires
Read Now


Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightWe are building a list of leading suppliers covering all aspects of the tire industry. Want to see your company included? Contact olivia.campbell@ukimediaevents.com for more details.

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the tire technology community? We'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to rachel.evans@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email olivia.campbell@ukimediaevents.com