R&D: Core of technology development – Edoardo Salaorni
TA News Bureau
R&D is the core of activity for Marangoni Meccanica, says Edoardo Salaorni, Commercial Director. The fact that nearly 40 per cent of the company’s workforce is part of the R&D division shows how much emphasis Marangoni lays on technology development that drives its product expansion, Salaomi stresses
How significant is your stress on R&D?
We are an engineering company with added manufacturing capabilits. We avail of an R&D Dept. that covers nearly 40 per cent of of our total number of employees. The R&D is the core of the company. Our motivated team, made of both very experienced and young engineers, is always ready to offer ideas, dedication and hard work for applying new technologies to production, and to assist the customers with the suitable solutions to their needs. Nothing is impossible for them!
As machinery providers to both new tyre and retreading industries, what are the infrastructure challenges you face?
We started with the New Tire machineries business in the 90s, and today this business represents 85 per cent of our sales volume (retreading tyre machineries 15 per cent). Recently the company grew larger, and has adapted to the prevailing market conditions. Since 2012, when we completed the acquisition of retreading equipment manufacturer TRM, all retreading equipment and machineries are produced and sold with the brand TRM (Tire Retreading Machinery). We develop for our customers highly confidential and innovative projects (which usually include a number of patent applications) and build on this purpose segregate halls where to manufacture, assembly and test very large tyre assembly machines. We avail today of four manufacturing plants for a total of 19.300 m2 area, three segregated halls in Rovereto, to build and test modern tailor designed TBM for large and very large radial tyre sizes and 1 in Ala (10 km from Rovereto), destined to the tyre retreading machineries.
How do you align your product range with customer needs? Which area of tyre production do you see most demanding to deliver your machineries?
Customers’ needs are the starting point of all our activities. The major trends we see in the global tyre-making machinery are localised in the area of the high quality large radial agricultural and earthmover tyres. There is still room however in the passenger and truck radial tyres for special projects maximising high tyre quality and production flexibility.
How does Marangoni face the challenge of cheap machineries flooding the market? Do you think quality alone will help maintain your competitive edge? How do you view this issue?
We strongly believe that our customers need an open, constructive, effective partner for developing the most sophisticated technologies, and for being granted a top position in terms of quality of the tire, automation, productivity and direct savings. We can offer to them all of this, and allow them to achieve big savings in production costs and quality. Modern and innovative ways of manufacturing high-quality large radial tyres, do represent a real gain for the users of those large tyres as well. An example is the dramatically improved tyre run-out resulting from the tyre assembly processes proposed by Marangoni Meccanica. To reply your question therefore, we do believe that quality is the only factor nowadays to maintain our customers – tyre producers – competitive!
What is you view on the changing market environment? Do you think there are more opportunities in Asia-Pacific markets than in the developed Western markets?
In our mind quality of the final product is the leading feature to stay at the top level for a tyre producer: we have witnessed a quick and sharp increase in this sense in the Indian market in these last couple of years. The retreading market is actually following the availability of good-quality tyre carcasses and therefore it is growing in all areas having the most important growth in tyre production quality.
Tyre and retreading industries are undergoing rapid change in product designing and other technology areas. How does Maragoni keep pace with this change on the side of your customers?
We are, and have always been, a step ahead. We stay on the side of our customers, and develop with and for them the latest technologies.
Please elaborate on your market expansion policies for future
Expansion policy is to cover at 360° the tyre assembly for large and very large radial tyres, extending supply capability in Dual Stage and Uni-stage concepts.
How does Marangoni align its technology development with environment sustainability?
We maintain a quality management system certified according to ISO 9001 and we take into account a behavior according to ISO 14001 and respectful of the latest international developments of the requirements of the automotive industry as defined in the ISO TS 16949.