Towards a circular economy: the case of retreaded tires.
In a recent article published in Ansa, retreads are referred to as one of the most important sectors in the circular economy. Retreaded tires, especially for the commercial and transport vehicle sector, represent an alternative to the new important one for reducing the environmental impact. The retreaded tire represents the symbol of the circular economy, avoids the consumption of raw materials and drastically reduces the energy requirement compared to the production cycle of a new tire, and current technology ensures similar performance and durability.
As part of the new vision desired by Europe regarding the green economy, the retreaded tire becomes one of the important references for achieving the ambitious sustainability goals that Europe has set itself. In this direction, countries such as France already oblige public transport fleets to always evaluate the use of retreaded tires and many other European countries are equipping themselves in the same way. With this premise we would like to recall the work done by BCF design for Marangoni, world leader in tire retreading.
The point in Italy.
To date, in Italy, the only regulatory measure in favor of retreaded tires in force in terms of Green Public Procurement is the 2002 Finance Law which establishes the obligation for public administrations and public service operators to reserve for retreaded tires at least 20% of spare tire purchases. However, the effectiveness of this rule is limited by the lack of controls on its application and the failure to introduce adequate sanctions in case of non-compliance.
Marangoni was born after the Second World War and in the 1970s took on the technological leadership in tire retreading, in particular for trucks and buses but also up to the large dimensions used for dumpers and bulldozers.
Its leadership is based on a deep knowledge of the tire, of the rubber compounds used for retreading and of the manufacturing processes, further developed through the design and construction of machinery and complete production plants. Since the 1990s, Marangoni has experienced strong global expansion: thanks to the success of a patent with which the company has revolutionized the way of retreading tires for heavy transport.
It all started with the idea of creating a pre-molded ring tread, through which it is possible to offer the tire a new life cycle, comparable in terms of performance and durability to that of an original quality product. Thanks to this system, called RINGTREAD, today about 20% of the European production of retreaded tires is now made using Marangoni technologies. The industrial plants that produce the tread rings are located all over the world: two in Europe (Ferentino and Hamburg), one in the United States, one in Brazil, one in Argentina and one in South Africa.
The company’s headquarters remained in Rovereto where, in addition to the R&D center, the company also has an industrial complex dedicated to the production of retreaded truck and earth-moving tires.
BCF design has had the privilege of collaborating with Marangoni for over twenty years, addressing issues projects related to institutional and product communication, but within this long path of collaboration we like to remember two projects related to product design:
Marix’s flank design
(tire retreaded in the mold, or “hot”)
The exhibitor for the RINGTREAD ring
(the pre-printed semi-finished product with which a tire is retreaded with the “cold” technique).
Marix and RINGTREAD: the design for two products at the pinnacle of retreading technology.
Both the Marix tire and the RINGTREAD ring represent the two technological peaks of Marangoni in the retreading of truck tires. BCF design intervened in the design of the side for the Marix product and in the display for the ring for RINGTREAD with the common goal of expressing all the technological value of a product comparable to the new one, and bearer of the new approach to the commercial motivations they see aspects linked to the circular economy and environmental impact are increasingly at the center of interest.
Authors comment – BCF design team
“Marix’s design is a powerful design, the logo has been studied to symbolize the concept of retreading, in fact it is divided by a horizontal cut along the entire width, the lower part identifies the starting carcass of the rubber to be retreaded, the at the top that welcomes the brand the noble part of the reconstruction. The whole is characterized as a brand of great power that fully characterizes the side of the tire giving an image of strength and reliability. In this way, Marix has become an icon of retreads since it was the first example of a high performance retread (Marix was introduced on the market in 2012) to boast a look similar to that of a new tire. “
Authors comment – BCF design team
RINGTREAD: ring perfection
“The design of the new RINGTREAD display was carried out with the aim of taking product communication a step further, imagining an exhibitor that not only displays it, but highlights its innovative character. The choice not to place the ring on the ground, but to be held raised from the inside, serves to show that there are no joints in the tread, the strength of the product. Adding lights that emphasize the lightness of the shape on both sides is an intervention that communicates the future and technology, as well as allowing the color to be matched to the product line. “
Interview to the company
Through retreading it is possible to give a new “life” to tires, considerably reducing the flow of their disposal. According to estimates based on the aggregation of data from the main tire retreaders associations, thanks to retreading every year around the world 4.55 million tons of tires not released into the environment are saved, 3.90 billion liters of oil and other derivatives and 8.45 billion euros in the transport industry.
