Table of Contents                                                        Pages

I Executive Summary

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………..……………. 5

Company Goals and Objectives……………………………………………………………...….. 5

Our Product……………………………………………………………………………………...…..…...…. 5-6

Marketing and Sales Strategy……………………………………………………………………… 6

Competitive Position………………………………………………………………………….………….. 6

Financials……………………………………………………………………………………………….…………. 6

II General Company Description

Problem……………………………………………………………………………………………………...……… 7

Solution………………………………………………………………………………………………..…...…… 7-8

Mission Statement………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8

Company Goals and Objectives……………………………………………………………….… 8

Business Philosophy……………………………………………………………..………………….… 8-9

Our Target Market………………………………………………………………………………………..… 9

Our Industry………………………………………………………………………………………………..…… 9

III A Closer Look

Summary……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10-11

Focus Group………………………………………………………………………………………………...…. 11

IV Mentorship

Frank Gaudio.………………………………………………………………………………………...… 12-13

John Mongillo………………………………………………………………………………………………... 14

Mike Rosen……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 15-16

Patrick Keating………………………………………………………………………………………….…… 17

Brian Marganski……………………………………………………………………………………………. 18

V Situational Analysis

SWOT Analysis…………………………………………………………..…………………………… 19-21

PEST Analysis………………………………………………………………………………..………… 21-23

VI Products and Services

Features…………………………………………………………………………………………………………... 24

How does ColorTrak™ Work?……………………………………………………….…… 24-25

Different Kinds of Rubber (Experiment)……………………………………………… 25

VII Marketing Plan

Competitive Analysis…………………………………………………………..………………… 26-29

Features and Benefits……………………………………………..……………………………… 29-30

Service Contracts………………………………………………………..………………………………… 30

Promotion……………………………………………………………………………………….………… 30-31

Distribution Channels………………………………………………………....……………………… 31

VIII Website Plan

Website Development Requirements………………………………………...…………… 32

User Interface……………………………………………………………………...…………………… 32-33

Distribution Channels…………………………………….…………………………………………… 33

Website Marketing Strategies…………………….……………………………………………… 33

XI Operational Plan

Production…………………………………………………………………………………………....………… 34

Quality Control……………………………………………………………………...……………………… 34

Location…………………………………………………………………………………..………………… 34-35

X Legal Environment

Licensing and Bonding Requirements……………………………………….…………… 36

Permits………………………………………………………………………………………………………...…… 36

Insurance…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 36-37

XI Management and Organization

Organization…………………………………………………………………………………...……………… 38

Personnel………………………………………………………………………………………….……………… 38

Team Directors and Job Descriptions……………………………………………..… 39-45

XII Financial Plan

Start Up Costs………….………………………………………………………………….………………… 46

Selling Price of TredTrax…………………………………………………………………….……… 46

Pricing………………………………………………………………………………………...…………………… 46

Market Cost………………………………………………………………………………....………………… 47

Break Even Analysis…………………………………………………………………..………………… 47

Projected Cash Flow (Year 1)……………………………………………….…………………… 48

Projected Cash Flow (Year 3)…………………………….……………………………………… 48

Initial Balance Sheet……………………………………………………………….……………… 49-51

XIII Growth and Opportunities………………………………………………………………..…………… 52

XIV Appendix

Mentor Letter One…………………………………………………………………………………..…… 53

Mentor Letter Two…………………………………………………………………………………..…… 54

Mentor Letter Three………………………………………………………………....…………….…… 55

Experiment……………………………………………………………………………….…….………… 56-62

Focus Group Survey Sample……………………………………………………..………… 63-64

Patent Cover Sheet………………………………………………………………………….……… 65-66

Business Card…………………………………………………………………………………...…………… 67

Sources Cited………………………………………………………………………………..………..… 67-70

I Executive Summary

Introduction:

Our company, TredTrax, intends on eliminating preventable car accidents caused by balding tires.  Our revolutionary product will warn drivers when their tread depth is dangerously low with our patent pending ColorTrak™ technology.   ColorTrak™ is the display a yellow or red stripe on the treads of your tires to alert you when you should change your tires.  People will now be aware of a potentially dangerous situation and know when to change their tires and take control over their safety.  

Company Goals and Objectives:

Here at TredTrax, we have made it our goal to change the way people think about our tires.  We say, “no more” to the countless preventable deaths due to balding tires.  With our distinct colors, it becomes nearly impossible to forget about the current conditions of your tires.  Our next goal will be to allow tire manufacturers to buy the rights to our patent so that they can sell tires infused with ColorTrak™ technology.

Our Product:

Our product is not really a physical product at all.  It is an idea.  We call it ColorTrak™ technology.  It is a coloring applied to a tire during vulcanization.  Tires infused with ColorTrak™ allow you to monitor and detect when your tires are safe or unsafe to drive with.  By using our Colortrak™ technology you are able to measure the tread depth of your tires with a glance versus any sort of technical method, and you still have an accurate understanding of the tread of your tires.  By ensuring your tires are not too worn down, it can help prevent you from hydroplaning, skidding, blowouts, and could even save you from a ticket.

Marketing and Sales Strategy:

Our target market for selling our technology are owners of large tire companies (Goodyear, Michelin, Kumho, but eventually we will license it to only one of these companies). We plan on getting word to them about our product through various ways of advertising. There are five ways that we are going to do this:  One, business cards with all the company information; two, creating promotional prices; three, promotion through online media outlets (company Instagram account); four, creating a customer loyalty program; and five, building strong customer relationships.

Competitive Position:

Our new technology and product is the first of its kind on the market. As of right now, TredTrax has no competitors in the tire industry. No other companies have any products or technology similar to our product.

Financials:

Our company is selling our patented product for a one time cost of $300,000 and a royalty of $8.00 per tire. We want to remain exclusive to one buyer and keep the product away from their competitors.

II Business Description

The Problem:

        According to a survey conducted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA),

64% of Americans don’t know how to check their tire tread depth thereby putting themselves at risk by driving with tires that are unsafe.  Insufficient tire tread results in hundreds of thousands of car crashes every year, with about 19,000 people being injured annually as a direct result.  Our business’s mission is to find a way to reduce these injuries by providing a visual alert to the condition of their tires.    

The Solution:

TredTrax was created as a way to reduce the number of injuries and deaths due to car accidents.  We took a CLOSER LOOK at what specific conditions cause car accidents and focused on an area where we could help save lives.  Our solution was ColorTrak™ technology.  ColorTrak™ is a layering of different colored rubber that is embedded in the tread and acts as a visual reminder for drivers to always be assured of their safety.  This technology makes it nearly impossible for a driver to walk by their vehicle and have their tires to go unnoticed due to the colorful stripes that will appear on the them.  For the first 35,000-60,000 miles the tires will be black (depending on the type and style of the tire).  As the driver wears the tires down to approximately 4/32nd of an inch, yellow stripes will begin to be visible.  The color yellow was chosen as a warning to the driver that the original thickness of the tread has been eroding.  As the driver continues to drive on the tires, the yellow stripes will give way to the red stripes underneath.  This signifies the tires are almost bald and need immediate attention to be changed to insure the driver’s safety.   ColorTrak™ is so revolutionary and innovative because it lets the driver know when it’s time to change their tires before they even knew they needed to be changed.

