The permanent code facilitates tracking throughout the life of the tires
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
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
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
• Tires for farm equipment can offer information based on weather, soil and
• 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
Opening orders in March.
Dealer deliveries in July.
The General AltiMAX Arctic 12 is latest
tire in the brand’s winter tire line up, and will replace the current AltiMAX
Arctic for passenger cars, minivans, crossovers and compact SUVs.
The studdable winter tire features
innovative compound and tread pattern technologies that promise superior
traction in low temperatures on wet, snow and/or ice conditions.
A total of 47 T-rated sizes ranging from
14″ to 19″, all in extra load, will be offered at launch.
“Our General Tire winter line has built
a reputation among our dealer network and consumers as a solid winter tire
option with impressive performance,” says Travis Roffler, director of marketing
for General Tire. “The new General AltiMAX Arctic 12 will continue to
strengthen that reputation as it takes winter traction and handling to a new
Are taller and narrower tires
the wave of the future?
Nowadays it seems that everyone, including
manufacturers, wants the widest tire with the least amount of sidewall for
their vehicles. The trend is wellestablished with no sign of changing.
With total disregard for this trend, however, a
new type of tire seems to be making its way into the market and may one day
become the new norm. Due to new legislation and green initiatives to make
vehicles more efficient, OE manufacturers have shifted their attention to fuel
With tires being such an influential part of the
equation, it seems logical for tire manufacturers to also focus on advancing
fuel efficiency. Enter the “tall narrow tire,” believed to be integral to fuel
The science of fuel economy
One way of achieving greater fuel economy is by
fitting vehicles with smaller tires to reduce weight. Another involves using
tall narrow tires to reduce rolling-resistance, and improve aerodynamics.
Increasing tire diameter (taller) achieves
improved rolling-resistance, while reducing section width (narrower) improves
aerodynamics. Combine the two and you’re reducing overall weight while
reducing heat buildup and delivering better resistance to hydroplaning. As
speeds increase, so does this aerodynamic advantage.
Also, tall narrow tires have a more flexible
sidewall, so they are better able to conserve energy loss during deflection and
rebounding. With the increase in outer diameter, rolling-resistance is improved
largely in part by decreasing sidewall deformation.
Mathematically speaking, a one percent increase
in overall diameter equates to a one percent decrease in rolling-resistance.
Therefore, the tall narrow tire approach results in the largest tire possible,
taking into consideration the performance of the tire and vehicle combination.
In addition, narrowness improves aerodynamics.
Tall narrow tires are also successful in
decreasing road noise. The narrower footprint allows for less road noise
because, as the smaller footprint releases from the surface, there is less
friction with the road, resulting in a quieter ride.
However, tall narrow tires are not without their
challenges. One issue we have to contend with is maintaining proper carrying
capacity. As we know, the volume and pressure of air in the tire is what
determines carrying capacity. So, the tall narrow tires will have to maintain
the same volume of air as the equivalent smaller tire, or have a higher
As tire manufacturers juggle the probative value
of producing tall narrow tires for fuel efficiency, against tires featuring
small sidewalls for aesthetics or high performance purposes, it is clear that
acceptance of the former (tall and narrow) is slow. The only exception is the
electric and hybrid vehicle segment, which have adopted tall narrow tires as
the solution to providing greater fuel efficiency. This seems to be the reason
why the demand for these tires is on the rise.
It is expected that this trend will continue to
permeate into other segments of the consumer tire industry, with increasing
demand from Europe due to regulations. However, it is unlikely that this trend
will extend into the ultra-high performance tire market, as tires used in this
application require a different set of performance parameters.
So, while it is likely that we will see tall
narrow tires in the market become more common, there will always be consumers
dedicated to the aesthetic appeal of “ridin’ on blades.”