Congelarg S.A. & Tire management with RFID

CongelArg S.A. was funded in the year 2000 as a company specialized in the logistics and transportation of refrigerated and frozen goods, being able to convey them at controlled temperatures. These days it is headquartered in Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Resistencia.

Tabacal developed a strategic alliance with the firm Telectrónica, a leading company in the integration of RFID in Latin America, to work together in this pilot project with the aim of implementing new technologies to optimize their processes, to efficiently administrate their assets, and to reduce cost and losses.

Main problems to be solved

Congelarg wanted to know precisely the amount of assets they had along with their status, record the level of kilometers driven by each tyre, the amount of repairs or retreads that have been made to them and other related data to tire management.

However, identify each tire and be able to obtain such data is not an easy task to accomplish due to the characteristics of the product and the process (pressure, rotation, dirt, temperature, metal mesh on the tire, etc.).

Traditional systems such as stamps or marks are not effective; they demand a great amount of time and resources to identify and read tires and it also depends on the intervention of an operator who manually enters the data. Tires are identified before being placed on the vehicle by means of a RFID tag. This identification is later used in every tracking process (installation date, its axis, etc.)

“This project meant a huge challenge for us”,explains Alan Gidekel, Telectronica´s CEO “we knew this was a common need for all fleet vehicle operators, but in order to achieve this successful result, we had to overcome multiple challenges regarding operational conditions. That´s why we worked with several RFID tag suppliers until finding the right one for this application. Afterwards, several tests and measurements were carried out to identify both the most appropriate location inside the tire and the RFID tag attachment method’, says the CEO.

It is important to highlight that the metallic materials affect RFID’s behavior. That’s why having an accurate reading on the tag was a huge challenge since it is placed as close as possible to the tire’s central band (having metallic mesh) and truck’s axle. Claudio Benvenuto, Congelarg’s Operation Manager, tells us about his experience: ‘We have been working for several months to overcome the different challenges we encountered; at first, tags for example, wouldn’t have a reliable reading rate, or they would come off the tire, among other technical implementation problems. But, with our knowledge in transport and tires and Telectrónica’s help, as an RFID expert, we were able to reach a solution which is already being implemented in multiple tires that have covered over 30.000 kilometers and have been operating efficiently.’