Mission Statement:

Our mission is to protect drivers from preventable accidents caused by balding tires. We aim to accomplish this by alerting drivers when their tire tread depth is dangerously low so they know when they should change their tires to ensure their safety and ultimately, save lives..

Company Goals and Objectives:  

Here at TredTrax, we have made it our goal to change the way people think about our tires.  We say, “no more” to the countless preventable deaths due to balding tires.  With our distinct colors, it becomes nearly impossible to forget about the current conditions of your tires.  Our next goal will be to allow a tire manufacturer to buy the rights to our patent so that they can sell tires infused with ColorTrak™ technology.

Business Philosophy:  

We strive to keep drivers safe.  We want to make drivers more aware of the current condition of their tire tread in “real time”,  just as a driver would know when they are running low on gas by looking at the dashboard indicator.  We want to design our product for the greater good of the people on the road because nobody should risk getting in an accident due to balding tires.  Although there is a multitude of reasons why people get in car accidents, we believe that by taking a closer look at one of the main reasons--balding tires--we can make a difference in people’s lives.

Our Target Market:

Based on a survey that we conducted on 228 people ranging from ages 17 to 65, we found that over 86% of respondents stated that they would buy our product based on its description alone.  Due to the fact that our target market is large tire companies and manufacturers, this information is a vital selling point because it ensures that our product will be profitable.  Another important result of our survey was that 89% of people would feel safer with our product on their tires, which makes companies that promote tire safety primary targets as well.

Our Industry:

Currently, the thriving $37B tire industry is looking for more innovative ways to expand revenue and total sales.  The way that most companies have resorted to doing this is by trying to market their tires as more durable than the next company’s tires.  Our company is completely changing the way people are going to look at tires in the future by marketing our product with more of a focus on safety and the importance of replacing worn tires in a timely fashion.  We believe that a tire can only be durable to a certain point, meaning that all tires will begin to wear eventually no matter how they are manufactured, so all tire companies and consumers will benefit from our product.

III A Closer Look

Summary:

A “closer look” can be defined as the uncovering of something new in a previously existing product.  This is similar to taking a product under a magnifying glass in search of either a secondary function for the product that was not known at the time of its creation, or to tweak the primary function of the product to allow it to either perform its purpose better than it previously could.

Finding a secondary function to a previously existing product requires a lot of creativity.  You need to be able to think outside-the-box, and to take something that people conceive one way, and change that.  Tweaking the primary function of a product to help it perform its function better can also be a difficult task requiring creative thinking.

 For our company specifically, we take a “closer look” in two ways.  First, we took a closer look at what causes car accidents. It is well known that alcohol and texting cause car accidents, but many people are unaware that over 78,000 car accidents are caused each year due to balding tires.   Once we came to this realization, we got to work trying to find a way to solve this problem.  The second way we took a “closer look,” was by looking at the advantages of selling a tire versus the advantages of just selling the technology.  After months of debate, we realized with the help of our mentor Mr. Rosen, we would be saving money, time, and effort by pivoting from selling tires to selling our ColorTrak™ technology.  This was primarily based on the fact that we do not know the exact materials used in tire manufacturing because all companies use their own proprietary materials that they don’t share with the public.  In summary, taking a “closer look” is how companies pivot to survive and thrive.  By closely examining a tire, TredTrax helps drivers to stay safe on the roads.  

Focus Group:

For our focus group, we sent out a brief questionnaire to eight people with expert knowledge of the automobile and tire industry.  Based on the answers that we received, we can conclude that our product is first off, plausible, and second off, that people would buy it.  Out of our experts, all of them said that they would purchase a tire with ColorTrak™ technology because it would make them feel safer about themselves and their families on the roadways.  

IV Mentorship

Frank Gaudio:

Frank Gaudio

Fixed Ops Manager

Richard Chevrolet Inc

18 Years with Richard Chevrolet

25 Years Automotive Experience

Frank Gaudio is a Fixed Operations Manager at Richard Chevrolet in Cheshire, CT.  As a Fixed Operations Manager, he oversees both the service department as well as the body shop.  He has eighteen years experience with Richard Chevrolet and twenty-five years of automotive experience in total.  We recruited Mr. Gaudio to be our mentor because of his extensive knowledge of the tire industry, and his relationships with other service providers and tire manufacturers alike.  Mr. Gaudio has seen first hand how the automotive industry has changed over the last quarter-century  and takes a personal interest in the innovative potential of our product.  
        After emailing Mr. Gaudio back and forth, he made it clear he wanted to be apart of our team.  He even took the time to visit us personally.  As a mentor, he has provided us with crucial knowledge of our industry and focus group that has been become critically important to our company.  He has also been an enthusiastic member of our team who has motivated us to the point we are at now.  He has assured us that we have a legitimate idea, and without him, we may not have had the confidence to pursue TredTrax.

John Mongillo:

John Mongillo

Co-Manager of J & M Tires

J & M Tire Company

35 Years in the Tire Industry

John Mongillo is the co-manager of J & M Tires which is located in Southington, CT.  They have been in business since 1982.  Mr. Mongillo volunteered to become one of our mentors due to his extensive knowledge and expertise in the tire industry and the tire making process.  While developing TredTrax, our research and development team quickly discovered that their knowledge on tires was limited.  Mr. Mongillo provided information that was critical to our understanding of our technology and product and helped influence our eventual pivot from a tire company to a technology company.  Thanks to Mr. Mongillo, the Research and Development team was given valuable information and more importantly, direction, which allowed them to help drive of our product to where it is now.  

Mike Rosen:

Mike Rosen

Chief Revenue and Business Development Officer

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

23 Years in the Marketing and Communications Industry

        Mike Rosen is currently the Chief Revenue and Business Development Officer at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.  Rosen began his career working in the agency world, building two integrated marketing, advertising, and P.R. firms, where he first rose from receptionist to Co-CEO prior to reuniting with his mentor to begin the second agency.  He has represented many large brands, including Burger King, Callaway Golf, Frito-Lay, and Hasbro, and is an expert at developing and carrying out marketing strategies in order to sell products to consumers.  From January 2015 until May 2018, he served on the leadership team for a non-profit company called Keep America Beautiful, where he served as Chief Marketing Officer.

After hearing about our product idea, Mr. Rosen came into our class to provide us with new strategies to market our company and ultimately influenced us to make a pivot from selling tires with our technology in them to only selling our technology.  This saved us time and money in the early stages of developing our company, and now we can use our resources for other purposes.  Mr. Rosen also explained to us the best ways to catch the eyes of consumers and showed us many examples of ads that he developed for major companies that aided them in growth and were successful in promoting their product.  

Patrick Keating:

Patrick Keating

Senior Manager of Technical Engineering

Yokohama Tire Corporation

Twenty-five Years of Experience

        

        Patrick Keating serves as the Senior Manager of Technical Engineering at Yokohama Tire Corporation.  He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western University in 1993.  He first contacted us after we reached out to him about our idea, telling us he thought we had a viable product.   Since that day he has video-chatted our class, as well as physically come in to talk to us about how we are to go through with our product.  

        Patrick’s visit was on May 8, 2018.  He flew out from the Yokohama plant in Ohio and spoke to each individual team about what they were doing, and what they can do better.  He spoke to us about our prototype and gave suggestions to improve it.  He helped out our accounting team, and gave them more of a realistic outlook on costs.  He talked to the exhibition booth team to tell them how they should be displaying and explaining our product.  Patrick Keating was an extremely important asset to us, and without him, our company would have turned out much differently.

