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Universal Tire Label Boasts Reliable Reads on Nearly Any Tire

Ferm RFID Solutions' universal tire tread label is designed to adhere to a tire's tread and track its movement through the supply chain, even when tires are stacked on metal racks.
By Claire Swedberg

Avery Dennison Material Group Europe has developed materials to operate well with these challenges. "We have tested these label materials extensively with inlays in climate rooms," Eichenwald says. In such rooms, he adds, "we ran temperature and humidity cycles with our labels on tires that mimic real-life performance in the supply chain. From the work done, we can conclude that specifically our [polypropylene] tire label materials and our PET—polyesters—materials are working very well."

The new RFID tread label technology allows bulk reading of up to 150 tires simultaneously, as they move through a reader gate, at a distance of up to 8 meters. This, Uijlenbroek says, is enabled by an RFID antenna that has been designed so it cannot be disconnected from the RFID chip. Avery Dennison's proprietary tire label adhesive ensures that the tags remain on the tread to which they are attached. Eichenwald adds that tire adherence and performance is critical since a missing label means the tire could be lost from the system.

The finished tread label
The challenge for Ferm RFID Solutions has been to develop a tag that can read RF signals and transmit on any tire. Tags that work only on certain tires have limited value, Uijlenbroek says. Since there are many different kinds of tires composed of rubber, steel, carbon black and other materials, the company spent several years developing a tag that could be reliably read on every tire—even solid rubber tires used on large cranes. "A tire producer wants a one-size-fits-all label," he states.

The tread tire label can be used to help companies ensure that tires are sold to customers before they reach their expiration date, while also making supply chain management more automated. Typically, the tags are read at the points of shipping and receiving, as well as for stock counting, order picking and proof of delivery to a customer. Uijlenbroek adds that the tags can be interrogated via a forklift reader even when tires are stacked on racks or pallets.

In the case of the United Arab Emirates, labels are thus far being attached to tires as they enter the country. In the future, tire manufacturers may apply the labels before they leave the manufacturing point of origin.

According to Uijlenbroek, most large tire producers are testing Ferm RFID's vulcanized labels on some of their products. But in many cases, the companies defined the use cases for both the tire tread and vulcanized labels for the applications they provide.

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