Identification of tyres has been one of the early use cases of RAIN RFID already back in 2005. It took almost 10 years for the technology and value chain to mature to a state when this extremely challenging application became finally possible.
Million Reasons to Tag Tyres
There are countless ways to utilize RFID enabled tyres. Early deployments follow the use cases familiar in generic retail business: improving the traceability in the supply chain and raising efficiency in warehouse inventory and management. Over time I bet we will also see use cases after distribution, such as tyre fleet management, safety monitoring (pressure, wear, retreading) and eventually also in recycling.
Once tyres are RFID enabled, it opens enormous possibilities for companies to streamline processes and even create new business models.
“Scrapping a Finished Tyre is Not an Option”
If an embedded RFID tag is defected, it cannot be replaced with a new one because of safety and practical reasons. At the same time no manufacturer is willing to scrap a new baked tyre because of a non-functional RFID tag. Is there a way to avoid such a situation?
A carefully implemented quality monitoring helps keep tyre manufacturing process lean and efficient. RFID is implemented in various ways within the tyre industry. Thus, preparing the tagging specifications according to actual use cases of the complete value chain is a prerequisite. Read more of this framework:
What is the Framework of RFID Tagging in Tyre Industry?
Learn how to prepare tagging specifications according to actual use cases of the complete value chain!
Embedding RFID UHF Tag into Rubber and RF Testing
Prior to embedding in rubber, the tyre tags are tested in free-air conditions. UHF tyre tags are typically over tuned to frequencies over 1 GHz. This makes RF testing a challenge because standard RFID readers operate at frequencies below 1 GHz.
From the manufacturing standpoint, additional requirements include:
- individual tag test should be wireless;
- test may be performed on trays with a large quantity of other tags in close proximity;
- the production flow cannot be slowed down.
The Voyantic solution is to utilize Tagsurance RFID tester together with the Snoop Pro near field coupling element. This enables accurate READ sensitivity test for the complete dipole tag structure with excellent correlation to far field performance.
RF testing used to be one of the bottlenecks in the tyre tag production process, however, the sophisticated test features of the Tagsurance tester mean that the slowest processes are the mechanical ones.
Please read of our testing solution in more detail from our customer case study Michelin – Tire Tags with Consistent Quality!
Industry-Wide ISO Standards in the Horizon
The industry is currently waiting for the work group to finalize following standards, like
- ISO/CD 20909, Radio frequency identification [RFID] tyre tags
- ISO/CD 20910, Coding for radio frequency identification [RFID] tyre tags
- ISO/NP 20911, Embedding methods for radio frequency identification [RFID] tyre tags
- ISO/NP 20912, Testing methods for radio frequency identification [RFID] tyre tags.
For an update on the ISO standards process please stay tuned for upcoming blog from Juho Partanen later this year.
If you’d like to hear how Voyantic can enable you to perform tyre RFID testing in your facility, just drop me a line - it will be my pleasure to walk you through the process!