Brian Marganski:

Brian Marganski

Technology Teacher

Pomperaug High School

10+ Years of Experience

        Brian Marganski has been one of the most important people in the development of TredTrax.  More specifically, the development of our prototype.  After our Research and Development team spent several classes trying to develop a tire using our technology but ultimately were stumped, we went to Mr. Marganski for help.  He guided us through the process and provided us with the proper equipment, tools, and expertise we needed to complete our prototype.  Thanks to his proximity to us, he was able to contribute significantly to our company.  Without Mr. Marganski, it is possible we would never have had a real prototype or at least not have had the level of quality that is exhibited in our current prototype.

V Situational Analysis:

SWOT ANALYSIS:

Strengths

Effective

-ColorTrak™ makes balding tires easily identifiable to the naked eye

-Promotes safe driving habits

Unique Selling Points

-ColorTrak™ technology is the first visual reminder on the market for drivers to know when to change their balding tires

-Recognizable warning colors: Yellow for caution, Red to change tires

-Prevent accidents caused by tires with insufficient tread depth

Adaptability

-Changes colors depending on specific tread depth

-ColorTrak™ can be used on all kinds of tires

Staff

-23 hard-working entrepreneurs

-Well-organized into 9 teams, based on the department of work

Weaknesses

Experience and Knowledge

-Minimal prior knowledge in the field of tires

-Constantly finding out new information through research and development

-Our technology is brand new, so we are learning from our own research and not the research of others

Improvements

-Expand to more companies

-Awaiting patent approval

Opportunities

Target Market

-64% of drivers do not know how to check their tread depth

-Our product promotes safety for all drivers

Partnerships

-Possibility of partnering with tire shops, tire companies, and car dealerships

-Quicker expansion

-Broadens target market

New Selling Points

-Brand new technology to improve tire safety

-No other tire company uses a technology like ours or anything like it

Threats

Financial Situation

-Our company has limited amounts of money because we are still relatively new to the marketplace

-Still working with investors who will further fund our company

External Factors

-People that know how to check their tread may not have any interest in our product

PEST ANALYSIS:

Political

Political Trends

-Safety on roads has been a major spot for infrastructure improvement today, and our product improves driver safety significantly

-Car companies are constantly promoting safe driving, and we will be able to work with those companies to promote it even further through the use of our product

Legislations

-Laws against driving on unsafe tires are currently enforced by our law enforcement, and our product will ensure that people refrain from doing this

-There are no regulations on putting color on tires, so we will not face many problems when our technology is manufactured into tires.

Economical

Seasonality

-Seeing that there is always a need for tires, our product will be available year round and is expected to sell during all seasons

-As we continue to develop our tire, we will begin to expand to winter tires and all-season tires.

Jobs

-Skilled engineering jobs will be created for in order to develop our product

-Strong middle management to supervise manufacturing operations

-We will help create manufacturing jobs for other companies

Social

Health and Welfare

-Our product will save lives each day on the roads, and ensures that preventable accidents caused by balding tires will not happen

-We will help educate the public on how destructive it can be to drive on tires that are bald

Technology

-ColorTrak™ technology is a brand new technology that will be appealing to consumers looking for a change.

-We have a patent pending on our technology so other companies will not be able to use it as their own

Technological

Innovation Potential

-Our company has the potential to expand and work with every tire company to make driving safer with our technology

-As companies buy our product, we can begin to develop new products and technologies based on feedback and social trends.

Energy Use and Costs

-Our company will not use any energy because we will not be manufacturing our product ourselves, and the company that we sell the product to will only have to increase their energy use slightly to incorporate our product into their tire-making processes.

-The only cost that will be added to the current cost for tire-making will be the coloring that we need to add for ColorTrak™ technology.

VI Products and Services:

Features:

Our tires allow you to monitor and detect when your tires are safe or unsafe to drive with.  By using our Colortrak™ technology you are able to measure your tires with a glance versus any sort of technical method, and still having an accurate understanding of the wear of your tires.  By ensuring your tires are not too worn down, it can help prevent you from hydroplaning, skidding, blowouts, and could even save you from a ticket.

We are going to sell the property to one large tire company, and they will cover the manufacturing of the tires and implementation of the technology.

How does our ColorTrak™ technology work?:

During the creation process of a TredTrax tire, color is added at the 4/32 inch mark and at the 2/32 inch mark using colored layers of styrene-butadiene copolymer.

  1. Styrene-butadiene copolymer is a synthetic rubber that is used primarily in the production of tires.
  2. Styrene-butadiene is being used because of the low rolling resistance that it offers, styrene which has a high hysteresis--meaning good grip--is combined with butadiene which has low hysteresis--meaning that rolling resistance--is low. These two compounds are combined to create the best possible tire.
  1. Hysteresis is when the tire undergoes repeated cycles of deformation and reformation while dissipating the energy lost as heat.

Image result for styrene butadiene rubber

Once the tire gets to the 4/32 inch tread, then the color yellow appears as a warning to the driver that soon it is pertinent to change their tires.

Once the tire gets to the 2/32 inch tread, then the color red appears, and this tells the driver that is time to change their tires.

Different Kinds of Rubber (Experiment):

In order to determine the best type of rubber we would use for our product we tested the abrasion of 6 different potential rubbers. We tested Natural (Gum) rubber, LASCO rubber, Styrene Butadiene rubber, Neoprene rubber, Butyl rubber, and Butyl Rubber with nylon. After using a hand sander on each sample of rubber for four minutes each we were able to determine which one was most durable . We discovered that the Butyl sample of rubber was most resistant to abrasion compared to the other samples. However, after performing further research we found that this Butyl rubber is not successful in regards to having durable traction. Then, based off of information from our experiment and additional research, we concluded that Styrene Butadiene rubber would be best for our product due to the fact it was the second most resistant sample to abrasion and is consistently used within the tire industry.  

 VII Marketing Plan:  

Competitive Analysis:  

Our new technology and product is the first of its kind on the market. As of right now, TredTrax has no competitors in the tire industry. No other companies have any products or technology similar to our product.  Our product, which utilizes ColorTrak technology, uses streaks of color to act as visual reminders to our customers so that they know when to change their tires.  However, there is a similar tire that changes color based on wear exists in a prototype stage. This tire, the Discolor Tyre by Yanko Design--an online magazine--is just a theoretical design. Therefore it poses no threat to us whatsoever. With that being said, we still have to convince tire companies that our product is worth implementing into their products, and that there will be a demand for our product among consumers.  

Factor

TredTrax

Strength

Weakness

Importance to Customer

Products

ColorTrak technology

You can see when to change tires with our ColorTrak  technology without having to use any tools to measure the tread depth

Each tire must be made with a preliminary red and yellow dye that we have to implement into the tire making process.

Knowing when your tire needs to be changed is important to the safety of the driver. It can increase braking distance 56 meters or more.

Price

We are licensing our product exclusively to a company, and will be charging them an $8.00 licensing fee per tire.

Low cost compared to average high end tire price because our fee will not bring the price of the tire up more than $10 per tire.

Other tire manufacturers without our technology will be able to sell tires for slightly less money because of our licensing fee.

With an affordable price and with the safety we provide for the driver, our deal is second-to-none.

