Automated platform monitors tire status in truck fleets13 de agosto de 2019
Eduardo Geraque | Agência FAPESP – Savetyre, a tire management system based on radio frequency identification (RFID), has been in development for ten years and has achieved a more robust level of automation with each passing year. The current version of this electronic solution enables customers to manage truck fleets efficiently, with a 30% potential increase in tire lifespan.
“Today, the system automatically tracks up to 13 variables, including pressure, temperature, and mileage traveled since the last measurement,” says José Caruso Gomes, owner of Saveway, the startup that created Savetyre. Gomes is a mechanical engineer and mathematician. He founded the startup with economist Antônio João Moreno in Campinas (São Paulo State, Brazil).
“Our goal now is steady improvement of the automatic collection of tire and truck data without requiring data entry by the operator of the system,” Gomes says. This process, he explains, cuts the time taken to collect data for later analysis from approximately 40 minutes to under 10 minutes.
The RFID process for the automated platform involves tags embedded in tires that communicate with the equipment via antennas. The data collected include even tire tread depth.
According to Gomes, the system developed in Campinas manages the truck fleets of large corporations with as many as 11,000 tires. “This is why one of our main aims is to increase data management capacity,” he says.
The customer base includes agribusiness and mining companies. Customers primarily want to optimize the use of different types of tires and save fuel.
“With accurate and precise information to support decision making, investments in tires can be reduced by as much as 30%, according to estimates based on actual data,” Gomes says.
Calculating the amount by which the cost of diesel can be cut is more complicated because it involves several variables. The reports generated by the Saveway monitoring system enable managers to choose the type of tire best suited for each operation and the ideal pressure calibration for different types of roads or situations.
“Agribusiness, mining, goods haulage and urban transit, for example, are all types of operations for which our system works well. The key is to recommend the right tire in terms of cost per kilometer for each type of operation,” Gomes says.
To reach the current version of its innovative technology, Saveway received support from FAPESP in all stages of technical development.
In the first research project submitted to the FAPESP Innovative Research in Small Business Program (PIPE), the firm developed an RFID tag able to last the tire’s entire lifespan. The tag was embedded into the tire and could not be removed.
In the second project, also supported by PIPE, the automated data collection system began to take shape.
The third phase was funded by the PIPE-PAPPE Program, a partnership between FAPESP and FINEP, the Brazilian government’s innovation agency. Completed in January 2019, the project entitled “SAVETYRE v3.0 RFID platform with passive pressure and temperature sensors for tire identification, management and data acquisition” transformed the product even further by extending automation so that managers can be more certain that the reports generated by the platform match the trucks’ actual conditions.
“The algorithms do between 95% and 98% of the work in terms of analyzing the tire data, but we’ve been refining that last 5%-2% by customizing the data presentation to make life as easy as possible for ops personnel who read the reports,” Gomes says.
Saveway has a staff of 20 at its Campinas headquarters, half of whom work in research and development.
The technology developed by Saveway, according to one of its creators, will put the firm at the forefront of tire monitoring. “Our customers include trend leaders who understand the importance of what we do,” says Gomes, who worked in the automotive industry before he became an entrepreneur.
Because Saveway is working at one of the technical frontiers in its field, the firm’s business strategies include expanding across the borders of the Mercosur countries by the end of this year.