Marangoni has placed at the center of its long-term vision the contribution to the transition from the linear economy to the circular economy, for a more efficient model of using the planet’s resources. As the world leader in independent retreading (unrelated to membership or affiliation with a new tire manufacturer) and the inventor of many innovative process / product / service solutions, Marangoni continues to make an important contribution to sustainability environmental in what is, in fact, a pioneer sector of the circular economy.
Of all, perhaps a number in particular represents Marangoni’s impact in this supply chain: in the 40 years that have passed since the invention of the RINGTREAD system, more 60 million tread rings, each of which made possible a new life cycle for a product otherwise destined for disposal.
Marix and RINGTREAD: two Marangoni retread products how do they fit into your commercial proposal? Which markets do they respond to?
Marix is the brand under which Marangoni markets the premium segment of retreaded tires made in its Rovereto plant, serving a predominantly Italian supply chain made up of tire dealers, fleets of private hauliers and public users. The RINGTREAD brand is more aimed at an industrial and international target, that of other tire retreaders who use the tread ring as a semi-finished product and the related retreading system, made up of cutting-edge machinery also made by Marangoni.
Both Marix and RINGTREAD express the highest quality of Marangoni retreading in terms of tire safety, reliability, durability and performance.
How has Marix’s design influenced the market?
The aesthetics of the sidewall of a tire is a particularly appreciated factor, especially by a significant range of European customers. In this sense, it can be said that Marix’s particularly accurate and captivating design was the forerunner of an attention to the appearance of the retread that has grown in recent years, as evidenced by the recent introduction of techniques to cover and customize the side as well. of “cold” retreaded tires, ie those made through the use of a ring or a tread band, where traditionally all the impressed elements remain unchanged originally from the manufacturer of the new tire.
How has the RINGTREAD exhibitor as a ring presentation tool influenced your sales strategies?
For a leading product such as the ring, the need to have a functional display for the presentation of the semi-finished product without inside the carcass (the used tire to which the new tread will guarantee a new life cycle), joined the will to best represent all its technological, performance and ecological value.
The success of the solution created by BCF design is demonstrated by the diffusion of this type of display to many of the Marangoni customer retreaders, especially in Europe, and in particular in their points of sale frequented by end users: hauliers and managers of fleets of heavy vehicles or for the transport of people.
The market has therefore recognized the effectiveness of product presentation in the field, contributing not only to its positioning in the premium segment but also to the transfer of the brand’s value throughout the supply chain.
Marix and the RINGTREAD exhibitor represent two important levers of Marangoni’s image. In this case, in your opinion, has design been able to correctly represent the values of the new rebuilt?
In both cases, the design has undoubtedly contributed to keeping Marangoni’s image standards up to the quality expectations of an increasingly demanding and constantly evolving market. It has done so, perhaps even more so, in recent years, when the retreading sector began to suffer from the importation of “low cost” tires produced in Asia, often characterized by an extremely low retreadability rate and, therefore, from a negative environmental and social impact for a sector which, in Europe, employs more than 30,000 people.
However, it is worth considering how, recently, sensitivity towards the issue of sustainability has been increasing.
The Coronavirus emergency is perhaps contributing to give greater weight to another looming threat: that of climate change. At Marangoni, we firmly believe that environmental protection must be placed at the center of the global economic recovery, for the good of all and for the future of our planet.
In the path of an increasingly important evolution of the circular economy and the lowering of the environmental impact, can design represent an important resource for communicating the image of the company and of Marangoni in particular?
Retreading is a sector in which research and development efforts are necessarily concentrated above all on elements that are “invisible” to the eyes of end users (from the development of rubber compounds to the various industrial processes used for retreading) or which are not in any case dictated from aesthetic standards: just think in particular of the design of treads whose design must satisfy, through its physical characteristics, the most varied and specific needs of use (winter, long line, construction site quarry, etc.).
Precisely by virtue of this, the role of design takes on particular importance to support the narration of a product that otherwise it would risk being “anonymous” or belittled. Conveying, through design, the value and benefits of its products, is part of Marangoni’s broader efforts aimed at supporting the use of quality retreaded tires, as a choice that has multiple positive effects, not only for the environment (from reuse of raw materials to reduce CO2 emissions) but also for the local economy, as it favors the development of a short supply chain, as well as “green” and circular.
Marix’s design received the prestigious honorable mention at the 23rd Compasso d’Oro in 2014, while the exhibitor RINGTREAD obtained the 2015 design Index. Two selective awards held by the ADI “Association for Industrial Design”, organizer of the most important design award in the world, the “Compasso d’Oro”, a true symbol of the culture of Italian design appreciated all over the world.