Murata Manufacturing and Michelin have co-developed a new generation of RFID modules that are embedded into tires. The robust passive RFID tags require no external power supply and will continue to operate while being driven on for extremely high mileages. This simple yet elegant technology delivers low-cost and easy tire traceability throughout its entire lifespan, enabling the management of inventory logistics, aftermarket maintenance, and recycling operations.
RFID technology is a key enabler to gain efficiency and optimize tire operations, but also to improve the customer experience while identifying tires and associating data. An embedded tag is the only way to identify tires, from the cradle to the grave, consistently.
Thanks to a great collaboration with Murata, a new efficient and cost-effective solution has been developed, enabling Michelin to address a larger market. This new generation of RFID tags is already in more than four million Michelin tires. As the technology is also available, from now on, to any other tire manufacturer, this shall foster market adoption.
Currently, Michelin uses the RFID tags in commercial vehicles, such as trucks, buses and passenger cars. Michelin is working towards expanding this roll out to 100% of the MICHELIN tires from 2024. Importantly, the company anticipates that key players in the market will embrace this technology for improved tire traceability.
Murata has extensive experience and knowledge of RF technology and downsizing. Improving the reliability compared to existing RFID tags while minimizing cost were critical factors when developing the tire-embeddable RFID tag. Designed and manufactured by Murata, the RFID module is approximately the size of a grain of rice, measuring 1x1x6 mm. By inserting it into a simple spring antenna designed and manufactured by HANA Technologies, the RFID tag achieves the simplest communication architecture, enabling it to link to the tire ecosystem.
In addition to the supply of this RFID module, Murata will be able to offer its id-Bridge platform (RFID middleware), which processes and interprets the data transmitted from the tire embeddable RFID tag in conformance with ISO standards.
At ISO level, the tire industry came to an agreement on the RFID communication protocol, the tire serial number format (SGTIN96), the definition of tire tags and their attachment to tires, and conformance test methods. Four ISO standards were published in 2019 and 2020: ISO 20909, 20910, 20911, 20912.
RFID refers to several technology and frequency ranges. RAIN (RAdio frequency IdentificatioN) technology is the one adopted by the tire industry referring to a passive (battery-free), UHF (Ultra High Frequency) RFID wireless technology which operates from 860MHz to 930MHz according to ISO/IEC 18000-063.
To ease access to tire data between several tire manufacturers, a new organization called GDSO (Global Data Service Organization for Tires and Automotive Components) has been created. The purpose of this new organization is to provide an information service enabling to retrieve data associated to each tire ID (SGTIN96) in the relevant database. A data referential lists all standardized data that can be communicated through public or private access through a standard API.
The implementation of RAIN RFID embedded tags into tires and the launch of GDSO are key levers in the digitization of the tire industry, allowing the development of new services connecting tires from different companies.