60 Seconds With FineLine Technologies Ahead of Traction Summit 2018

Jan Svoboda, RFID Business Development at FineLine talks how tire labeling can help improve the tire industry.

Why have you decided to support this event?

Smithers Rapra being the industry leading authority we consider this to be a good opportunity for us to share some of the latest Industry 4.0 technology trends and get a better understanding what problems and use cases the industry is trying to address.


How does tire labeling help to improve the tire industry?

The general goal of labeling is to provide a clear and unique identification of each individual tire. But with Industry 4.0 and technologies like RFID we have moved beyond typical labeling. We can now uniquely and reliably identify a tire, individually or in bulk, with wireless sensors. No matter which part of the tire value chain you are in, this opens up new opportunities and enables a complete traceability of each individual tire and full transparency across the supply chain.


Can you tell us about your tread labels and how they are most commonly used?

Tread labels have been primarily used for branding, compliance and tire size identification. FineLine offers a very innovative tire tread label which reliably adheres to a tire under wide spectrum of environmental conditions, and at the same time is designed not to ooze adhesive, which often creates major maintenance challenge for printing and automatic application equipment. We can significantly increase up-time and productivity.

And with integrated RFID, inventory management, searching for tires, shipping and receiving, all become extremely simple no matter if you are the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer.


What benefits do vulcanized labels offer?

Integrating a secure electronic identification into each tire creates enormous connectivity opportunities all the way from production to the end-use installation and potentially even recycling.  From the moment a green tire is assembled, with vulcanized RFID tags the tire can be uniquely identified and associated with raw materials, production tooling (e.g. molds, mold segments, presses), quality inspection, etc., providing a comprehensive birth certificate. The same identification can be then used to associate the tires with the vehicle they are installed on no matter if it is OEM, fleet or after-market use case.

In commercial fleet applications this becomes an asset tag for the fleet owner to maximize uptime and safety, compliance, as well as protecting tires as traceable assets.


What do you hope to see achieved over the next few years with regard to RFID labeling?

Tires are one of the most critical consumables we all rely on every day. Enabling unique and secure connectivity of each individual tire opens up new opportunities to increase, quality, safety and user experience in the tire business, as well as open up new use cases and business models. This is what we are focused on enabling with our tire industry partners and customers.


Why is your presentation is titled “How IoT Connected Tires Will Play a Significant Role in Gathering Customer Data,” how is this important to the current industry? What do you hope the audience will take from it?

IoT means different things to different people or business, but in the end IoT is about connectivity and data. The technologies available today create opportunities to make better quality products, deliver better user experience and customer engagement, as well as increase safety and understand better the environmental impact.

Other industries are way ahead with leveraging modern connectivity and data solutions to claim advancements into Industry 4.0, and the tire industry can do the same.


What opportunities do autonomous vehicles present for the tire industry?

Autonomous technology is the pinnacle of connectivity, data gathering and analytics solutions. But for the foreseeable future the primary connection to our ground for autonomous driving vehicles will continue to be tires. Such a critical component needs to have basic connectivity to be part of the autonomous system.

Next to that, autonomous vehicles will likely drive new business models, and tires being a critical consumable need to keep up.


What are the benefits of RFID solutions across a larger or specific parts of the tire value chain?

The general benefits of RFID powered solutions across manufacturing value chains have been largely documented. How, and based on what priorities the technology gets implemented across tire value chain is a question we are working on answering with key players in every step of the value chain. We are covering in great detail everything from raw materials, tooling, processes, equipment, individual products, supply chain & logistics, retail, OEM, fleets, repair, retreading, aerospace, etc.


How can RFID improve fleet management?

Tires are critical components and assets of fleet’s operations having direct impact on the safety,

 What do you hope to see achieved over the next few years with regard to RFID labeling?

Commitment from the industry to understand the benefits the technology and its solutions offer with subsequent investments to drive adoption of RFID as part of the Industry 4.0 revolution. quality and efficiency. Identifying and keeping track of tires as assets is not a simple task and RFID can offer great value in solving problem fleet operators and fleet service providers face every day.