Talkin’ Tires: Episode 10 | Arthur Wagner | REGOM

On this episode of Talkin' Tires, Craig is joined by Arthur Wagner from REGOM to discuss his journey from wanting to be a veterinarian to working in tire recycling, the opportunities that come from LinkedIn and why collaboration is key in the recycling industry. Produced by Recycled Media.


welcome to talk and tires the podcast that delves deep into the world of tires join us as we explore everything from the science behind the manufacturing to the latest Innovations intire recycling our aim is to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of tires including how they work how to maintain them and how to dispose of them responsibly whether you’re a season mechanic curious car Enthusiast or an avid recycler talking tires is the perfect podcast for anyone who wants to learn about the essential component of the modern vehicle and heavy equipment so buckle up and join us for an informative and engaging journey into the world of tires all right welcome to another episode of talking tires I’m your host Craig Hunter the president of Tire reclaim and I’ve got with me today Arthur wagu of rum and welcome Arthur hey Craig it’s nice to be with you and here today thank you very much for invite a brief introduction would be um that regum is am I pronouncing that right regum or re it depend it can be R rum okay we are yeah I’m gonna go with regum I think that fits well

for and I’ve heard other folks pronounce it that way so uh what we’ve learned is that you guys are involved in the life cycle of waste tires and the Robotics and sorting and we were really excited to have you uh come by just because of the amount of Conveyor Systems that we’ve installed recently which you showed up and you thought we’re we’re an excellent system which it’s always nice to have a little confirmation in the entrepreneurial world right to have somebody say yeah that looks great so we were um we were wondering when you came by what you were going to be talking about so it was neat to to learn more about your product um but this show talking tires is about that and it’s also about the people people and the business Behind These Tire Industries so why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself Arthur like a lot of guys say I got in this business on accident or I mean EXA it’s exactly the case is it really okay let’s hear the story um I started my um my higher education with Biology and chemistry uh back in

2008 2009 and uh because at the beginning I I want to became a vet uh so doctor for animals and now I’m a doctor of for tires so yeah it’s clearly by accident but yeah then when I realize that I cannot be a vet uh I went to business school in France I also work a little bit in the US in Dallas Texas for a French company and then uh quite rapidly I decided to create and run my own businesses so the first one back in 2015 2016 was um some shops where you can directly find uh the local farmers for the groceries uh the tomatoes whatever you can have um and it works pretty well until the covid when the French government decided to to close down everything uh so I shut down my my businesses I had uh three different one at the moment and then I met je casier a guy in France he is president of a transportation group called transport casier quite easy uh and he owns something like five or 600 TR transport name again transport casier c a s SS r ier and they run something like

600 trucks I would say in France and Europe they’ve got 13 warehouses in France and also in the UK and they also have two site where they collect and sort used tires they collect and sort used tires for Alia the French organism uh who rule all the collection and the the recycling of the tire business in France and transport casier sort uh 12% of the total amount and they are the third largest collector in France so quite big business around 50,000 ton a year and are you yourself rural do you live out in the country are you yourself a rural resident do you live in the country or do you yourself you live in the Metropolis area no I’m living in the middle of nowhere it’s funny because when we were talking you mentioned the rural expertise and I told Brett I said you know we’ve really got to expand in our rural Market I can’t wait to pick Arthur’s brain a little bit about some of the logistics challenges right for real and I said I think he’s just a country boy like us it’s exactly the same yeah yeah it’s I

grew up in the countryside I practice for Wier motorbike door bike everything yeah so I my senses were on then I kind of was picking that up from you you know he’s got the French accent and he’s he’s dressed pretty fancy today but I think he’s just a Country Boy Like Us BR yes I am yeah all right sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt you so they 50,000 tons it’s it’s a pretty remarkable number so yeah the the the the the project of rum started eight years ago in the head of je FR gasier and when I met him five years years ago after my my failure in my previous business he told me I’ve got something for you kind of project that I have in mind but there is nothing for the moment and the project was to how the question was how to improve and uh reduce the pain at work for the sworders the graders the collectors all this business Around Tires use tires and the word use is very important because it’s not brand new tires we are dealing with kind of shits daily yeah so the initial project

start uh five years ago the first I’m G to interrupt again sorry but so that was a a labor driven yeah conversation so that that was it was coming from the end of the the cycle at the very very end where their hands are actually on the tires yeah the very end however our goal with je fris after some first discussion was to improve the whole system of our business in transport Cas from The Collection to the end and rapidly we have we understood that all our colleague and competitor have exactly the same issues and now I understood that it’s also the the case around the world in Japan us India we are Europe we are all in the same M after after your world travels last week in the week prior yeah I’m always on flight today I’m at home but normally I’m on flight and um yeah it was clearly human and labor driven and uh so we decided to go with some artificial intelligence system but back 5 years ago it wasn’t that easy and usable that it is now the case so we start with big data analysis with some