Quality

ColorTraktechnology

You can tell clearly the wear of the tire without any equipment whatsoever

We do not have control over how the manufacturers are making the other parts of the tire.

Our product will make safety more efficient and affordable.  The quality is high and the tires prices will not dramatically increase with our technology.

Service

Selling our proprietary technology to major companies

It keeps you safe because it serves as a visual reminder to drivers, and the only service you need is replacing the tires when they turn red.

Servicing a tire with ColorTrak™ still comes with the same prices of servicing normal tires.

The service will remain unchanged, however you will know when your tires need servicing due to balding.

Reliability

TredTrax is very reliable because of our brand new ColorTrak  technology, and the fact that the process has been proven to be technology viable. TredTrax is also the only company in the tire industry offering color changing tire technology.

ColorTrak technology will not be seen until there is major wearing of the tread, and once your tire starts to bald the technology becomes visible, keeping the driver safe.

The tire could hit anything and pop it.  Although most of the time it is the tire tread, a brand new tire can be popped due to other reasons

It’s important for a customer to know the different tire companies and what tire they want for their car

Stability

TredTrax has 5 mentors that believe that we can succeed, and we will be partnering with a major manufacturing company very shortly

The amount of research being done on the tire, our survey results, and our mentor’s have assured us that our product is a stable idea.

Competing tires of a lower price could cause a problem in the products stability.

A stable company will always be innovating and creating products to give the customer the best possible product

Expertise

We have mentors with decades of experience in the field of tire production who have educated us.

We as a group are innovative, and we will be able to persuade many companies due to our vast knowledge of the process of production

Inexperienced

It’s important to know that they are not giving their money to a faceless corporation.

Company Reputation

Our company has a good reputation currently due to our mentors from Yokohama and local tire manufacturers.

A good reputation is a sign that the company is productive organized, and innovative

Competing companies will also be competing over which company has the best reputation.  However as of now, there are no competing companies

The reputation of a company is very important to the customer, they need to know if the company they might buy stuff from has a respectable reputation

Location

Southbury,  Connecticut

Located in the Northeast where tire treads are important due to weather.  Also, we are in between two large markets--New York and Boston.  This will help our sales tremendously because more people will see our marketing

We aren’t located in a major city.

Based on the location certain tariffs may need to be played into the cost of the tire from international shipping.

Appearance

Very bright and easy to recognize and utilize.

It’s easy to utilize and all you need is light instead of a penny or any other instrument

You can only see them during the day.

When checking a tire you want to easily be able to identify your tread patterns.

Sales Method

We will use the Push-Pull Marketing concept. (Push our idea and technology into the customers who will then pull it from the manufacturers we will sell our technology too.)

We can reach anyone in the U.S and beyond by licensing our technology to large tire companies who will reach the consumers.

We need to rely on big tire manufacturers to sell our ColorTrak technology.

Customers want an easy way to purchase ColorTrak technology in tires from large tire manufacturers.

Ads

We will be advertising over social media and via the internet

We will be able to reach a large audience.

People without internet won't be able to view and learn about our product

People want to learn about your tire easily and effectively.

Image

We will show the effectiveness of our tire and the dangers of not checking your tire tread depth.

People will understand our product easily at a glance.

People may think our tires are something they are not.

Customers wanna feel like they are on the cutting edge.

Features and Benefits:

ColorTrak™ technology allows people to be warned when their tires are reaching dangerously low tread depth levels.  When the tread depth reaches 4/32 of an inch the tire tread will be yellow, and at 2/32 of an inch, the tread will become red.  This provides the driver with a visual reminder, or a warning, indicating that your tires need to be changed. We hope to drastically reduce the rate of accidents caused by faulty tires.  ColorTrak™ technology is a feature that sets TredTrax apart from the competition and is different from everything else on the tire market. Our product will provide the benefit of safety and warning to any consumer of our product. The company who we license our product to will have their customers benefit from the safety of knowing their tires are working to them when driving is becoming unsafe. The company we license to will see a return on their investment as their customers will feel safe using the tires with our technology over the competition.

Service Contract:

TredTrax is licensing the use of our patented ColorTrak™ technology to tire companies. Under the service contract, our customers can implement this technology into all types of tires they are selling to their consumers. They are not allowed however, to make any non-tire related products using ColorTrak™.   ColorTrak™ is limited to only implementation to tires and tires only. Any other business move involving our technology will be seen as a violation of the patent and may be subject to legal injunction.

Promotion:

Our target market for selling our technology are owners of large tire companies (Goodyear, Michelin, Kumho, but eventually we will license it to only one of these companies). We plan on getting word to them about our product through various ways of advertising.  There are five ways that we are going to do this:  One, business cards with all the company information; two, creating promotional prices; three, promotion through online media outlets (company Instagram account); four, creating a customer loyalty program; and five, building strong customer relationships.

 Our business cards will be small-single sided with our logo, website, phone number, email, and slogan.  We will give out or cards to tire shop owners and any car owner that will give them the information they need to reach out to us and enhance their safety on the road. One of our main sources of promotion is through social media outlets. Our company Instagram account provides day-to-day updates of the company progress and the product and its benefits. We will also be providing promotional prices of our technology through these media outlets.  Word of mouth is also a very important way that our product will continue to grow and be promoted. Our customer loyalty program and creation of strong customer relationships will create satisfaction and give our customers the desire to tell their friends, members of their family, and acquaintances about our product and the benefit of our ColorTrak™ technology.

The budget was not a problem as we chose many cost-effective ways of getting our word out to those who will be purchasing our product. In using all of these methods of advertising we want to depict that we care about the safety of all car owners and drivers on the road. We want our customers to take pride in buying our technology and putting them on their cars and to know that they will be warned when they are unknowingly driving dangerously.

Distribution Channels:  

TredTrax ColorTrak technology will be sold online through our website tredtrax.com. Our customers can get this URL from our business cards and social media pages and locate the technology through our consumer-friendly website. We plan to sell our technology to one big name tire company, such as Goodyear, and they will implement our ColorTrak™  technology to introduce a new brand of tires for their consumers.

VIII Web Plan Summary

Web Development Requirements:

TredTrax has developed a website that can efficiently display and price our technology.

Our Website content includes:

User Interface:

Being a startup, TredTrax will have many interested people trying to find out what exactly it is.  One way they will do this is by looking us up online.  This is why it is extremely important for our website to be professional, organized, and easy to navigate, so our customers and the public have a pleasant experience with it. Information about the technology of TredTrax, our experiment, the process of the creation, and information to directly contact our company is available. The blog and progress updates on the website allow our customers and consumers to obtain knowledge about the process and progress of our company.

At the moment, the budget for TredTrax has not been a big problem. As of right now, we have paid for the website and advertising cost. In the future, we plan to spend more money on advertising and technology development. We want our consumers to use our technology to stay safe on the road.

Distribution Channels:

TredTrax will be sold through tire manufacturing companies. Since we are selling an idea and not a product, TredTrax will be sold directly through a tire manufacturing company. Consumers will not be able to obtain our TredTrax  ColorTrak™ technology unless purchasing it through a tire manufacturing company.

Web Marketing Strategy:

As an E-commerce business, our company heavily relies on an online presence. Our active, up to date social media accounts such as Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter, allow consumers to engage with our company while connecting with us.

Our online presence is very important to us. It is a way that we can allow our consumers to connect with our company. Since our target market is very large and diverse, we use our online presence to appeal to all demographics ,and it is an excellent way to attract potential new customers.

