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Sep 30, 2021

The First-Ever Global RAIN RFID Tyre Expo – Recap

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.

Watch the panel discussion recording

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!

Watch the presentation recording

Teemu Ainasoja & Randall Grein on the stage

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:

  • Tagformance system with C50 measurement chamber / C100 measurement chamber / C150 measurement chamber for anyone developing tags for tyres or tyre tagging.
  • Tagsurance system for production quality testing of RAIN RFID tags, including tyre tags.

Dec 19, 2018

RAIN Man’s Letter to Santa, 2018

中文版 Chinese version

Dear Santa,

How are…. Let me jump right to the point: Christmas music is like microplastics – everywhere, irritating and harmful to living organisms. In right amounts I enjoy Christmas music during December, but not in the autumn. Strangely malls, various shops and service bureaus play it, get this, starting from October. I give them business, and they want… to repel me?

Well they managed just that. Thank you Santa, for giving me all the convenient webshops, postal and grocery delivery services that streamline my everyday life. The music nuisance is pretty much gone now. Outstanding – but do you already have a plan laid out for microplastics?

2018 Was Awesome

End of 2017 I was nervous about the talent pool in our business. Turns out I just wasn’t completely in the loop. To name a few examples, Pavel had rotated himself to Impinj and Goetz and Jason were re-discovered at StoraEnso. Markus the mountain runner stepped over to the end user side in mid-2018. Harri retired, which is a loss but superb news for his granddaughter. Santa, any way to circulate Sipi back to RAIN business?

Both the RAIN name and RAIN market enjoyed a well deserved boost. The RAIN Alliance grew to over 160 members and according to Hervé D’Halluins’ presentation in Xiamen, Decathlon has achieved 100% RAIN tagging coverage on it’s merchandise!

Best of all there seems to be a consensus among manufacturers, brands and retailers that source tagging is the way to go – a message also amplified by the Project Zipper results. I couldn’t have asked for more, and am grateful to you, dear Santa.

Picture from RAIN Alliance meeting in Shenzen, China. October 2017 [Shutterstock image]

2019 to Embrace Mistakes

Santa, as we both know from the frosty Finnish lakeside, without mistakes there is very little learning.

Feeling experimental?

Take the Brexit as an example. Let it be hard or soft, but it’s going to hurt the British people like an ice hockey puck hitting the chin, especially those on the low-income end. As the tide across the English Channel is right, let’s all admit that Brexit was just an epic mistake and welcome the Great Britain warmly back to the union. A few hugs and pints will brush off the ashes, and no-one will go down that path ever again.

I don’t dare to wish anything specific regarding Brexit as such, instead I hope we all would learn to embrace mistakes and failures – also the gigantic ones.

2019 to Schedule the Upper ETSI Frequency Band

Santa, thanks for delivering the Comission Decision last October outside of my wishlist! The global harmonized RAIN Frequency band is already in the books, but not in practice. Understanding the complexities involved, it would be valuable to acquire an adoption plan across the European member states. We especially need the date when frequencies between 916-919 MHz become available for RAIN deployments in Germany.

2019 Let There Be Flooding

As annual tag delivery volumes go north of 20 Billion, we cannot expect applications to remain isolated from each other, as they nowadays still largely are. RAIN tag flooding basically occurs when RAIN applications start to overlap.

Take a sports event for example: the participants are wearing clothes and shoes purchased from Decathlon, making those items RAIN enabled. Together with their RAIN enabled race bib they next run over the race timing system antenna mat. That introduces serious tag flooding to the race timing system. Would this overlapping of applications be a problem? Assuming the correct numbering [ISO/IEC 20248] is used on all the tags AND the readers are properly configured, there should be no problem.

Anyone ordered RAIN RFID tag flooding? Picture Copyright Sami Vaskola.

Flooding is good and it’s inevitable, because the market is growing. Dear Santa, we really need to start educating the RAIN solution providers to prepare for flooding. Luckily, Bertus Pretorius already started.

Getting Warmer

The future outlook for us winter dudes is not so bright. Santa, get wheels for your sleigh. No kidding matter. See you in a few days, ok? Travel safe.

Still in denial of global warming, eh?