German automotive parts manufacturer, Continental has been producing its first tires featuring RFID tags, facilitating product traceability, since last fall. Now, for the first time, production vehicle models, made by Volvo, will be equipped with this technology.
RFID tags (which stands for "Radio Frequency Identification") facilitates the mounting of tires and wheels while respecting all stages of quality assurance, before, during and after their use on the road. Integrated into tires, this technology notably makes it possible to find out the name of the manufacturer, its model reference and its serial number. The tag can also include other data, specific to each tire, such as lifespan, wear and tear, etc. Such tires can be easily identified by RFID ISO logos on each side.
This tiny tag, weighing less than one gram, isn't visible. It integrates an antenna linked to an electronic chip allowing it to receive and respond to radiofrequency requests.
All the data relating to the tire can be read by radiofrequency using a reader, placed around 15 centimeters from the tag. This means a tire can be traced throughout its lifespan, from manufacturing to recycling.
Last fall, Continental launched the production of its EcoContact 6 tires, first of all set to equip Volvo vehicles. Although the French tire-maker Michelin is something of a pioneer when it comes to this technology, it has, for the moment, only concretely developed it for heavy trucks and for a few tests in autosports. In fact, Continental is the first tire manufacturer to supply them directly to a car-maker.