NEWS: Tread Label Track Tyres Better


Netherlands-based technology company Ferm RFID Solutions is releasing an upgraded version of an adhesive tread label for tyre producers. It serves as a universal ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tag with a read range of approximately 8m (26ft) that can be read in bulk, even in environments such as stacked tyres on metal racks.

The labels are already in use by tyre companies that sell products in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to enable the tracking of tyres that enter the country. The UAE government requires that all tyres sold within that nation be tracked through the supply chain via RFID labels. For more than a year, companies who export products to the Emirates have been applying the Ferm RFID labels. Most recently, however, the firm has upgraded the RFID labels, using its own copper antenna design to create an optimal read range—no matter the material, size and type of the tyre or the orientation of the tag, it claims.

Ferm RFID Solutions created the RFID antenna in partnership with Smart Res (which helped design the inlay and antenna) and AIPIA Member Avery Dennison Material Group Europe (which developed the materials and adhesives that enable the tag to be fixed to the surface with nearly 100 percent reliability), says Jos Uijlenbroek, Ferm RFID's co-founder. Embedded RFID tags in tyres can present problems as they are hard to read in a bulk storage environment or when the tyres are stacked on their side.

That ability to automate tyre tracking has recently been in greater demand, Uijlenbroek says, to provide added services to fleet managers and other stakeholders. Tire manufacturers are focusing more on providing tires as a service, rather than just as a product—identifying how tires are being used and for how long, and providing the necessary maintenance or service. The RFID tread label can be printed in the form factor of common brand labels already used by manufacturers.