Kumho to introduce RFID on all tyres
In June, Kumho Tire announced a global first – it will place radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags on all tyre products it manufactures. Kumho’s RFID programme is being rolled out as part of the ‘u-IT New Technology Verification Project’ supported by Korea’s National IT Industry Promotion Agency and a key aim of fitting RFID tags is to increase workflow efficiency; furthermore, with the expansion of its RFID-embedded tyres to all product lines, Kumho Tires expects to cut KRW10.4 billion (£5.9 million) in annual logistics, production and quality control costs.
The RFID tag Kumho uses was co-developed with Asiana IDT and delivers information on product quality. The patch-type tag is implanted inside the tyre’s inner liner during the manufacturing process. Each RDIF tag-fitted tyre is given a unique identity which can be tracked by a database system at Kumho Tires’ headquarters. The tag contains information on quality and performance and detailed records relating to the production process, distribution and sales.
“Under the RFID system, the entire product lifecycle can be managed systematically by streamlining the whole process from product quality in the course of manufacturing to product record tracking to distribution channels to warehousing and to inventory management,” explains Kumho Tire in a statement. “It can also prevent possible distribution through illegal channels or selling of defect products, helping raise consumer confidence and satisfaction.” The company also notes that several premium car manufacturers require LTS (Lot Tracking System) information – something the utilisation of RFID will facilitate.
Since early this year, Kumho has fitted RFID tags on all truck and bus tyres manufactured in its Gwangju and Gokseong plants in Korea and on original equipment passenger car tyres supplied to certain OEM customers. As of the second half of 2013, RFID units will be built into all domestic market passenger car tyres, and from 2014 all manufacturing sites in Korea and overseas will adopt the RFID system.
“Kumho Tires has always introduced new innovative technologies to the industry one step ahead, raising quality control efficiency and consumer confidence at the same time,” said Bok-soo Park, chief technology officer of Kumho Tires. “We will remain committed to customer satisfaction and production innovation in the tyre market while systematically managing product information under the new system.”