crazy stupid thing but it was research and development and we had some kind of small success we were able to read on tires uh on the flank the brand the model sometimes that di menion back in the past so we decided to to go further in our research and we created rum four years ago and we start to invest huge amount of money in rum because we were sure that it will work one day and uh because we are Rural and we love to do Thing by ourselves we decided to go only by ourselves so we decide we develop our own artificial intelligence system PLC automatism convoying system everything uh on our two sites and then we had something back three yeah 3 years ago uh who was working our site and we decided to develop program with our colleague and sometime competitors in France and Europe to enhance the wall industry because it’s not by ourself it was also one of our vision at the beginning it’s not because we are doing 10 to 12% of the total amount that in France that we are going to change anything so we have to

work with our colleague and competitors to improve the com the world industry and we developed did they come to you did did they come to you yeah they come they come to us at the beginning uh they they came to us like you are totally stupid do do to do what you do H it will never work yeah they naysayers first right exactly and what do you have to do this we’ve got the best graders in the world blah blah blah yeah but when they go to retirement party is over yeah it’s all here exactly so you have to find a way to backup them or at least help them and effect of this was also the fact that we now can create easily some list change our customer according to the to their demands because our guys doesn’t have to reach retain 100 thousand of rules and criterias in their head anymore so it was the wall I would say the big picture of the project uh we develop also all the software to allow you to follow your production in real time to improve your production to know where do you gain

and lose time where do you gain and lose money according to the Val the the out value you are able to create um and now we also work with our colleague INF France by exchanging and sailing to each other tires according to the different the difference that we can observe between rural and also Urban or cities or whatever because we are not driving the same cars like you in Ida you are driving pickup trucks and not in San Francisco or a little bit less in San Francisco right yeah we noticed the the demand for our size tires was not in LA County they don’t have quite as many SUVs in in F-150s as we do up in you know Idaho but you know that knowing that mix is job one right and I think that’s what your system is the most appealing about your system is just data right everything is databased these days and uh probably more so than we even know but you know some of our decisions are probably even being driven you know by certain data and how it’s presented to us but what I’m seeing is um your

competitors saw something that they could no longer compete with that there was a level at which um of innovation that that they knew they had to be a part of if they were going to continue on with their business and so they reached out to you you’ve did done a lot of uh collaboration work um in France what was it like coming to America and not to quote a movie line or anything but um when you came over and I’m sure you have LinkedIn and everything so you weren’t completely caught off guard with Who’s Who and and which players uh might be interested in your system or which ones might might fit better than others but what did you see coming around it’s very interesting because uh I visited you on Monday or Tuesday I don’t even remember the Monday y yeah Monday was yeah we I think we were your first stop if I remember yeah exactly and then we went to uh the Cal recycling conference uh in Sacramento uh it was very interesting to see how us and Europe are heading in the same way but not at the same speed

I would say um we do a lot of uh lobbying in Europe with the European commission and we also work with Michela uh around the RFID tags that they place in the tires putting back back tires used tires into brand new tires uh the digital passport product many many things are going on in Europe and we are a little bit ahead of the world I will say in Europe in term of the reutilization for retreat even the passenger car resale and also the Sorting for used tires the non reusable one for the last I would say energy and then we fin final the the the the final one but in Europe we are at the moment seeing some de velopment around specific modeling according to specific chemical composition to be compliant with EU regulation also parsis according to specific chemical content do they have do does the tire have uh high content of silicat or not and they are at the moment creating some blend and mixes with our machine or by end in front of those kind of um material reuse application and at the Cal recycling conference we had some discussion and

we see that in the US you are thinking about it but not yet applying this kind of Technology you see that it’s coming but it’s not very in usage at the moment however compared to Europe you are in North America General US and Canada more I would say return on investment driven so if if you find the money out of the process you will invest quite fast compared to Europe where we have to think about drink a tea or maybe a coffee and then a beer and have another talk and reink about it you just describe the American economy if it pays if it pays you’re G to get investment and you’re you’re going to see it quickly exactly dollar is King and it’s a good thing however we have to demonstrate that a paralysis or a modeling or devulcanization system or whatever can create dollars and at the moment uh I’ve seen many many different project around the world some are very crazy and I think they are going to lead the technology in the coming years some are a little bit behind but it’s moving clearly uh in Japan in Europe in

