Alsdorf, Germany – 4JET Technologies has developed a laser marking solution to individually and durably mark tires with a machine-readable QR code, which is now in mass production for automotive OEMs. Luxury automaker BMW (Munich, Germany) has been fitting its first-volume models with the new technology since the fall of 2018. At the same time, two leading manufacturers of truck tires have chosen to introduce QR codes for new projects that are scheduled to go into mass production in 2019.
At the TIRE Technology Expo (held March 5-7, 2019 in Hannover, Germany), 4JET informed attendees about its significant progress. Approximately 20 tire factories on three continents are able to meet the requirements for durable and machine-readable codes at economical cost, and several automobile and tire manufacturers are planning follow-up projects at the moment.
The SCANNECT (short for “scan and connect”) application allows for tires to be traced throughout the entire life cycle. Core to the solution is a laser marking process that allows for the tire marking with individual QR codes, which are engraved into the sidewalls durably and protected against abrasion. The high contrast of the engraving enables the code to be read reliably by optical reading methods. Reading systems have been developed for use in tire logistics that ensure reading rates of >99.9%.
Furthermore, 4JET has developed the SCANNECT App, a software module to be integrated in mobile apps that allows for reading QR codes on the low-contrast black sidewalls of a tire (FIGURE). The “app-in-app” solution enables easy integration of code reading into mobile applications like online shops or fleet management solutions. For quality control of the process, the company has developed a grading solution that allows for evaluation of the code quality inline or by means of a desktop device.
The QR codes can be engraved either at the tire plant, after the remolding, or before being delivered. The technology enables adding customer-specific sidewall information to stock tires after their production, as well as adding graphics or information in plain writing. For more information, please visit www.4jet.de.