Laser Marking Enables Tire Trace­ability with a Smart­phone

Awarding of the price to Dr. Armin Kraus, 4Jer Managing Director (Source: 4Jet)

4Jet wins Innovation Award at REIFEN 2016 in the “Service Concept & Process Optimization” category: Awarding of the price to Dr. Armin Kraus, 4Jet Managing Director (Source: 4Jet)

4Jet has developed a solution to individually mark tires with a unique and permanent QR code. The novel laser marking process enables high contrast engraving that that can be identified with most smartphone camera apps. The Scannect solution – short for “scan and connect” – enables the possibility to trace tires through their life cycle and to get in closer touch with the end customers.

Dr. Armin Kraus, 4Jet Managing Director and co-inventor, explains one possible application: “Everyone is talking about the internet of things. We enable the internet of tires. In the future, tires will be purchased online: QR codes are scanned, suitable replacement tires are offered online and can be ordered immediately to the nearest dealership.”

Laser engraved QR code on a tire sidewall (Source: 4Jet)

Laser engraved QR code on a tire sidewall (Source: 4Jet)

Other than machine readable paper barcodes that have a limited lifetime, or RFID tags that require specific reading hardware, the Scannect solution enables a product identification that can directly link to a web based CRM database, which provides advantages for all stages of the tire value chain: manufacturers can get to know their end customers and address them with specific marketing campaigns, OE car tire manufacturers can employ QR codes as a means of assuring traceability and reducing the impact of product recalls, commercial fleet managers can use laser markings to organize inventory, track usage and prevent theft, and end customers can retrieve technical and commercial information about their tire specs, suitable replacements or quickly enter online market places for replacements or to sell used tires.

The crisp laser markings are either applied in the tire factory, in the car/wheel assembly or at the point of sale. Laser engraved QR codes are recessed into the surface of the tire and hence protected from wear.

Marking is performed by the latest version of 4Jet’s proven line of T-Mark systems that are widely used in new tire and retread tire manufacturing worldwide. Compared to conventional laser marking, which only leaves a low contrast mark on the black tire surface, the Scannect process creates a deep black marking on the bottom of the engraving, providing enough contrast to be read with cameras in mobile devices. (Source: 4Jet)

Link: 4Jet Technologies GmbH, Alsdorf, Germany

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