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Michelin Ramps Up Tagging Program, Launches RFID-based App
To support that effort, the company adopted a high-speed, wide-band tag-testing system and released a hosted RFID-based solution for tracking tire air pressure.
Nov 03, 2015—
After several years spent developing a radio frequency identification system featuring embedded EPC ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) passive tags in its heavy truck, coach and bus tires, Michelin—one of the world's largest tire producers—has now taken additional steps toward full deployment. To this end, the company has adopted testing technology to confirm that every tag is functioning properly before permanently embedding it into the sidewall of a tire being manufactured, and has released a hosted RFID-based solution for monitoring tire pressure.
Michelin's tag supplier, Hana Microdisplay Technologies, verifies the functionality of all tags it supplies to the tire maker. Before shipping the tags to Michelin, Hana uses Voyantic's Tagsurance system to automatically test multiple tags loaded onto a tray. Michelin then checks each tag again via a Tagsurance manual test station prior to embedding it in a tire. The manual and automated test stations are the same, with the exception that the manual version is operated via a foot pedal that triggers the measurement, and emits an audible beep to indicate that a tag has performed satisfactorily.
During a tire's manufacturing, Michelin embedded a tag directly into the rubber of the tire's sidewall, though the tag can also be sold to customers in the form of a patch that attaches to a tire's exterior.
Rubber and steel belts in the tire can affect RFID signals. Therefore, the tags must be over-tuned to compensate for the material's detuning effect, thus making them better able to respond to interrogation with a strong transmission when embedded into tires. Michelin worked with Hana Microdisplay to develop an EPC UHF RFID tag specifically for this environment, one that could be incorporated into a tire and still function well. The tag is also being used by other tire manufacturers.
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