IX Operational Plan

Production:

The prototype of the first TredTrax tire using ColorTrak™ technology was made at our facility at Pomperaug High School.  Our first prototype was created through 3D printing due to the fact that our company does not have access to materials to make our own tires in our facility.  However, the production of future tires will take place at different tire manufacturing plants all across the nation.  

Quality Control:

Once a tire company buys the rights to use our technology, the quality of the tires they produce is out of our hands.  However, to ensure the integration of the colors goes smoothly and that companies are staying within the realms of our patent, after the initial purchase of our technology TredTrax will send an advisor, as well as an inspector.  Part of the advisor's duties would be to answer any questions our customers have, to note feedback, and to work to ensure customer satisfaction.  The inspector would work to make sure the manufacturers are using ColorTrak™ technology in the ways there are allowed to.

Location:

We are located at Pomperaug High School in Southbury, CT.  The production of our prototype took place on-site at Pomperaug, and the general operations of our company will take place there as well.  Because we are working under the school’s domain, we will be treated accordingly.  This means that all utilities such as electricity and running water, as well as office space, developing space, and technology will all be provided by the school.  Our location is convenient in that we are just off Interstate 84, which makes it easy for workers, customers with questions, as well as any UPS deliveries to arrive without any issues finding us.  

X Legal Environment

Licensing and Bonding Requirements:

Licensing and Permit Surety Bonds are agreements made between a company and a government agency that protect consumers from unfair business practices.  Once these bonds are agreed upon, companies must adhere to all laws and regulations enforced by federal, state, and local governments regarding business.  These bonds are meant to be company assets that are set aside in case our company has to pay money to a consumer for any legal reasons.

Permits:

Due to the fact that our company is not manufacturing our product ourselves, but is selling it to another company to manufacture into their products, we do not need to legally acquire any permits in the United States to go ahead with our technology.  This will make our product easier to market and expand because we do not have to stick to the restrictions and regulations that come with a permit.  With this said, in order to secure our intellectual property, we have filed for a patent.  This will ensure we have a legitimate business that no one else can claim as their own.

Insurance:

Every business and company needs to be protected in the event that an unfortunate accident occurs or large funds must be paid out due to an incident with the product.  Since we are a small company our initial capital is limited, at the moment Tred Trax does not have the ability to buy multiple different and specific insurance policies.  We are covered with a General Liability policy which protects us from a wide range of cases, we are protected if a member of our staff is injured while working, and we are protected if our product causes the buyer to be injured.

XI Management and Organization

Organization:

TredTrax is structured in order to maximize efficiency and productivity in everything that we do.  We are organized into seven specialized departments, which are as follows: Business Plan, Marketing, Accounting, Website, Exhibition Booth, Social Media/Blogging, and Presenters.  Each department is made up of multiple employees who collaborate with each other and with other departments to complete projects and various other duties.  The leaders of each department are tasked with the challenge of overseeing all the operations of their own team, as well as reporting to our co-CEO’s about the progress that they make.

Personnel:

Job Description/Team Directors:

Director of Online Presence and Social Media & Co-President

Job Description

The Director of Social Media for TredTrax is responsible for taking recordings of important meetings and updating our social media accounts on a weekly basis.  This allows customers and potential investors to stay up to date on what is going on in our company.  They provide a more visual representation of our business and all its capabilities.  The Director should be posting on Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Launchpad on a daily basis.

Zach Hoedl

Zachary is a natural leader, and he quickly rose to the occasion when he was given the opportunity to co-lead TredTrax. His leadership and hard work help inspire other members of the team to continue to do their best. Zachary also has a lot of experience in graphic design and social media. He is a part of the Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and he has been to two expo fests in the past. Both times, he has been director of social media for the team. In school, he has taken a film class. Skills he has obtained from this class helps the TredTrax team to create short films for our social media accounts. Zachary is skilled in Photoshop, and his writing technique allows our weekly blog to thrive.

Director of Exhibition Booth & Co-President

        Job Description

The Director of the Exhibition Booth for TredTrax, is in charge of the booth plans for the EXPO and creates and interactive and exciting presentation for any customer or potential investor that visits the booth.  This individual is responsible for accurately marketing our company and product while accounting for the fact that we are a business to business enterprise.  The Director must work closely with the Finance and Accounting, Marketing, and Research and Development teams concerning budgets and important information about the product. 

Alexis Teixeira

Alexis is the leader of TredTrax because she is organized, responsible, professional, and a good speaker. She was accepted into the University of Connecticut with a 3.9 high school GPA. Aside from leading the team​ at TredTrax, Alexis is in charge of 20 horses at Emily Emond Dressage. She also works at Riverview Cinemas 8, and she works at the Farmington Gardens on the weekends. This full plate does not stop her from getting her schoolwork done and holding on to her social life. Alexis has taken Accounting, Marketing, Personal Finance, and Spanish in high school, and she hopes to pursue a career in business.

Director of Business Plan

                Job Description

The Director of the Business Plan for TredTrax should be able to develop a thorough document that presents all the company’s information including background, goals, and the functions of our product. The business plan must be clear and presented in a way that ensures customers and potential investors understand our mission, our product, and the competitive advantages of our company.  The Director is responsible for balancing the workload between all departments and make sure that all the information required from all departments is represented in the business plan.

James Rescsanski

James is an organizational expert with lots of experience. His persistence and diligence have helped the TredTrax team compile their data and documents into a final business plan. An excellent example of his ability to compile information is his Eagle Project, completed in 2015. He spent months collecting data and information about the site in which he was going to build, before finally obtaining permission to construct his idea. Along with his organizational skills, James is an excellent writer. He has taken many writing classes at school, including AP Language, Creative Writing, and Public Speaking. He has excelled in them all. The TredTrax business plan is a great example of his writing work.

Director of Marketing

                Job Description

At TredTrax, the Director of Marketing is in charge of one of the larger teams in the company and must be able to multitask, as well as work under pressure.  Responsibilities of the Marketing Director includes assigning and monitoring his or hers team's tasks for the business, providing the other directors with reports of the performance and addressing any issues that arise in the company.  As Director, he or she must respond to the needs of the customers and to work to improve the appealing aspects of our product.  This individual also coordinates plans from start to finish to ensure that they are effective and to adjust the plan to meet any financial restrictions.  Communication is an important element of this position, and this is why collaboration with the web designer is critical.

Lily Nagy

Lily has gained much of her experience in marketing through observing other presentations. One of which that really stood out to her was a presentation given to our class by Michael Rosen, Chief Marketing Officer at Keep America Beautiful. Through this presentation, she was able to gather information from an experienced marketing director who gave her advice as to how to lead the marketing team at TredTrax. Lily has also taken many business classes, such as Marketing and Accounting. Both of these classes have given her expertise in the business field that make her the most suitable candidate to direct the marketing team at TredTrax.

Director of Research and Development

Job Description

The Director of Research and Development heads a small group who work to develop and test the product of interest.  This is possible through intense research over all forms of medium.  In the beginning stages of the company, the Director of R&D works solely on the research aspect of the job description.  Once enough information is learned, at that point he or she may go through with testing to make a real product or prototype.  In order to do this, he or she needs to pay extremely close attention to detail as well as have a knack for good, creative ideas.  