India it’s moving America one thing that I noticed right away is how much your product um has attributes that could serve many of those different settings right so obviously there’s the grading of the tires and the Sorting but as you start getting into the chemical makeups that has a like a Monumental simp licity to it like I I hadn’t I hadn’t really even thought of it that way but then when you said about the chemical makeup for pyralis I thought wow so now you can start breaking up because you know what goes into those tires because you’re also working with the manufacturers who are making them and they’re going to say all of these brands are going to be x amount of natural rubber certain amount of silicon and you know they’ll have and you’ll be able to group those to me that’s really really uh Cutting Edge and and sharp on your guys’ part thank you and and moreover I would say we develop it for the real need of our industry so it’s a real tough Machine Works in the real condition compared to some crazy laboratory things that we can see

uh we are able to read tires with ice mud water whatever and when we are talking about research and development we’re working now since I would say four years on these specific topics read on every kind of tires because we never know what is under the camera and we process a tire every 3 seconds so we cannot change the setups or whatever so we have to find a a vision and a lighting system who works in average perfectly on everything which is the data live by the data die by the data right you have the data of a bunch of tires that didn’t get taken care of right you probably have oh man we still have all this one type just goes right through through the machine and we don’t even know what it is or right so you probably have your own data data points that haunt you at night exactly but now four years ago it was quite big numbers but now it’s nearly nothing because we develop some Vision system able to read on every kind of tires uh the worst thing with a tire it is black and it’s and

it’s right black on black so it’s very complex to read compared to Z CR that you can have you know in your smartphone you’re reading on a sheet of paper but it’s black letters on white paper so it’s quite easy to but at least at least it’s all pretty symmetrical and similar so in other words it’s not like the crushed can or can’s not a good example but the plastic bottle they were telling us about uh we visited the Republic Services sorting facility in Las Vegas which is a huge Plastics recycling facility um but a big part problem they were having was that some people throw their bottled of water away hole some people crush it and no one is going to crush it the same so for a visual you know machine depending on how the person decided to crush their plastic bottle that thing had a hard time trying to distinguish between what’s a plastic bottle and what isn’t and what’s just trash so your system at least the tires are all very you know they’re not going to be folded they’re not going to maybe bent or uh yeah but we

are talking about two different uh technology the one they’re using it is a comparison system that they learn that this is a plastic bottle and this is a potent potential shape our system is a reading system so we read on the tire uh a tire is circular and it can be 13 in to 24 under our light vehicle machine and we also have a truck tire machine which is for bigger tires obviously um and the complexity of our system is that it’s reading system so you have to read when you are when you read a load index and speed index it have to be correct and also for the dimension a six can easily become an eight or nine in term of vision and reading so I would say it’s two different industry for sure I I also visited uh metal and plastic sorings unit it’s tot crazy the speed everything goes and a whole but they’re not using exactly the same kind of IA um compared to us our system is a vision based system so we do not have to retrain it uh we just have to read and then interpret according

to the country we go because you’ve got different tire in the US not in majority because you’ve got bridg Stone Continental Misha all the majors one but you also have some specific Brands like Maxis the one for the four wheer four wheelers um we have just a few of those in Europe for example and and we are talking about Japan or India just imagine the number of brand that they can have wow yeah I’m glad you pointed I’m glad you pointed that out because now that I think about it to be able to read on the the black on the black I get it now and there could be some wear there right or some age to it there could be a lot of different factors of being able to see and it’s also when it’s wet it’s become white with a light Perfection so yeah it’s at the moment in from what I know we are the only one to do it and we spend a lot of time and we spoke with many many different research and development center whatever we’re the only one to do it why not because we are

genius because it’s totally stupid to woke up in the morning and say I want to read on new tires nobody it’s it’s it’s it’s not common sense because nobody does this its job it’s we are 12 in France you are not that much also in the US because Liberty have a very large part of the of the market so who is going to invest millions in a reading system for you tires nobody you have to be stupid in French to do it this is why we did it with je FR babe you know what we may be just country and stupid enough to follow along with you so you you’ll be all right what one thing that I did notice you mentioned the companies there so um some of the larger companies have you gotten a little traction with them is this something that they’re seeing is obviously I mean you don’t have to share too much but that uh as much as we like that machine I could see someone doing you know 10 20 30 million tires being even more excited about something like that it’s it’s always the and I’m not

