4JET Technologies has taken tire labeling to new heights with an innovation that was unveiled at the recent Reifen 2016 show. In fact, the innovation was so good that the company won the 2016 Innovation Award in the “Service Concept and Process Optimization” category for its QR code solution, SCANNECT.
The German company’s concept involves the introduction of branding every tire with its very own QR code that will allow people to track its history and usage throughout its life cycle. Th QR code will be marked on both the interior and exterior side wall either during the manufacturing process or at the
point-of-sale. Even simple smartphone apps that are already available on phones using both Android and iOS platforms can be used to read these QR codes.
The use of this technology would mean that customers and dealers will no longer need specialized equipment to read RFID tags and barcodes. There will also be no more cases of stickers getting lost or damaged. As the laser-engraved QR codes are embedded deep in the surface of the tire, they are protected from wear and the deep black marking can be easily read by the cameras in mobile devices. SCANNECT is connected directly to a web-based CRM database.
The technology looks like it is already being adopted by the automotive industry, with BMW expressing interest in having the technology as a standard feature of the tires for its new 1 Series and 3 Series models which will be launched in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Audi too is planning to adopt SCANNECT to ensure full traceability of tires for both car manufacturers and OE equipment manufacturers.
When it comes to exporting cars to the US market, manufacturers have to produce export data for tires and this is highly simplified when SCANNECT is used to automatically store all data relating to the tires.
According to 4JET managing director and co-inventor Dr. Armin Kraus, when online purchase of tires becomes more prevalent in the future, QR codes can be scanned and replacement tires can be easily purchased online and picked up at the nearest dealership. There will be no further confusion about which tires can be used as replacement tires as all the information relating to the tires can be easily obtained through the QR code.
From a marketing perspective, QR codes will allow manufacturers can get to learn more about their retail customers and thus tailor their marketing campaigns accordingly when it comes to social media campaigns, warranty extensions etc. OE car tire manufacturers can use the QR codes for better transparency and traceability and thus minimize chances for product recalls. Commercial fleet managers can use them to track inventory, usage and reduce the risk of theft. Even retail customers can use QR codes to learn more about tire specs, find replacements quickly and buy tires online. Dealers will no longer have to worry about traceability and the hassle of dealing with stickers which might fall off. Right from the manufacturer to the end user, it looks like the concept of QR code for tires is a winner all the way.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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