RFID First For Michelin
As reported in T&A RFID tyre identification systems are about to become an element of tyre production and management. After testing on truck and earthmover tyres, Michelin has begun fleet testing of Radio Frequency Identification tagging on passenger car and light truck tyres. The technology allows the tyre identification number to be associated with the vehicle identification number (VIN) making the tyres uniquely identifiable with an individual vehicle, telling when and where the tyre was made, maximum inflation pressure, tyre size, etc.
. The ability to identify and track individual tyres through their life cycle has attractions for tyre management services, but ultimately may have applications in the control of the tyre life cycle, including retreading and recovery.”This innovation has attractive implications for tyre makers, for vehicle makers and for consumers,” said Tom Chubb, vice president of new product development for Michelin Automotive Industries Division in the USA.
“For vehicle and tyre makers it means a simple and innovative way to comply with federal record keeping standards, including those of the new TREAD (Transportation, Recall, Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation) Act. For consumers it means convenience and confidence.”The transponder implanted in the tyre has an integrated circuit which carries a large range of data on the tyre and has a read-write capability allowing the data held on the chip to be updated.
This allows mileage and wear and tear to be recorded at service intervals, and could include change of vehicle ownership details to be recorded. The integrated circuits are manufactured by Fairchild Semiconductor(TM) and Philips. As part of the supply arrangement, Philips provides its brand new I.
CODE HSL IC. Both ICs are under license from Intermec Technologies Corporation.Michelin’s unique contribution to this RFID system was its modification of the antenna attached to the electronic device and the proprietary treatment of the device that makes it possible to vulcanise the assembly into the tyre.
Michelin’s RFID tag is the first to meet the Automotive Industry Action Group’s B-11 standard for North America, as a “cured into the tyre” solution. Operating at ultra high frequency (UHF), the Michelin RFID tag can be interrogated by a reader, hand-held or mounted, some 24 inches or more (at or beyond 60cm) away from the transponder. Once collected, the information can be stored in a database for accurate and easy retrieval.
Fleet testing of the technology is now under way. Michelin is believed to be the only tyre maker to productionise this kind of radio frequency technology in tyres having experimented initially on truck tyres with patches vulcanised into the tyre after initial manufacture. Michelin says it will make the technology available to the entire industry.
Michelin says the RFID technology will most likely be introduced through the original equipment market, but could soon be feasible for replacement tyres as well.Michelin says the cost of this technology will be affordable and value driven. The cost per unit will go down as it volume increases.