Innovative Retreading and Technology in the Circular Economy: A Conversation with Alexei Nicolini

At the recent Futurmotive – Expo & Talks in Bologna, we spoke with Alexei Nicolini from Budini, a key player in the Brazilian retreading and software management industry. Our discussion provided valuable insights into how Budini influences the circular economy in the automotive sector.

Nicolini began by reflecting on the origins of Budini. Initially from a different sector, his father identified a gap in tyre management in the early 80s. “He saw the potential for a more efficient, environmentally conscious approach,” Nicolini recalled something that he puts down to his father coming at the issue with an ‘outsider’s point of view’. This vision led to a partnership with Bandag, positioning Budini as Brazil’s first pre-cure retreader. “The focus was not just on retreading but also on educating our clients about efficient tyre usage, which eventually led to the development of our tyre tracking software,” he explained

The conversation shifted to the evolution of Budini’s software. Starting as a tool for fleet education, it has grown significantly. “With my father’s growing expertise in programming and the addition of skilled programmers, we expanded the software’s capabilities to manage various aspects of tyre life and retread operations,” Nicolini said. This innovation, predating even DOS, has evolved continually, integrating technologies like RFID for comprehensive tyre lifecycle tracking.

Discussing Budini’s retread plant, Nicolini shared insights into their operational advancements. “Since 1982, our Bandag facility has been integral to our testing and information systems implementation. We’ve adopted technologies like touchscreens and iPads in our production process,” he mentioned. With expansion plans, Budini aims to enhance its technical and consultative approach in the competitive São Paulo market.

Regarding innovation, Nicolini highlighted the importance of continual improvement at Budini. The company focuses on RFID integration and web development for its tyre tracking system. Budini is also launching Consul Tyres, a franchise concept to help individuals with tyre industry experience offer consultancy services, aiding fleets in tyre-life maximisation.

Alexei shared Budini’s vision for market growth and deeper integration into the circular economy when asked about his ambitions for the next five years. “We aim to provide tools and systems that extend tyre life and promote recyclability. We’re exploring new technologies for comprehensive tyre tracking, from production to recycling,” he stated.

In conclusion, our conversation with Alexei Nicolini showed how Budini contributes to sustainability and innovation in tyre management. Through continuous development and a focus on the circular economy, Budini is playing a vital role in shaping the future of the automotive retreading industry.

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