OREANDA-NEWS.  February 14, 2012. The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., announced today that it established a Yokohama China Technical Center as the base for testing and evaluation of raw materials inside the premises of the tire plant of Hangzhou Yokohama Tire Co., Ltd. in the Zhejiang Province, China. In January 2012, the Center started operating with a total investment of 250 million yen including a building, evaluation/analysis machines and analytical instrument. The number of researchers was 14 at start, but it is planned to reach 23 in the next fiscal year. The Center is Yokohama Rubber’s first overseas base for testing and evaluation of raw materials.

 Yokohama Rubber is expanding overseas manufacturing with tire business as its core. The company had conventionally used its Research and Development Integrated Center located inside the Hiratsuka Factory, Kanagawa, Japan, for testing and evaluation of raw materials. In order to procure raw materials at lower costs and higher speeds, the company had been trying to improve and enhance testing and evaluation systems in countries where Yokohama Rubber has manufacturing bases. The establishment of the Chinese base for testing and evaluation this time makes it possible to significantly reduce the lead time for the procurement of less expensive raw materials and to help reduce the material cost for the entire company through global deployment of raw materials employed in China.

 The Yokohama China Technical Center plans to test and evaluate raw materials for tires and industrial products. The Center also will advise Chinese makers of raw materials on quality control and quality assurance through auditing. Chinese researchers trained in Japan will deal directly with local makers of raw materials, enabling accurate, speedy testing for employment. Many other advantages of the Center include easy confirmation of workability of raw materials at the adjacent tire plant.