Bridgestone to implement RFID tech at US plant

 Bridgestone to implement RFID tech at US plant

Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone says it will start producing radio-tagged tyres in 2024 for commercial vehicles like trucks and buses, linking them to a cloud-based system designed to help clients maximise the tyres’ lifespan and minimise carbon footprints.

The company is slated to begin expanding its plant in Warren County, Tennessee, at the end of the year, where it will install production equipment capable of embedding tyres with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.

Bridgestone will initially place the tags on retread tyres for trucks and buses, for US and European logistics providers that need to manage large fleets of vehicles. The current chip shortage extends to those used in RFID tags, and the tyre maker plans to boost production as supplies allow.

The company will also set up new lines in Japan and the rest of Asia to produce RFID-tagged tyres in these regions starting in 2024. It aims to shift entirely to these new tyres for trucks and buses in Japan, the US and Europe by 2030, and will consider eventually offering tagged passenger car tyres as well.

Bridgestone currently provides a service called Tirematics, which monitors tire pressures and temperatures across client fleets using sensors on the wheels. But the platform does not track individual tyres, and requires extra steps during tyre changes to ensure data is properly fed into the system.

By using RFID tags, Bridgestone will be able to automatically identify and track each tyre at maintenance hubs and other facilities. Their unique IDs will be tied to production and repair histories, which can be retrieved instantaneously over the cloud.

The new system is expected to allow clients to adjust the pressure of individual tyres in order to improve fuel efficiency, and to retread them at the optimal time to extend their lifespan.

Bridgestone has acquired several fleet maintenance service providers, and expects to link them to the new RFID-tagged tyres to provide more value-added services. The company aims to double revenue from its solutions business, including vehicle maintenance, to around US$14 billion in 2030.