TTi talks to Hankook’s Andreas Pürschel, who explains how the company’s new workshop at the Nürburgring in Germany will improve testing techniques for the development of new products
How will the new workshop benefit the development of Hankook products?
The workshop is mainly relevant for the original equipment (OE), UHP and UUHP tires. Hankook has seen considerable growth in the OE business in recent years, especially in the category of performance cars and EVs. The Nürburgring has a long tradition as an OEM test track and is the benchmark when it comes to durability, sportiness and tire performance tests in Germany.
With our own state-of-the-art workshop, we can ensure year-round testing capacities and the flexibility to have consecutive tests with our OE partners. As an industry pool member with our own on-site location and team, we can increase the number of development loops per week and provide test results even faster. In addition, we can use our new workshop for the development of performance-focused replacement products as well as motorsports projects.
What tire testing capabilities does the new workshop offer and what equipment will be available to tire engineers?
The testing facility itself is designed and built according to Hankook’s needs. It includes a fully equipped workshop with state-of-the-art lifts and mounting equipment as well as tire and rim storage. Moreover, it will have year-round high-performance testing capacity, endurance test capacity and full EV testing capabilities, including the respective EV infrastructure that is needed, such as an EV supercharger. Our engineers can analyze and subjectively evaluate data in their office while having meeting spaces for customers as well as social spaces to relax. This includes a kitchen, changing rooms and a shower to complete the setup.
Why did Hankook choose the Nürburgring as the location for the workshop?
We are where our customers need us. The Nürburgring (NBR) is often specifically requested by OEMs, and Hankook has reached a point where it was a logical next step to set up our own workshop to fulfill the growing demands of our UHP and UUHP tires in this field of business.
The R&D business in Germany is very strong and the NBR offers all that is needed close by: a very demanding track – especially the famous Nordschleife – as well as convenient distances for all who are involved in the development process. If a set of tires achieves a good performance level during 10 rounds on the Nordschleife at full speed while still looking good afterward, that’s the kind of product verification the OEMs and Hankook can work with and rely on.
For more on Hankook’s new Nürburgring workshop, go to: Hankook opens new workshop for tire testing at Nürburgring | Tire Technology International