going to say something crazy or very big news it’s always the difference between big and small companies small companies can invest quite quickly because they see a potential benefit it’s not sure but they see it so they say okay I’m going to try because the invest is not that crazy compared to granulation line or whatever so I’m going to test and I know those guy from Europe they’ve got 10 to 12 lives running there okay they look trustable why not yeah I can see one I can go and put my hands on one I jump on a plane and go touch one if I need to yeah I got some I I know someone in the US is going to do next week so yeah the big company you know them also it’s in general um way more longer process due to their size but it’s not bad or better or whatever just because they’ve got a different hierarchy that they have to make make decision in a certain flow and a certain order so for sure the big one are interested even in Europe however it takes longer I can imagine so anything

else um product line wise I mean I I know that the uh the Sorting it’s in semi grade 2 is it the same machine for to do the semi-tractor trailer tires as well I forgot to ask you that when you’re visiting or is it a different machine which tires so so we can do the passenger tires through the machine we discussed um is does that work for semi siize truck tires as well yeah it’s go and this is the problem between North America and Europe uh the metric system it goes up to one meter oh okay so yeah so 36 in yeah yeah and um so the difference Forest is here in term of convoying system because we’re able to process a tire every 3 seconds under the camera that mean with the deceleration and acceleration we are nearly 0.5 second really under the camera and to reach this speed we cannot move tires like 160 um or 80 kilog uh60 lb it’s impossible to move truck tires at this speed uh this is why we’ve got two machine one for passenger car up to 1 M uh so 306 inches and

um and the other one for the bigger tires and those machine for truck tires are used mainly in Europe by retreaters because they gain time uh to enter all the parameters and the data from the tires to assign specific program to the shirro graphy machine or the buffing machine because at the moment they’ve got operators who are typing down everything on touch screen or even on Excel to print paper label on the tires our machine is able to read so they gain time the guy just have to confirm uh the reading and put the paper level on the tires so it’s like a it’s an in informational based picture if you will or read exactly we develop identification system then you do whatever you want with uh you can grade tires you can Retreat you can sort automatically to different uh stock for paralysis so nobody touch the tires anymore so yeah something I thought about is if you had a manufacturer that didn’t want any of their tires graded you could say okay we can make sure all of yours get shredded yeah and and also one demon that is coming at the

moment is Europe in Europe is a um digital product passport uh it’s going to be mandatory in Europe by 2028 for the tires and it’s already the case for the refrigerator the TV screen the smartphone whatever when you produce or import a Europe so when you sell a product in Europe you have to justify individually its end of life so this is why the manufacturers are placing at the moment RFID into the tires into the flank to be able to say these tires had been produced here in Malaysia for example imported in France the usage was on a Mercedes Benz whatever and it was recycling like that for this usage so I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the case in the US in the coming years also so our system is the link between the 100% rid which will take 15 to 20 years maybe and today and our new site at transport casier in burgundy we are building at the moment a new site for for the sorting and reuse and Grading and whatever we can do with tires is uh fully automatized uh with all our technology and it had been

selected by the European commission to demonstrate how can we Implement and use the digital passport product in the tire industry so yeah we are clearly in the industry your invention or your your Innovation definitely ties into that right data data information data like they can’t do any of that passport stuff without the data and exactly so so I hear you right that’s a Bluetooth chip in the tire that is sourcing or is it just RFID it’s a small on like an like you can have yeah it’s a rid technology so it’s a no no power or it has yeah it’s a non power antenna and then with an electrical um field you just come and excite the the antenna and it just have the power enough to send you back the the code inside and then you’re able with this code to ask to Misha Conti whatever database I’ve got this code please give me the the brand the model the the dimension of these tires it’s impressive it’s it’s what they do nanot technology it’s pretty impressive it’s yeah it’s what they do and we develop with them this technology and the the

reading antennas because at the moment we are the only one to align and separate the tires in front of our process because usually you collect huge amount of tires you dump it on the ground then you load it with a huge dozer in a huge Shredder so impossible to read FID t or whatever and when I’ve seen your video on LinkedIn that you were lining tires I said whoa those guy are clearly ahead what do they do with tires one by one on on a convoying system yeah yeah that conveyor system and thanks for following along and that just goes to to show how much impact LinkedIn can have you know internationally now is just your ability to kind of scroll through there and then whoa that was tires on a conveyor system and you back up and watch that video and then it you know ends up being a meeting with us and you come to our facility and we get to have this podcast I mean all of that was sparked from just scrolling through Linkedin and us taking the time to post a video right and that’s I tell guys all

