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RFID for Tires Development Series

RFID for Tires

Joint Development Services for Automated Tire Identification

tire graphicRFID: Joint Development Services for Automated Tire Identification

 

RFID: The big picture in the tire industry

As the tire industry continues to move towards full automation and Industry 4.0, the conversations surrounding RFID and smart sensors become more and more relevant. From easier tracking through manufacturing to waste reduction efforts, to improved automotive safety and visibility of lifetime performance, the benefits realized from RFID are virtually endless.

So then the question becomes: How can RFID help to accomplish your goals? The truth is that RFID is a highly customizable solution: from the design itself to the implementation and data usage specifications, each and every project is a bit different. It is because of this uniqueness that we approach RFID as a joint development service.

What is joint development?

Fair question.

Because there is no ‘one size fits all’ as it relates to RFID systems, there isn’t an ‘off-the-shelf’ option that we could simply ship your way. So, our engineers and project managers partner with your technical resources and project teams to discuss your goals and desired outcomes associated with RFID.

It is after that initial consultation that we can then determine if our capabilities and expertise will align with your expectations. From there, the joint development commences! What you bring to the table is the expertise of your process, goals, and challenges. What we’ll bring is the knowledge and feasibility associated with RFID. We’ll then work as a team to design, develop, and implement an RFID system that is unique to your process.

rfid roll

How does the RFID development process work?

1. If you decide you’d like to explore the possibilities of RFID, our Product Manager will reach out with a series of questions. These relate to your current tracking process, automation goals, and overall objectives you’re hoping to accomplish with RFID. This will help determine a go-forward path for how we’ll work together.

2. Next, we’ll get our heads together to determine the value that RFID has the potential to bring to your processes, and from here we’ll enter into to a formal Collaborative Innovation Agreement. This will include key stakeholders, and will outline the expected deliverables in the initial stages of the project. 

3. You can expect regular check-ins and project updates throughout the development process. Typically the next tangible deliverable includes a computer simulation, followed by physical models, pending your approval. Following the physical samples, is the prototype evaluation. It is at this stage where we’ll determine next steps for manufacturing ramp up, and will help to create your business case. 

4. Pending the prototype meets your expectations and the business case is justified, the next step is a production pilot, followed by a ramp-up in manufacturing.

5. We’ll be there every step of the way to help ensure expectations are met and that RFID is commissioned and properly trained so that you optimize the full capabilities of the technology.

What does a tire RFID solution consist of?

RFID for reagentsWhile every system will look a bit different in terms of system components, there are some ‘standard’ elements that are needed in order to fully leverage the benefits of RFID. Typically, the following elements will be included in your solution:

  • RFID Tag
  • Antenna
  • Reader
  • Computer System (could include custom software)
  • Hardware (could include an RFID-capable printer)

What does RFID cost?

Typically, RFID tends cost more than a traditional label. But when you consider the added benefits, the added costs can typically be justified. Because each and every RFID system solution is different based on application, volume, and intended output, it is difficult to estimate a true cost without first understanding more about your process and goals. That being said, we typically estimate RFID to cost somewhere between $0.10 and $0.70 per unit.

It should also be noted that there is a tangible cost associated with entering into a Collaborative Innovation Agreement. Because we are essentially creating a customized product just for you, we need to ensure that we both have some stake in the game. The cost of a Collaborative Innovation Agreement will vary based on size, scope, and expectation and will be determined early on in the product development cycle with your Computype Technical Team.

rfid layer

How does RFID compare to a traditional barcode label?

Its hard to make a direct comparison, because in many cases, we actually integrate the two technologies and provide customers with a hybrid barcode- RFID label so that all benefits of tracking can be optimized.  That said, there are some capabilities made possible with RFID that simply aren’t with a standard barcode label. Check out our comparison chart below for a side-by-side comparison:

 

Barcode Labels

RFID

Resistant to Chemicals & Harsh Exposures

Yes

Yes

Line of Sight Interrogation

Required

Not Required

Automated Interrogation

No

Yes

Interrogation Speed

Moderate

Fast

Independent of Reading Orientation

No

Yes

Ability to Interrogate Multiple Tags

No

Yes

Writing Capacity

<20 characters

8 Kbytes +

Electronic Writing

No

Yes

Rewritable

No

Yes

Cost per Unit

$0.01 - $0.08

$0.10 - $0.70

Commercial Availability & Usage

High

Growing

Food for thought

What can RFID actually help you to accomplish? The possibilities are virtually endless, and are really only bound by time and budget. That said, here are some of the more realistic usage cases for RFID to help spark your creativity:

Within Manufacturing:

At the point of tire building, RFID can be embedded straight into the tire itself, or enhance the bead barcode label to help manage and control production. Here are some of the ways RFID can benefit your tire manufacturing process:

  • Improved Read Rates: as no line of sight scanning is required with RFID, waste and costly rework can be virtually eliminated

  • More Data Storage: RFID tags offer both read and write capability, allowing manufacturers to easily store and access manufacturing audit trail information

  • Reduced Manual Labor: Equipment that automatically applies and reads your smart hybrid labels while simultaneously scanning the barcode can easily integrate into your production line. You’re also able to automate the labeling process completely with no need for human application or scanning

  • Faster Decision Making: Capturing and leveraging dynamic data enables decision making on-the-fly for leaner, more controlled operations

Want to learn more about hybrid RFID-bead barcode labels? Check out our blog!

Through Distribution and Retailing:

  • Improved Inventory Tracking: as entire pallets can be easily scanned and accounted for without direct line of sight. 

  • Controlled Costs: as warehouses can be easily tracked with minimal labor or resources

For Consumers and Smarter Vehicles:

  • Added Safety Monitoring: When embedded into the tire itself, RFID tags can communicate with the vehicle operating system to alert the driver of real-time changes associated to pressure, tread depth, or traction control. 

  • Full Audit Trail Controls: In the case of a product recall for example, an RFID tag that was embedded at the point of the build process can serve as the point of reference in determining which products have been affected

 

Interested in speaking with one of our RFID Product Managers? Schedule a free consultation!