The tire industry is quickly embracing RFID. Earlier this month we reported about a major initiative by Michelin that allows its RFID patents to be shared by others in the industry in an attempt to accelerate the use of RFID on tires.
Roline, a Dutch firm that retreads worn tires for bus and truck companies, is deploying RFID to simplify the tracking and tracing process for tires. Retreading involves cleaning the old tire and putting new rubber on the outside. The practice is common for commercial fleet owners.
Roline must identify each tire individually and keep track of it through the entire process, maintaining an accurate inventory of all tires in its warehouse. Roline’s customers carry out regular fleet inspections on their vehicles, which requires a manual process to locate an identifying label on each tire. Because the label may be hidden on the inside of the tire, this often involves climbing underneath the vehicle, which can be a time-consuming task.
Roline has deployed an RFID solution from Motorola partner Ferm RFID Solutions to solve this problem. Working with Italian tag maker Smartres, Ferm RFID Solutions developed an RFID tag based on rubber patch material that can be put on the tire before vulcanization.
For new tires, a label is used based on the same material used in the tire industry. Every tire now has an RFID tag embedded, which allows its customers to use a simple handheld device to read the tags at up to a distance of five meters.