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March 7, 2003

USA: Radio ID tags for engines, tyres, get cheaper

Tyres and car engine parts could soon be imbedded with radio frequency identification tags (RFID), writes Philip Fine. International Paper and Canon USA have implemented a pilot project to imbed them into products from a selected range of industries, including the automotive sector. The technology can track products from assembly line to end user, making recalls and restocking more efficient.

By bcusack

Tyres and car engine parts could soon be imbedded with radio frequency identification tags (RFID), writes Philip Fine.

International Paper and Canon USA have implemented a pilot project to imbed them into products from a selected range of industries, including the automotive sector. The technology can track products from assembly line to end user, making recalls and restocking more efficient.

The move follows the release last year by the US-based AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ACTION GROUP of a standard for using the technology on tyres. Placed on the inside of tyres, the RFID tags would identify tyres that are associated with a specific vehicle and where they were manufactured, their size, and even the date they were made.

A sticking point had been cost but one manufacturer of the tags – US-based Alien Technology – says it can now sell them profitably at 5 cents (3p) each for large orders. Difficulties remain, however, as manufacturers in the car and electronics industries must agree on technical standards to ensure tags and sensors speak the same digital language.

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