Hankook’s head of the Europe Technical Center, Klaus Krause, talks exclusively to Tire Technology International about its new facility at Test World for which construction is now well underway
Hankook revealed at the end of last year that it is to establish a new winter test facility at Test World in Finland to enhance its winter tire development. Construction for the facility is now well underway and should be complete by December 2016.
Once established, Hankook’s Europe Technical Center (ETC) will be responsible for managing the site. Klaus Krause, ETC head, says, “Now we are one of the main suppliers to many premium vehicle manufacturers including all Audi, BMW, MAN, Mercedes-Benz car and truck, Mini, and Porsche. This requires a drastic increase in testing capacity and for the expansion of our future winter original equipment business.”
The new facility will be constructed next to Test World’s existing Mellatracks proving ground and will incorporate tracks for a range of different test scenarios as well as being securely fenced with the necessary connecting and service roads. State-of-the-art workshop facilities, offices and meeting and social rooms will also be established there. New engineers will be employed from the local area once the facility is up and running.
Passenger car, light truck and truck tires will all be tested at the facility, which will offer several key advantages, as Krause notes, “Ivalo is located in one of the most northerly winter areas and the cold season is long which extends the time available for testing. The facility will also provide higher flexibility in the testing process overall and a wider variety of test conditions throughout the winter season. This will improve operational efficiency and enable shorter development times. Meanwhile, the close proximity of their indoor facilities further increases the possibilities for testing.”
According to Krause, the tire maker has enjoyed a fruitful cooperation with Test World in recent years: “Test World has comprehensive experience in building winter testing facilities, in snow preparation of test tracks in particular, and offers very good services for test preparation with a wide range of auxiliary services in general.”
March 3, 2016