the time I think it’s Gary ve that said if somebody tells me that they don’t have time to do social media then I say well he said well then I say so you don’t have time to work on your business because that’s basically what Linkin and social media is Now is working on your business exactly exactly and especially when we are in a kind of Niche business like we are because uh I’m traveling around the world and I’ve seen now many different sites and clearly we are doing exactly the same job and some are very good ideas others different kind of of ideas and if we are able to mix all those ideas I’m never going to compete in the US or even in different state in the US or whatever I think if we work in common uh and if we share the knowledge and the good ideas we will clearly enhance and improve the complete tire recycling industry at the end maybe it’s idealistic but it’s my vision yeah well no and that that’s great so I like to ask this question would you say that’s your why I mean there’s everybody

has a reason they get up in the morning and they go out and fight this battle day in and day out and you said you came accidentally into the tire recycling industry right well here you are you’re here now and you definitely I mean it takes a lot to fly to America for a week what’s your why the why is to clearly it’s it’s what I say just before like to travel and to mix all the good ideas the the good energy the everything to be able to in enance improve the complete business at your European Asian and North American um size because for me it’s a niche market it’s a small planet uh I’m I’m in the US nearly every month we’ve got now an office in Boston it’s only six hours flight when I’m moving from central part of France to north of France it’s 7our drive so it’s it’s nothing it’s like the same right and that was Melissa’s moving to Boston right yeah yeah yeah Melissa is going to be in Boston and I’m pretty sure because it’s it’s a very niche market it’s like the the tire industry it’s

a big market for tires but it’s nothing compared to petrol to plastic to whatever it’s it’s nothing so we are not that much to do this kind of business around the world and I’m pretty we can do very clever and interesting thing together rather than being in our own businesses even in France I’m selling machine to my competitors and colleague and we are improving the compete system so yes it’s not competition anymore we are talking about recycling so yes and making change and I think that’s great that’s a great why you hear totally stupid we we like and we love to do business however I’m pretty sure that working together we can clearly improve all our business at say was there anything else you wanted to touch on Arthur any any new stuff you got up your sleeve I know everything you do is probably pretty Cutting Edge but anything you want to talk about yeah we’re working also on the side on a system able to find the small leaks you know when you resell tires one of the major issue is the very small holes or whatever uh and we find some

detectors uh I’m not going to say which with which technology but we are now able to to detect those M leaks without human inter intervention uh so when we pressure test the very valuable High valuable tires because in France and in Europe we pressure test them before we resell it on the French or European market uh our Traders are touching the tires with their end but sometime it’s impossible to detect the leak so we are working on this system to improve once again the quality of the output um and we are also working a lot on the logistic and the software aspect to create pairs out of tires because we piled up tires in our warehouse and also our colleague in friends and Europe and then thanks to our Global database with Orum we are able to create virtual pairs with our colleagues and to resell smart that’s really smart because the value I mean you probably have math or you know the math on once you pair it it goes from this value to that value ex all you got to do is make that connection and you can actually pencil that out

exactly and specifically on the on the big size uh like for the the porsch Cayenne or all those big vehicles it’s quite complex to to create the pairs however when you start to work with your colleague uh it’s way more easier to find it and you also reduce the cost of stock everything so everything goes down yeah yeah so yeah now we work on the side on the side and those side are I would say mainly and mostly now bring by our customer who ask us specific development and as we develop everything in our own we are able to provide and perform those development uh quite easily for them so we clearly improve thanks to our Network in Europe the global system and this is why we want to spread our technology in the US because it’s a different Market not totally but different market and we will also improve our system from North America and we will improve what you do your process from European process so it it will be a win-win thing for sure yeah that’s great I I love and you’re always growing man I think that’s the best

thing is you’re you’re not just happy with what you got sitting in front of you right you gota see and your customers driving that conversation too I really like that I I’ll bet some of the um chemical makeup conversations that probably came from your pyrolysis people right yeah yeah and ECT sense my customers always said we are not buying a machine we are buying a complete process and vision that we want to go in and we want to to build in common because we are not machine sailor we are processed because we think about the the complete thing as we are the only one to do it in the world we have to unload separate align fit the machine distribute the good tires blah blah blah so we do the whole process to improve the complete system and this is why it’s not only customer it’s more partnership I would say in general that’s great that’s a great line to end on I really appreciate you being on with me today and uh we look forward to seeing you again here in the states or I guess maybe we’re gonna have to jump on

a plane and come see you in France I don’t think my wife would hate that for sure you should come we’ll welcome you with wine and shut and all that French stuff oh wow hey now you’re really threatening me with a good time all right well I appreciate your time again and and make it a great day thank you very much for thetion bye ciao