Marangoni Machinery – Getting a Grip

Marangoni Machinery is the lead manufacturer of tire building machinery, and can solve the problems other manufacturers cannot.

Marangoni Machinery is the undisputed worldwide leader in the development and production of large tire building machines. Founded 60 years ago in the North of Italy, it has always strived to serve its customers in the best possible way.

“The largest tire manufacturers in the world come to us,” says Riccardo Mastronardi, CEO of Marangoni Machinery.

Despite being an industry leader, Mastronardi is the first to say that sometimes Marangoni might not be its customers’ first choice.

“If they know what they need they could decide to go to someone cheaper and use more standard/basic machines,” he tells us. “But if they don’t know what they need they come to us. We can find solutions for their complex needs. We are known and valued for our engineering and innovation capabilities. Customers come to us for solutions to complex problems and we’re the only ones able and willing to tackle such complicated challenges.”

Solving the Problems Nobody Else Can

To succeed with this kind of approach Marangoni must continually maintain its technological advantage by attracting and retaining the best-talented people.

“We can develop and execute the right industrialised solution to satisfy our customers’ most demanding needs. They come to us for our solutions,” Mastronardi says. “On top of that our customers know our people are always ready to support them, wherever they are and whenever they need our help. Our availability is a key selling point unique in our industry. More than customers and suppliers I’d describe our relationship as partners.”

Marangoni Machinery has crafted a virtuous circle- perhaps appropriately for a company making tire building machines. The company’s reputation means customers bring it the most interesting challenges. Being given the most interesting challenges means the company is an attractive prospect for the best engineers.

“To attract and retain the best people, we need to make sure that the job we propose to them is attractive and rewarding,” Mastronardi says. “If we can offer one of the best jobs in the sector we can attract and retain the best people. We are lucky that the products we develop are attractive to true engineers because the solutions are challenging to find and every time there is something new to discover and test. It’s diversified and never repetitive.”

While the challenges are a powerful incentive, they are not the only ones.

“Of course, this isn’t enough without a competitive proposition package and a vibrant and stimulating working environment and growth prospects,” Mastronardi tells us.

With this team on board, Marangoni Machinery has navigated a wide array of challenges.

Each company needs to face multiple challenges to be successful for so many years, and we are no exception. Marangoni Machinery has faced many challenges- technological, financial and people related,” Mastronardi acknowledges. “All these challenges and the awareness to overcome them have strengthened us and our confidence in our capabilities and assets.”

These challenges make the most of the talent pool Marangoni has to draw from.

Every customer has different needs,” Mastronardi tells us. “Every machine, every project is unique. Most of the time when we develop a new project, we introduce some form of technological innovation.”

A recent example Mastronardi points to is that in the last few years the company developed a new kind of drum for tire building machines.

“It is a very innovative drum, which is able to produce different sizes of tires at different diameters, so you don’t have to change the drum to change the diameter of the tire,” Mastronardi explains. “It is made of a different material from the standard ones. We use carbon fibre, which at the beginning was something even our customers did not trust. Can a carbon fibre drum be as reliable as a traditional steel drum? This was what our customers asked us.”

Marangoni Machinery was able to convince its customers that this was the case. It has also introduced innovations that can change the way tire manufacturers work.

“We worked to automate the machines to be controlled and managed by a single person who is not even in the same location as the machine,” Mastronardi recalls. “Our latest machines can be controlled by an engineer who could be thousands of kilometres away from the machine itself very easily, controlling it through cameras and a very user-friendly, detailed user interface.”

The uniting theme behind these projects is just how different each one is.

“Every user interface, every solution is different from the previous one,” Mastronardi says.

However, one challenge that every project faces is that each of Marangoni’s projects is a new machine, a prototype, in effect, but its customers need that prototype to be as reliable as something that just rolled off a production line.

“Our biggest challenge for the foreseeable future is to develop and industrialise tailor-made innovative machines with the same reliability as standard ones because this is what our customers want and need from us,” Mastronardi says. “This is quite a challenge! We have no catalogue; every machine is a kind of prototype with all the problems connected to tailor-made machines with innovative technological solutions. But the customer needs it delivered as standard.”

To achieve this, there is no better solution than simply having talented people on board to carry out the project.

“If you do not have the right people, you can forget about it. Our people are smart, and experienced, resilient, and self-confident,” Mastronardi says. “If you manage to attract and retain those kinds of people, you have a chance to succeed and overcome the most complicated challenges.”

Mastronardi believes his people are ready for anything- and that they will have to be.

“The future is changing faster and faster and we all must be ready to perceive well in advance possible changes and breakthroughs and react accordingly,” he says. “We must avoid the typical mistake which is for companies to try to protect their own business model despite evidence it won’t work anymore. So, I can say we will keep investing in our knowledge and our people to be always ready to change when needed. What we can and must do is be a company that is very flexible, very agile and to be such a company we need the right people. The key is to create an environment where talented people love to stay and work.”

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