AKRON, OH — As part of its effort to stake out a leadership position in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) applications, Goodyear Tire & Rubber has teamed up with Wal-Mart in a massive retail implementation of this new technology.
In June 2003, Wal-Mart Stores announced that its 100 largest suppliers would be required to begin using RFID tags on every case and pallet of product shipped to the retailer’s Dallas region stores by 2005. Approximately 25 other suppliers, including Goodyear, volunteered to also participate in this effort.
RFID technology works through microchips that are typically attached to a product or pallet. These chips contain unique identification codes, which are “read” by radio transceivers. RFID can be used to provide information about a product and track its location. According to Goodyear, RFID provides numerous advantages over barcodes, including more information storage, better durability and the ability to retrieve data from a distance.
Goodyear said has decided to invest in RFID in the hopes that it will help the company increase tire sales and reduce costs by ensuring product availability, making supply chain operations more efficient, improving business processes and lowering operating costs.
“We are committed to ensuring that this technology is optimized for our customers, suppliers and internal operations,” said Joseph Gingo, Goodyear’s executive vice president of quality systems and chief technology officer. “Our technology and business objectives are closely linked to drive new opportunities for the future.”
Goodyear is not new to radio frequency technology, however. Since 2001, the tiremaker has been collaborating with Siemens VDO to provide tire electronics solutions through the TireIQ system. The TireIQ system relays specific tire information to drivers through a custom “tire tag,” composed of a computer chip and sensor that are built into the tire. The system provides the driver with warnings when improper inflation is detected.
In the Wal-Mart program, all radio frequency tags applied to tires by Goodyear will be designed to be disabled at the point of sale in order to maintain consumer privacy, the company said.
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