The third Engage Again Virtual Conference by AIM and RAIN Alliance took place September 8-9, 2021 and this time it was co-located with the first-ever RAIN RFID Tyre Expo – an event solely dedicated to the technology and use cases of RAIN RFID enabled tyres. The Tyre Expo was targeted atr people from all aspects of the tyre world including tyre manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and vehicle makers as well as technology and solution providers.
The conference program covered a wide range of interesting topics, that were arranged on three parallel tracks. Rumor has it that the Tyre Expo conference track continuously attracted an average of 60 people, making it the most attended track of the Engage Again event.
1. The Secret Sauce
Voyantic naturally took part in the fun as well, as a sponsor and by presenting together with Hana Technologies. Also, Juho Partanen from Voyantic moderated an expert panel discussion on the key levers for the growth or RAIN RFID adoption across the tyre industry.
In their presentation, Teemu Ainasoja from Voyantic and Randall Grein from Hana Technologies shared the story of how millions of Hana Technologies manufactured and Voyantic tested RAIN RFID tags have been successfully embedded into tyres, and at the same time, paved the way for other tyre manufacturers who are not yet working with RAIN. The technology and processes have been established, tested, and proven as tens of millions tyres are source tagged in 2021!
Combining the messages from these two presentations: the secret sauce to success is collaboration across company borders. It applies both on 100% successful source tagging of tyres, information sharing within supply chains, as well as accelerating the adoption of RAIN technology across the tyre value chain.
Enabling source tagging of tyres was not easy. There were technical and other hurdles to overcome. Now, those hurdles are passed and any new tyre manufacturer can jump on-board the tyre tagging train quite easily.
2. Looking into the future
Voyantic had a good crowd of employees attending the conference. Here are some of the key takeaways our staff shared from the event.
- The RAIN tagging of tyres is driven by traceability needs thorough the tire life cycle, not only through the supply chain. The circular economy seems to be another long-term driver.
- The tagging penetration in 2021 is around 3-4 %, still adding up to tens of millions of tires. The volume is projected to leap to a few hundreds of millions by 2024, as Michelin extends tagging to cover all passenger car tyres, in addition to truck and transport vehicle tyres that are already tagged today.
- Embedded tags seem to become the dominant application method, however, it is not clear whether embedded tags can deliver the needed reading performance through the whole supply chain. That would leave the market open for sticker-type tagging specifically in tyre distribution and sales.
Siemens believes that RAIN tagging of tyres will become an industry-wide norm. Quote of the week came from Dieter Horst of Siemens “tires are not conceivable in the future without RFID connectivity”.
Voyantic offers RAIN RFID testing and encoding systems for tyre manyfacturers’ systems. The systems include: