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MTNA begins U.S. production of Ringtread

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Just four months after starting construction on its first U.S.-based Ringtread plant, Marangoni Tread North America Inc. (MTNA) has begun producing spliceless precure tire tread.

"I couldn't be happier with our progress," says Bill Sweatman, president. "Demand for Ringtread is at an all-time high and having the plant come on stream now is just what we need."

The 50,000-square-foot plant is in Madison, Tenn. Chanthavy Vongsamphanh, manufacturing manager for MTNA, said, "This added capacity is much needed right now, but I'm quite sure we will have to start building our second line very soon, just to keep up with the incredible demand we are experiencing."

The new 50,000-square-foot plant will contain the Marangoni Alpharing advanced tread rubber manufacturing process. Characteristics of the Marangoni Alpharing include;

* improved uniformity (time, temperature, pressure) over conventional flat molding processes,

* increased automation,

* an integrated workflow, and

* an environmentally friendly process.

"Outsourcing manufacturing outside the United States to reduce costs doesn't have to be the best solution for American companies," said Sweatman. "We've chosen to redesign the manufacturing process, not only to contain cost and improve quality, but also to produce a superior product and be more responsive to our customers. We are very happy with our decision and are even now making plans for expansion.

"We have had such tremendous success with the Ringtread and demand is growing rapidly, we've actually tripled our business in the last two years, so this additional capacity is much needed as we continue to grow and expand our business. So far this year we are ahead of last year by more than 50%."

Giuseppe Marangoni, operations manager for MTNA and nephew of Mario Marangoni, president and chairman of the board, says, "This has been a dream of my family's for many years, and we are very proud that this day has finally become reality. It has taken the extraordinary efforts of a lot of people at Marangoni, our suppliers and our dealer customers to make this possible."

Adding manufacturing in the United States and expanding the business represents an investment of $10 million here by the Marangoni group and is part of a longer-term global development and expansion plan, which includes expansion of products, programs and manufacturing.

Bob Miner, vice president of sales, said, "Marangoni's decision to invest in a U.S. manufacturing plant sends a powerful message to our dealers and fleet customers.... Our current customers and future ones are assured that Marangoni is here for the long-haul and will become a major factor in this market."

The Ringtread system, designed and developed by Marangoni, combines new tire radial compression molding with custom compounding and contoured shape to match the curved profile of the tire without having to be spliced like conventional flat precure retreads. The result is less waste, perfect balance and better performance, says the company.

The Marangoni Ringtread also is manufactured in Italy and Brazil.

MTNA currently has 15 authorized Ringtread dealers operating in North America.

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