Type: EU H2020 SME Instrument • Phase 2
Start date: 16 October 2017
Planned Completion date: 16 February 2020
OnTrack is a new generation of RFID (UHF/NFC) tags offering tyre traceability, based on unique flexible printed electronic solutions that are specifically designed to be integrated into the tyre rubber during the moulding and vulcanisation process using materials compatible with tyres and their manufacturing process. We use cutting edge technology to make light, flexible and robust tags can be installed in tyres.
Europe’s tyre manufacturing and re-treading industries are under increasing threat from imported tyres mainly from China. The EU re-treading industry is valued at €1.2bn (2015) but is declining due to the influx of Chinese tyres leading to the loss of highly-skilled jobs.
The low-cost imported tyres cost on average €80 per tyre compared to €300-500 from a premium manufacturer. The temptation to buy these low-cost tyres is clear, however they are manufactured from poor quality materials with tread patterns that underperform. The ethos of cheap tyres is ‘use and replace’, whereas premium tyres are built to be retreaded to increase lifetime. As a result, imported tyres are not cost effective over the lifetime of the tyres due to poor fuel economy and performance. Use of premium tyres and re-treading over the use and replace model needs to be encouraged to increase safety and fuel efficiency.
Silent Sensors are an innovative IoT company that are working on a tyre traceability solution to remove the logistical burden of re-treading for FOs. We are manufacturing UHF/NFC RFID tags ‘OnTrack’ to embed directly into tyres which provides each tyre with a permanent, unique ID for life. Our tags can store data from the manufacturing process and key events during operational use such as repairs etc. This comprehensive history for each tyre makes it easier for FOs to plan their tyre re-treads. This data also makes the re-tread process simpler as the tyre history will speed-up integrity tests.
OnTrack is the only tyre traceability solution that offers NFC – empowering employees to interrogate tyres with just a smartphone. We have a clear market opportunity with OnTrack to supply up to 40m tags/annum to a single tyre manufacturer. Based on our 7-year cumulative total gross profits of €44.9m post-project, the 7-year ROI is 5.44:1 with a payback period of 40 months. The Internal Rate of Return is 45% and NPV of 7-year Operating Profits is €11.2m
(assuming a 3% discount rate).
WP1 End User Specifications and RF Design Work
WP2 Batch Optimisation of Material System, device architectures and performance pre-type integration
WP3 R2R Pilot Process Design, Build and Commissioning
WP4 R2R Pilot Line Validation
WP5 Field Trials
WP6 Future Business Planning
WP7 Dissemination and Exploitation