The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (Akron, Ohio) has the pole position at the start of the 2006 auto-racing season with a new tire-leasing program for NASCAR’s top three series--the Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck series races. The program uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags embedded in the leased tires’ sidewalls to help manage the leased inventory.
In addition, the RFID tags are assisting in the implementation of NASCAR’s new controlled testing procedures, which were developed by the organization’s sanctioning body in an effort to level the playing field for all teams by reducing tire testing by well-funded private teams. To support this mandate, Goodyear no longer sells tires to teams for private testing, but it does supply tires for NASCAR-scheduled testing.
Goodyear specialists will be onsite at all races with a specially equipped transporter to run the program. The RFID tags store tire identification data to help manage the leased inventory and ensure each team gets its correct tires. Goodyear says RFID is the quickest method available to login the thousands of new and used tires being returned at the end of a race before teams can depart the track.
Advanced ID Corp. (Calgary, Alta.) collaborated with Goodyear to develop RFID tags that can withstand the harsh environment of NASCAR racing. The company will provide the tags for all 2006 races.
Goodyear says RFID is the future for tire identification in manufacturing, supply chain management and tire/vehicle integration. What’s more, says Steve Roth, Goodyear’s director of vehicle systems, RFID will have a huge impact on tire production, warehousing, sales and service. Tire identification is the first piece of data that will be available, he explains, but as the technology progresses, specific tire data could also be added that would allow for improved vehicle performance.
Sources: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Advanced ID Corp.