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The passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags and readers were provided by Ferm RFID Solutions, also based in the Netherlands. The tags are manufactured by Smart Res, while the readers are made by Motorola Solutions, as well as by Microelectronics Technology Inc. (MTI).
Though Roline sells between 7,000 and 10,000 new tires annually, it also retreads approximately 550 tires each week, totaling as many as 25,000 to 30,000 every year. Retreading is big business, the firm reports, since it potentially saves customers large sums of money. A company typically pays $1,300 for a new tire, but only about $450 to retread one that is worn out.
Until Roline ships the new or retreaded tires to customers, it stores them in racks located within its warehouse. Last year, the company began working with Ferm RFID to develop a solution that could identify the tires on the racks, says Hans Jorg, Roline's project manager. Additionally, the firm began investigating other ways in which the technology could be used to manage the retreading process, as well as enable customers to manage their own vehicle fleets via the tires' RFID tags.
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