Through RFID technology, Michelin says it is making tires that “communicate” by linking them to a more global ecosystem.
Michelin has been fitting some of its car tires with chips since mid-2019, and, by 2023, Michelin will equip every new car tire with identification technology.
“We are currently working with car manufacturers on the development of
algorithms,” says Michael Ewert, vice president of global sales, original equipment at Michelin. “Since RFID technology ensures this exact tire identification, it is conceivable in the future that drivers will see a tire status display next to their fuel gauge.
This condition monitoring will become increasingly important, especially for vehicles that are becoming more and more automated, Michelin says.
The advantage of RFID technology is that it is a relatively cost-effective way of identifying tires throughout their lifecycle and very robust compared to many other smart sensors.
For example, the company says RFID technology will enable Advanced Driver Assistance Systems such as ESP to adapt to specific tire characteristics because of the reliable pairing of tire and vehicle. More specifically: A winter tire has different braking characteristics than a summer tire. These characteristics can therefore have an influence on the driver assistance system, which attempts to prevent the vehicle from skidding at the limit in curves – both when understeering or oversteering – by braking individual wheels in a targeted manner, thus ensuring the driver remains in control of his vehicle.
RFID technology in the shop can help prevent incorrect fitting when changing tires, as each chip has an individual ID. This tire identification through the RFID chip ensures the correct tire dimension is transmitted to the on-board computer system. So, when the RFID chip is scanned, the tire data is displayed directly on the screen of the RFID reader and does not have to be checked by hand and eye. Finally, stock levels can be checked more efficiently by reading the tire data quickly, and the need for new tires can hence be adjusted more easily.
With the help of a RFID chip, errors in the production process – such as an incorrect tire/wheel/vehicle combination – can be tracked and production figures and stock levels compared in real time.
What is now taking hold in the car business has long been reality in the truck industry. Especially in the logistics industry, RFID technology has established itself as a perfect tool for checking the flow of goods and for effective tire management.
Michelin already equips up to 90% of all truck tires sold with identification technology and, in line with the car segment, all truck tires will be fitted with RFID chips by 2023, the company says.
As an example from a logistical point of view, RFID technology can also be applied to carry out tire load checks much more quickly from Michelin’s logistics warehouses, the dealers’ warehouses or those of the vehicle manufacturers, the company says. So, frequently requested single-variety delivery can be ensured. Potential complaints and transparent inventory management may also be tracked better via simplified tracking by means of RFID.
As RFID technology ensures traceability throughout the tire lifecycle, it will
considerably improve end of life treatment by ensuring components’ traceability. In the future, this would allow proof of recycling to stakeholders, increasing the recycling rate or improving the efficiency of the energy recovery process.
The RFID technology used in Michelin tires is made in Germany: The annual capacity for encasing RFID chips with a rubber layer at the Homburg site amounts to up to 15,000,000 chips. The RFID chips are then installed in the new tires directly in the factory or delivered to Michelin factories in Europe, China, Thailand and Brazil.