QR Codes: Tire Tracking Technology of the Future
Scannect wins innovation award for laser-applied QR codes.
Thanks to contemporary technologies, today’s tires grip better, shorten stopping distances and stay more supple in all sorts of weather. Now, a cutting-edge technology is revolutionizing tracking and ordering too.
Scannect (a mash-up of Scan and Connect), by 4JET Technologies GmbH, takes tire labelling to the next level by engraving a QR code in the sidewall; the high-contrast result of the laser marking process withstands abrasion to be so permanently visible as to allow the codes to be read by smartphones.
The permanent code facilitates tracking throughout the life of the tires, making it a piece of cake for consumers to select matching spares and order the same tires online with a few clicks. In accepting an innovation award for process optimization at Germany’s REIFEN show this summer, CEO and co-inventor Dr. Armin Kraus called Scannect QR Codes “clearly superior to the standard labelling technologies.”*
The codes can be permanently linked to a web-based CRM database; manufacturers can start the process by registering the codes initially. Shops can organize stock and track usage, and consumers can access information about their tires, as well as find suitable replacements via online platforms. The codes can be embedded at the factory or engraved prior to delivery.
With more than 2 billion tires made every year, any endeavour that requires accurate tracking—recalls, storage, marketing— has historically been onerous and prone to error. The company’s “new world of tire connectivity” facilitates safer installation by providing information about origin, specs, load and proper pressure.
This technology comes with many applications and benefits:
• Tire recalls are made easier and less expensive as they can be handled by contacting affected customers directly rather than requiring the recall of entire batches.
• Tires for farm equipment can offer information based on weather, soil and plantation.
• Managers of large fleets can prevent theft and track usage.
• Marketing managers can use the information to more accurately target social media and traditional campaigns as well as track ROI results; for example, targeted campaigns can offer warranty extensions in a timely manner.
• Especially in a climate like ours, where many end-users have one set of tires in storage at all times, accurate tracking in storage facilities can be difficult too, but with Scannect, there are no stickers that can fall off and no special hardware is required as with RFID tags.
The same laser technology can also be used to embed logos or serial numbers at the same time as the super-black, highcontrast QR codes.
In addition to Scannect, the 10-year-old 4JET develops and markets laser systems for surface ablation, cleaning, patterning and modification, as well as housing a shop for precision processing of glass, thin films and optoelectronic components.
*translated from German using Google