Josh Tranos

Joshua is a respectable and motivated person whose researching skills cannot be matched. He has taken Accounting and E-commerce Entrepreneurship, both of which have helped to give him business skills and experience. He has also taken a plethora of science and history classes, such as Honors Biology, AP Government, and AP US History, that have given him experience in researching and analyzing information. Josh is also the president of the "Future Business Leaders of America" club at his school. As president, Josh is responsible for leading the other members of the club and delegating necessary responsibilities. He also has to complete extensive research before any project is completed. This past experience makes Josh the perfect person to lead the research and development team at TredTrax.

Director of Accounting

                Job Description

The Director of Accounting focuses on the organization and preparation of all monetary information in the company. They are involved in all stages of the business, from start up costs to current balance sheets, and finally the 5 year plan.  The group was involved in many critical elements for the TredTrax product including the selling plan and pricing break down.  The main goal of the Director of Accounting is to ensure that the business operates with its costs in check so that it will be able to make a profit.

                Walker Morris

Walker's accounting experience and leadership qualities allow the accounting team at TredTrax to excel. Walker has taken three years of Accounting classes. These classes are focused in both proprietorship and partnership. The proprietorship classes have given Walker accounting experience for small, independent businesses, while the partnership classes have given him accounting experience in larger, multi-party businesses. Through all this he has gained the skills required to properly lead an accounting team. On top of this, Walker is also the captain of his local boxing and fighting team. Walker is not one to mess with, whether in the ring, or behind the monitor of a computer.

Director of Presentation

                Job Description

The Lead Presenter of TredTrax 2018 EXPO plays a critical role in the success of our company. It is their responsibility to learn every aspect of our business, so they are prepared to answer all questions asked and effectively present our business to potential investors. The Lead Presenter is also in charge of brainstorming, writing, practicing and mastering a professional speech at the highest quality that will be presented to a panel of judges at the EXPO. This speech can also be known as the formal pitch for TredTrax and is possibly the most important part of our EXPO experience.  The Lead Presenter must be fully prepared to answer all questions that may be asked by the judges and to professionally represent the entire TredTrax team.

Matthew Barros

Matthew's presentation skills make him the most well rounded person to direct the TredTrax presenting team. Matthew has been a part of the Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for for three years, so he has lots of experience working with products and preparing for the Expo. Along with that, the many history, science, and language classes he has taken have given him the presenting experience he needs to direct a presenting team as important as the one at TredTrax. Finally, Matthew just has a natural ability to speak. All of these past experience and traits allow Matthew to excel at leading the presentation team at TredTrax.

XII Financial Plan

Start Up Costs:

Item

Price

Website

$50.00

Branding:

Marketing Cost

$944.26

Business License

$510.00

Patent

$2,500

Advertising

$300,000

Total:

$304,004.26

Selling Price Of TredTrax:

Materials + Labor + Markup = Cost

Materials

$18.17

Labor

$66.83

Markup

$65.00

Total:

$150.00

Materials + Labor + Markup = Cost

Materials: $18.17

Labor: $66.83

Mark Up: $65.00

Total: $150.00

Pricing:

        

Our company is selling our patented product for a one time cost of $300,000 and an $8.00 royalty per tire. We want to remain exclusive to one buyer and keep the product away from there competitors.

                

Market Cost:

Product Name

Price

Quantity

Total

Pen

$0.54

250

$134.50

Tech Pocket

$1.80

100

$180.00

Drawstring Bag

$1.19

144

$171.36

Set-Up Charge

$35.00

1

$35.00

LED Keychain

$2.26

100

$274.29

Banner

$130.00

1

$130.00

Business Cards

$0.19

100

$19.11

Total:                                                                                                          $944.26

Break Even Analysis:

Total Sales equals total expenses

Expenses = sales

(Start-up Costs + Variable Costs)= (Price) (X Units Sold)

$1,154,004.26 = ($8/Unit)(X Units)

144,250 = Units Sold

Set cost

$8 per tire

Start-up costs (Fixed Costs)

$304,004.26

Expected Sales 1 year

250,000 tires

Price

$8 per tire/ $300,000

Total Revenue

$450,000.00

Total Variable Cost

$850,000.00

Projected Cash Flow (Year 1):

Total cash in

Sales (refer to Sales Forecast)

$450,000.00

Total

$450,000.00

Total Cash Out

Total Cost

$ 0.00

Total Expenses

$304,004.26

Total

$304,004.26

Project Cash Flow (Year 3):

We will sell this technology one-time exclusive offer for $300,000 and receive a royalty of $8.00 per tire.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Unit Sales

10,000

25,000

55,000

Unit Sales Value

$150.00

$155.00

$165.00

Profit percentage going to TredTrax

$8.00

$8.00

$8.00

Sales Revenue

$ 80,000

$ 200,000

$ 440,000

Unit Cost

$0.00

$0.00

$00.00

Total Profit Pre-expenses

$ 80,000

$ 200,000

$ 440,000

Business Expenses

$ 914.26

$5,000

$10,000

Total profit

$449,000

$1,351,250

$4,527,500

Initial Balance Sheet:

Assets

Current Account

Cash

0

Less: Reserve for Bad Debt

-

-

Merchandise Inventory

$914.26

Prepaid Expenses

-

Notes Receivable

-

Total Current Assets

$4,004.26

Other Assets:

Startup Costs

$1,494.26

Total Other Assets

$0.00

Total Assets

$4,004.26

Liabilities and Capital

Current Liabilities

-

Accounts Payable

-

Sales Tax Payable

-

Payroll Taxes Payable

-

Accrued Wages Payable

-

Unearned Revenues

-

Short-Term Notes Payable

-

Short-Term Bank Loan Payable

Total Current Liabilities

Long Term Liabilities

Long-Term Notes Payable

-

Mortgage Payable

-

Total Long-Term Liabilities

-

Total Liabilities

Capital:

$750,000

Owner’s Equity

Net Profit (loss)

$4,004.26

Total Capital

$1,200,000

Total Liabilities and Capital

$450,000

XIII Growth Opportunities and Potential

At TredTrax, we are a technology company.  With this in mind, our technology will have to find success fast in order to make profit.  The goal for ColorTrak™ is to license it to one company in an exclusive agreement.   We will do this for two reasons:  One is that licensing to only one company will  allow for a stronger deal than if we licensed to multiple companies.  Two, this strategy allows for us to get our foot in the tire industry.  We would love to jump right into it, however, with little experience in the industry, we decided this was our best option.

But ColorTrak™ is just the tip of the iceberg for TredTrax.  As a technology company, we will be continuing to develop innovations for both the tire and for tire safety.  We want to continue to grow and develop products to keep drivers safe on the road because we know drivers don’t stop, so we can’t either.  In five years we plan on having a customer base not just locally, but across the country.   Licensing deals with multiple companies are in our future, but this would most likely be with future products.  The potential for ColorTrak™ is international, the potential for TredTrax is limitless.  

XIV Appendix

Mentor Letter One:

Frank Gaudio

Fixed Ops Manager

Richard Chevrolet Inc

18 years with Richard Chevrolet

25 years Automotive Experience

     

     

As an experienced Fixed Ops Manager, I have volunteered to serve as a mentor to the members of the Ecommerce class at Pomperaug High School in Southbury, Connecticut as a mentor.  In this capacity, I have spoken with the group and advised them as they steer their company, TredTrax in the right direction throughout the development of their company objectives.  

