Use case. Item-level digital monitoring for waste management

Although there are use cases which demonstrate how RFID and intelligent electronics can deliver anti-counterfeiting and brand engagement solutions for consumer goods, these only represent a small selection of what is possible. Item-level digital monitoring is another key application. Alastair Hanlon, Chief Commercial Officer at PragmatIC, outlines a real-life example showing how this technology is being used to help with waste management in the tyre industry.

Background

Potential target markets for innovative technology are of course considered during the development stage, but with a truly novel product, it is not always possible to think of every application. For PragmatIC, opportunities occur as a result of conversations with people or organisations that have heard about us and are intrigued by our technology. These often arise from joint projects we undertake with external partners. In this case, our work on a UK Government smart waste management project led to contact with the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA), who represent the UK's tyre recovery sector which processes over 40 million used tyres every year.

Solution

The TRA‘s goal is to ensure that old tyres are collected and disposed of safely and responsibly. Many of the companies represented by the TRA use paperwork-based record keeping systems which are time consuming to manage and sometimes prone to error. Collating data across TRA members for reporting to the government on tyre recovery rates for example is also challenging. The TRA approached PragmatIC to see if our new technology could help, and very quickly we agreed to start a digital tyre tracking trial. This involved adding a low cost RFID tag with a unique ID to each individual tyre at the point of collection. After that, at each stage of the tyre’s journey, information was digitally recorded on the location and the ID of those involved in the waste management process. This data was then compiled into reports.  

Tim Stott, President, TRA, confirmed: “We were conscious of the need for more efficient tracking to increase our efficiencies. The results of this pilot exercise were extremely positive. Having now proven the concept works and, that it is a viable long-term solution, the TRA will be looking to roll-out this exciting technology.”

Next steps

To learn more about how PragmatIC’s technology helped the TRA please take a look at:

https://www.printedelectronicsnow.com/contents/view_online-exclusives/2019-08-07/printed-rfid-sensors-can-help-tyre-recovery-association-process-used-tires

To find out about the UK Government smart waste management project please go to:

https://defradigital.blog.gov.uk/2019/05/13/smart-waste-tracking-challenge-are-we-any-closer-to-solutions/