Nokian Tyres has taken the first step towards digital, real-time tire management. Nokian Tyres Intuitu combines sensor-equipped smart tires with a mobile application that records the sensor data from tires, keeping the user informed with the vital tire pressure and temperature data. “We have aimed to make the system plug & play”, says Toni Silfverberg, head of sales and marketing at Nokian Tyres. “You just buy the tires, install the application and you are good to go.” The system will be available in agricultural and contracting tires at first, but Nokian Tyres aims to extend digitalization to its entire commercial tire range.
The Internet of Things (IoT), also known as the Industrial Internet, has already revolutionized many industries such as assembly work and remote meter reading. The idea behind IoT is small, independent sensors that consume little power and can network, sending identification and sensor data that can be recorded. Nokian Tyres Intuitu is based on IoT sensors installed in the tires. The first version of the sensors will send out tire pressure and temperature data, which are transmitted to the application running on a mobile device and cloud-based data storage. The system does not require any modifications to the vehicle itself – just the tires with sensors and the mobile device.
In the world of professional tire use, there are many aspects that benefit from real-time data.
“The first and most obvious one is the end-user working day”, Silfverberg gives an example. “The application gives the drivers peace of mind by keeping them informed about the tire pressure and temperature, helping to prevent tire damage and warning about possible anomalies. Keeping the tires in good condition keeps the machinery operational, minimizes downtime and other damage related costs.”
On a business level, Nokian Tyres Intuitu provides data for supporting decision-making and monitoring the entire fleet efficiency. “A fleet manager wants to keep everything rolling with minimal unexpected downtime and maximal safety and profitability,” Silfverberg says. Nokian Tyres Intuitu offers them peace of mind by showing clear data that can be used in preventive maintenance.
Because Nokian Tyres Intuitu can help prevent tire damage by helping to make sure the operating parameters are always optimal, Nokian Tyres will offer an extended warranty for the mobile app users who register their tires. “If you register your tires with Nokian Tyres Intuitu, you’ll get an extra year of warranty – which is no small deal,” said Toni Silfverberg.
Improving the efficiency of farming and logistics isn’t just good business. With the global challenges such as feeding the growing population with the same amount of farmland and the need to reduce CO2 emissions, every step forward counts. “The optimal tire pressure prevents damage to the soil, which can improve crop yields,” says Silfverberg. “It is also linked to the tire rolling resistance, which has a direct effect to fuel consumption.”
Nokian Tyres Intuitu will be presented at the Agritechnica fair in November 2019, and the product will be commercially available in 2020. “The first commercial tires released with the Nokian Tyres Intuitu sensors will be for agricultural use,” Toni Silfverberg reveals. “The first intended user groups are likely to be small-to-medium sized contracting and farming enterprises.”
As with any digital product, there is a roadmap towards more features and extended functionality. For example, wear measurement and integrating Nokian Tyres Intuitu with the machine’s own operating software are very much a part of the vision. “In the future, there may be a separate tire data section on a tractor or forestry machine screen, providing crucial data for both the operator and the fleet manager,” Silfverberg explains.
“Many people still see tires as ‘just’ tires – a piece of rubber between your machine and the ground,” Silfverberg points out. “With Nokian Tyres Intuitu, your tires are no longer forgotten pieces of rubber, but smart, active components they rightfully should be.”