I believe that their product idea is not only worthy of consideration within the tire industry, but I also take a personal interest on how they progress as a company to build their business plan.  I hope that the TredTrax Team will continue to be successful as they take their idea to fruition. 

Respectfully,

Frank Gaudio

Frank Gaudio

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Mentor Letter Two:

J & M TIRE COMPANY 

  

   Statement of Mentorship    

     Qualifications

John Mongillo is one of the well-known co-owners of J & M Tires and Service Center located in Southington, Connecticut.  They established J & M in 1982, at the same location they've occupied for 33 years.

 

After working in the tire trade for a few years, Mongillo and his partner, Mike Stevens rented a Quonset hut at their present location on Queen Street.  "We shared the property with another business," recalls Mongillo.  In 1990 they purchased the structure and converted it into a full service building with 2 huge bays.

 

They began dealing in used and retreadable tires; there was no labor involved in those days.  They bought and sold wholesale and retail alike.  J & M grew quickly.  For years  J & M has carried all major tire brands--Continental (#1 top seller), General, Cooper, Michelin and many more.  "Our prices are competitive because we always look for deals that we can pass on to our customers, says Mongillo.

 

Other services J & M offers include tire alignments, inspection and tire inflation with nitrogen.  J & M prides itself on its top-notch service and selection of quality new and used tires.  "We have a good relationship with our customers and our manufacturers," adds Mongillo.

 

This dedication has made them an enduring Southington success story.  Their clientele extends beyond Southington and encompasses New Britain, Waterbury, Cheshire and Hartford.  They pride themselves in their personalized service and stand behind their high standard of workmanship.

____________________________John Mongillo, J & M TIRE CO., INC.

Mentor Letter Three:

YOKOHAMA TIRE CORPORATION

TECHNICAL SERVICES

2040 FRONT STREET

CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH 44221

PHONE: (800) 423-4544

I serve as the Senior Manager of Technical Engineering at Yokohama Tire Corporation. I

earned my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 1993 and

have spent 25 years working in tire technology positions at three manufacturers. My career has

included time in product development, manufacturing and field roles.

I have reviewed the TredTrax proposal and believe that it is technically viable and is

commercially interesting.

Pat Keating

Senior Manager, Technical Engineering

Yokohama Tire Corporation

Experiment:

Testing Abrasion Resistance in Various Samples of Rubber

TredTrax Research & Development Department

Edited by:

Patrick Ziemke

Joshua Tranos

Matthew Barros

Published by:

TredTrax

Table of Contents

Abstract        2

Introduction        2

Hypothesis        3

Materials        3

Rubber Samples        3

Experiment Apparatus        3

Procedures        4

With Belt Sander        4

With Hand Sander        4

Data Recording        4

Analysis        5

Conclusion        6

  1. Abstract

        The research we aimed to conduct in this experiment is the abrasion resistance of various samples of rubber that could be used in the colored stripes of our ColorTrak  technology. We needed to research this because tire manufacturers use a pigment called carbon black in their products to reduce wear, increase abrasion resistance and heat management. However, we cannot use this pigment in our tires because the color we plan to add to tire treads would not appear, causing the rubber would be black and blending in with the rest of the tire.

        We decided to test the abrasion resistance of various samples of rubber with known abrasion resistance, most notably including natural (gum) rubber, styrene butadiene rubber, neoprene rubber, and butyl rubber. We tested the abrasion resistance by taking the initial mass of each sample, sanding each sample of rubber using a hand sander, taking the end mass, and calculating both the percent mass decrease, and total mass loss.

        We found through our experimentation that butyl rubber was the most resistant to abrasion, losing only 0.28% of its initial mass, or only 0.33 grams. Although this was the most resistant to abrasion, we found through extensive research that butyl rubber is not good with traction, so we will continue experimentation to determine the best type of rubber to use in our ColorTrak technology.

  1. Introduction

        Tires are typically made with natural rubber or synthetic rubber, the most common synthetic rubber for tires being polyisoprene rubber.  Both of these types of rubber are an off-white color that must be colored with a pigment called “carbon black” before it resembles the color of a tire. However, this pigment not only colors the tires, but it also provides some wear and abrasion resistance to the tire.

        For our product, the colored stripes in our patented ColorTrak  tire could not possibly have the carbon black pigment, as the stripes would just be black and blend in with the rest of the tire. We need to find another type of rubber that matches the wear and abrasion resistance of traditional rubber with carbon black. This is the main problem that we are focusing on in this experiment: finding another type of rubber to use as the colored stripes.

  1. Hypothesis

        If we test how much different samples of rubber, both natural and synthetic, wear down after exposure to road-like conditions, then the styrene butadiene (SBR) rubber sample will wear down the least amount, because of its well-established wear and abrasion resistance.

  1. Materials

Rubber Samples:

        We will be purchasing ⅛ in. thick, 12 in. x 12 in., cured, samples of the following types of rubber that could be potentially suitable for the stripes:

Experiment Apparatus:

        We need a way to apply the same amount of pressure to all parts of the rubber sample as they are on the belt sander. This apparatus must also be able to stay in place and not fall off of the belt sander. Our method of accomplishing this is to have a 6 in. x 6 in. piece of plywood (same size as our rubber samples after they are cut to the size that we need to experiment with) sitting on top of our rubber samples that are fixed together. Then we will have a ½ in. x ½ in. x 6 in. piece of wood that is attached to the side of the plywood that faces the front of the belt sander with two holes on both sides of the small piece of wood to allow strings to be tied to the small piece of wood and connect to the belt sander. This will not only allow for an even distribution of the pressure as well as keep the sample in place.

  1. Procedures

With Belt Sander

  1. If the belt sander is on and running, turn the machine off, or unplug the machine for safety.
  2. Make sure that your digital scale can read over 200 g, and make sure that it is accurate by placing a 200 g weight on the scale. The scale is accurate if it reads 200 g +/- .01 g.
  3. Take the starting mass for each sample of rubber to the hundredths of a gram. Record these initial masses in your data table.
  4. Place your first sample of rubber on the belt sander, with the label side facing up, so the name of the rubber is not destroyed and can still be identified.
  5. On top of the sample of rubber, place your apparatus with the side labeled ‘front’ towards the front of the belt sander, and attach the strings to the stationary metal area of the belt sander, not on the belt.
  6. Turn on the belt sander while simultaneously starting a timer for 4 minutes. Watch the sample carefully to ensure that it is not being ripped or any chunks of rubber being taken out.
  7. Once the 4 minutes is over, turn off the belt sander, lift the wooden test apparatus, and remove your sample of rubber. Wash the sample off to remove any dust particles or extra mass that may skew our results. Once the sample has been removed of all extra material, dry the sample off.
  8. Ensuring that the scale is still accurate by testing it with the 200 g weight, place your rubber sample on top of the scale, and record the ending mass in your data table.
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 for each sample of rubber.

With Hand Sander

  1. Complete steps #2 & #3 of the previous procedure (belt sander) for measurement of the rubber samples.
  2. Secure your first sample to the table, with the label facing down, using a clamp. Use tape around the edges if needed for extra security.
  3. Using 400 grit sandpaper on the hand sander, sand for exactly four (4) minutes.
  4. After the 4 minutes are over, wash the samples off with running water, and dry COMPLETELY.
  5. Complete step #8 from the previous procedure (belt sander)
  6. Repeat steps #2-#8 for the remaining samples, and record masses in the data table.

