Vesevo is a spin-off company of the University of Naples Federico II, that commercialize an innovative technology for non-destructive characterization of viscoelastic materials. The idea was conceived with the aim to analyze the tires, overcoming the usual issues related to the need to remove samples to test, making them unusable. The information provided by this technology are exploited by users and producers to predict the behavior of the tire and of the entire vehicle, in different operating and progressive wear condition to which they are subjected during the races or the life cycle. 

Interview with Andreaa Genovese, CEO & Co-Founder at VESevo.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Andreaa Genovese: The automotive and the tires sector is the context in which the VESevo was initially developed. In this area the applications range from the development of polymers for innovative compounds, to vehicle performance and safety. Nowadays the tire makers are usual to face with different and often contrasting requirement in the development of tread compounds.  The challenging goal is the finding the right mix of material that guarantees maximum performance in terms of grip together with low energy dissipation and the longest possible duration. To achieve this, the viscoelastic analysis of the polymers used, in different environmental conditions, represents a fundamental step. 

The world of motorsport, traditionally a pioneer of innovation, was the first to show a strong interest in this technology. In the professional categories the teams, that are often used to deal with confidential tires with unknown characteristics, found in VESevo an unique opportunity to enhance their strategies. In other categories, VESevo is used to properly select a type of tire, based on objective quantifications, or to monitor the progressive performance decay due to degradation. More generally, for everything concerning road transportation, the non-destructive monitoring of the conditions of the tires through an objective tool allows to increase safety on the roads and reduce waste by exploiting the components for the entire useful life, with a consequent increase in efficiency, reducing waste and costs. These concepts are immediately extendable and applicable to the analysis of any viscoelastic material regardless of its application, opening up new and endless scenarios ranging from quality control in the production phase (repeatability and constancy of processes) to continuous monitoring during their production life cycle.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

A.G: During its nascent years, VESevo business model centered around the provision of its device through a rental scheme, supplemented by a host of maintenance and calibration services. The Motorsport variant, catering to the racing market, particularly benefited from the provision of tests conducted by VESevo’s technical team, providing comprehensive insights not only on performance data but also on optimal usage conditions for both the tires and the vehicle. Today the portable device is commercially available in two different versions both with features such as an ergonomic design, embedded electronics, and a dedicated case. In fact, the product had already garnered pre-orders before its official launch. Now, VESevo has advanced into the development of an industrial automatic version prototype for quality control for mass production, which promises to unlock new market segments beyond the confines of the tire industry, capable of handling all types of rubber and plastic manufactured goods. Following a two-year long period of prototyping and rigorous testing, with the aid of trusted strategic partners, VESevo is on track to debut its industrial product line within the tire market by the year 2024. Moreover, the versatility of the technology attracted the attention of different industries giving birth to different customization that range from brake pads to padel rackets.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

A.G: The path of the VESevo company began within the Laboratories of the Federico II University of Naples, where the continuous interactions between the vehicle dynamic research group and the motorsport teams, led to face new challenges, including the need to a method capable of characterizing the properties of “confidential” tires in a non-destructive and non- invasive way. The solution to the request came from an innovative device, subject of an international patent. Among the interactions with the academic context, highly valuable is the synergy with MegaRide, which oversaw parts of the development of VESevo and speedup the diffusion of the technology, that in less than 2 years, reached 5 teams from Formula 1, 4 from Formula E, 2 from the World Rally Championship, 2 from MotoGP, 1 from Nascar and about 30 more customers from 4 continents racing series. In 2021 it was adopted by 4 tire manufacturing companies. Such industrial scenario opened new perspectives to the project, nowadays oriented to the development of new branches as an automated module able to monitor the production quality of polymeric goods, for automotive industry and not only.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

A.G: Knowledge of tires is an ever-growing need whatever the point of view. The motorsport sector, regardless of the type of propulsion, is increasingly aware that tire management is a fundamental point. The possibility to have reliable data of tires degradation allow to feed properly the simulative tools as well as objectivate the tire performance linked to telemetry data. 

As concerns the tire industry, the possibility to monitor the production quality is fundamental both from economical and sustainable point of view, reducing waste and increase the efficiency. 

Also, in terms of safety and environmental impact of tires the scenario are going to change. With the increasing reduction of the engine’s emission, the tire abrasion is a phenomenon that will be increase monitored during the entire lifecycle, making it necessary to use tools capable of collecting data in a non-destructive way, such as the VESevo device.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

A.G: VESevo offers several advantages in the racing and high-performance vehicle industry. With the availability of confidential objective information regarding the structural characteristics of the tire tread compounds, it enables teams to develop suitable usage strategies and optimize performance. Furthermore, it provides control over the quality and uniformity of the available tires, which can enhance both performance and safety.

In the tire manufacturing and automotive market, VESevo can also prove beneficial. Its ability to monitor tire production quality, optimize materials, processes, and storage is invaluable. Additionally, it enables tire performance evaluation throughout their life cycle, identifying areas for improvement. Lastly, VESevo can measure tread degradation, a crucial factor for ensuring safety and maintaining optimal driving feel.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

A.G: The next objectives of the project for 2023, will regard the prototyping of a further conceptual step for VESevo, nowadays highly requested as an industrial equipment, to be installed on the rubber materials and tires production lines, for quality control scopes. For this purpose, we intend to increase the degree of automation of the technology in order to make the results robust and independent from the operator, making it suitable for use in production lines. The expected impact foresees, in addition to the definitive insertion in the automotive context, also the supply of the product/service for the analysis of the quality of industrial products, totally or partially made of polymeric materials, such as biomedical prostheses, industrial components (conveyor belts and straps), insulation materials and shoes/leather domains.