  1. Data Recording

We calculated the percent mass decrease of all of the samples of rubber after 4 minutes of sanding. We measured the starting mass, ending mass, and used the following equation to calculate the percent mass decrease:

) * 100

Using this formula, we gathered the following data from our testing:

Type of Rubber

Starting Mass (g)

Ending Mass (g)

Percent Mass Decrease

Total Mass Lost (g)

Natural (Gum) Rubber

81.00 g

79.14 g

2.29%

1.86 g

LASCO Rubber

125.21 g

122.15 g

2.44%

3.06 g

SBR (Styrene Butadiene Rubber)

93.15 g

92.45 g

0.75%

0.70 g

Neoprene Rubber

101.04 g

99.06 g

1.96%

2.34 g

Butyl Rubber

115.95 g

115.62 g

0.28%

0.33 g

Butyl (with nylon) Rubber

83.00 g

81.22 g

2.15%

1.78 g

  1. Analysis

        We decided to find the percent mass decrease for each sample of rubber after 4 minutes of sanding. Unfortunately, our original idea for an experiment with the belt sander failed, as the rubber would cause the belt to get stuck, and we risked destroying our samples. Our next best option was to use a electric hand sander with a low grit.

        Through our testing, we found that butyl rubber was the most resistant to abrasion, only losing 0.28% of it’s initial mass (0.33 g) after sanding. The least resistant sample was our LASCO sample, losing 2.44% (3.06 g) of it’s initial mass. We hypothesized that the styrene butadiene rubber sample would be the most resistant, however we were proved wrong by the results. Although SBR was found to be the second-most resistant to abrasion, our experiment found that butyl rubber had the most impressive wear resistance.

Some of the results of our experiment were surprising, as butyl rubber with a nylon center lost 2.15% (1.78 g) of it’s initial mass, while regular butyl rubber only lost 0.28% (0.33 g) of it’s initial mass. This is confusing because, if they are both made of the same material, and the sander never made it to the nylon center, theoretically, they should have nearly the same percent mass decrease. This is why we are concluding that the butyl sample with the nylon (2-ply) center was probably a butyl-dominant mixture of other rubbers.

  1. Conclusion

        After testing the abrasion resistance of various types of rubber, we found that butyl rubber was the most resistant to abrasion. We measured the initial mass of all of our samples of rubber, the final mass of the samples, and with these numbers, calculated both the percent mass decrease, and total mass decrease.

        Through our research, we found that although butyl rubber had the most abrasion resistance, however, we learned that it is not used in the treads of tires because it is really bad with tire traction. Although the stripes of color will only be about an inch thick, we do not want to sacrifice traction, a tire’s most important feature, for abrasion resistance, so we will continue experimentation in the future for a rubber that is not only resistant to road abrasion, but also holds very good traction.

        In our research, we found that styrene butadiene rubber is very good with traction, and is a very prominent part of the rubber mixture used by large tire manufacturers. This is a good starting point for our next stage of experimentation because we used this sample of rubber in our abrasion resistance experiment, and it was second to butyl rubber. If in our next stage of experimentation we find that styrene butadiene rubber is as good with traction as our resources tell us, we will be using that type of rubber in our ColorTrak  technology.

Focus Group Survey Sample:

Sent to 7 Members:

Luke Niedziela, Kyle Parsell, Michael Teixeira, Tyler Detlefsen, Mr. Mcnamara, Mr. Sullivan, & Mr. Messina

Thank you so very much for taking time from your busy schedule to help our TredTrax team reach our goals and for providing guidance throughout our company's development. Since you have expert knowledge of the automobile and driving industry, your opinions and advice are very valuable to us.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:

This year, we have created a  ColorTrak Technology process which we are marketing to consumers to help keep them safe while on the roads.  This technology serves as a visual indicator of the tread depth of the vehicle's tires.  When the tire wears down to 4/32nd of an inch the black tread of the tire turns yellow, indicating that tire wear is considerable and will soon need attention.  Then at 2/32nd of an inch, the tire tread turns red. . This indicates that the tires are in immediate need of your attention and you much change your tires or otherwise risk the safety of all car passengers.  We are currently researching HOW to implement the color changing process and are conducting experimentation along the way.  

Please answer the below listed questions and email back to me by SATURDAY, APRIL 14TH.

NAME:

JOB TITLE:

1.  Based on the product description above, do you consider this to be a good  

     idea?

2.  If no, please explain why.

3.  What value do you see in the product?

4.  What are the potential problems involving this product?

5.  Specifically WHERE on the tire should the color be applied?  

     (tread, wear bar, outer, or inner side, etc.)

6.  How would you suggest to change our idea to make it better?

7.  What do you consider to be a reasonable price range for this process?

8.  How do you think the public will accept this product?

9.  Would you purchase a tire with this ColorTrak technology?

10.  Any other comments...

PLEASE RETURN THIS COMPLETED QUESTIONNAIRE TO ALEXIS TEIXEIRA NO LATER THAN APRIL 14TH.

We graciously thank you for sharing your expertise with us in helping us make a better product.

E-Commerce, Class of 2018

Pomperaug High School

Patent Cover Sheet:

Business Card:

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“Complete Tire Size Listing by Rim Size (705 Sizes).” Automotive, www.michelinman.com/US/en/tires/sizes.html.

“Global Market for High Performance Tires Forecast to Reach $38 Billion by 2020.” Smithers Rapra, www.smithersrapra.com/news/2015/february/global-market-for-high-performance-tires-is-foreca.

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“NTSB Releases Numbers about Deadly Tire-Related Accidents.” myfox8.Com, 27 Oct. 2015, myfox8.com/2015/10/27/ntsb-releases-numbers-about-deadly-tire-related-accidents/.

“RCW 46.37.425: Tires-Unsafe-State Patrol's Authority-Penalty.” RCW 13.64.010: Declaration of Emancipation., app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.37.425.

Staff, Tire Business. “Global Tire Demand to Rise 4% Annually - Freedonia.” Tire Business, www.tirebusiness.com/article/20151223/NEWS/151229969/global-tire-demand-to-rise-4-annually-8212-freedonia.

“The High Cost of Tires.” TopNews - Drivers - TopNews - TruckingInfo.com, www.truckinginfo.com/channel/equipment/article/story/2013/05/the-high-cost-of-tires.aspx.

“Tire Dealers Insurance.” Bolt Insurance, www.boltinsurance.com/profession/tire-dealers-insurance/.

“Tire Tread Wear Causes | Bridgestone Tires.” Car Tires and Truck Tires, www.bridgestonetire.com/tread-and-trend/drivers-ed/tire-tread-wear-causes.

“Tires Made in USA: American and Foreign Brands.” Tire Reviews, Buying Guide & Interesting Facts - Utires.com, 24 June 2017, www.utires.com/articles/tires-made-usa-american-foreign-brands/.

“TYRES KNOWLEDGE.” All Season Tires | Catalog of Car Tires for Summer and Winter | Pirelli, www.pirelli.com/tyres/en-gb/car/about-tyre.

“US3104693A - Rubber Tire Tread Grooves and Patterns.” Google Patents, Google, patents.google.com/patent/US3104693.

“World Tires.” The Freedonia Group, www.freedoniagroup.com/industry-study/world-tires-3357.htm.