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A very much simpler and more intuitive second version of the diagnostics software that is already used by 75,000 vehicle repair shops. For the German group it is another step in its strategy of being close to tyre specialists tempted by the all-round repair business.

Mino De Rigo

UP AGAINST the marked seasonal nature of their work, more and more tyre specialists have begun to embrace light mechanical work and to find out more about vehicle control units as a result of continual innovations in wheel, brake and suspension systems, from Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) to the various mechatronics systems (ABS and ESP primarily). A phenomenon about which Bosch is very well aware and its market offensive that targets independent, multibrand garages has been expanded to include tyre specialists. The occasion for re-launching a strategy that includes framework agreements, such as that with the Euromaster chain, was provided by the German group’s release of a new version (2.0) of the Esi[tronic] software for maintenance and troubleshooting in conjunction with the family of KTS testers.

“It is” – emphasized Joachim Schneeweiss, Bosch sales director for the south Europe automotive aftermarket – “another step in the process that redesigns vehicle repairs, a profession that in addition to quality spare parts, efficient logistics and constant updating, requires certified operating procedures like Esi[tronic]”. Already used by 75,000 garages throughout the world and by almost a third of the independent workshops in Europe, the fault analysis and search software has been radically revisited in terms of a user interface that makes it more immediate and intuitive as well as substantially error-free and able to lead less expert operators towards the solution. 


All clear for occasional operators

The main new development is that it gives occasional operators more scope and speeds up the work of the more expert. “In fact” – added Philippe Bouvier, Bosch Diagnostic Group Leader South Europe – “it is the net improvement of an application that takes vehicle repairers by the hand thanks to a clearer structure and a considerable increase in functions”, from information that helps test analysis interpretation to a step-by-step description of the procedure, the automatic interrogation of all on-board control units to assisted verification of a successful repair. “Its use on TPMS is important because each activated electronic valve must be matched to the control unit: it takes only 8 seconds per wheel for a procedure that takes 15 minutes longer when carried out manually. An international development team worked on the new version of Esi[tronic]: 350 technicians at the various Bosch research centres who also constantly feed the diagnosis database. To this end they carry out reverse engineering of the control units (by extracting the indispensable data for individual test procedures), collect information from the manufacturers to whom Bosch supplies original components, and obtain feedback from the garages that use the German group’s software and testers. 


A comprehensive, updated database

The Esi[tronic] database now contains the technical data required for working on the 230,000 versions of 50,000 petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles made by 150 different companies; with the new interface these files can now be updated also online, which is highly advantageous for anyone who works on the latest cars, vans or trucks. “The first diagnosis data” – Bouvier stated – “are available less than six months from the launch of a new model. As in Germany, France, Great Britain and Sweden, a team dedicated to this task also operates in Italy”. Work groups are located near the headquarters of car manufacturing companies, a business in which Bosch invests over 20 million euros every year. “If the aim in the past was to supply independent repairers with diagnostics information within the first two years, now we can provide what is required for the first scheduled servicing, the so-called service interval reset, within six months from the launch of the new model. For the Alfa Romeo Giulietta it took only five months and even one less for the Fiat Ducato: we intend to quickly ensure that car repairers have every opportunity for additional work”. But the work of Bosch engineers is not limited to updating troubleshooting data, it also aims at improving such procedures as the forced regeneration of the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), the safest procedure for which can be interrupted.


Software & testers – the options

Version 2.0 of the Esi[tronic] software is composed of different information sections. Half of these contain document support, from a library of spare parts to electrical diagrams, from throughput times to removal and assembly instructions. The remainder consists of diagnostics procedures and repair instructions.  Clicking on the mouse or touching the screen leads to the diagnostics functions and fault finding instructions, from maintenance tables to the most frequently used information. In addition to the software, a diagnostics station requires a PC with Windows and a KTS test module; alternatively, Esi[tronic] 2.0 is available for DCU 130 tablets with touchscreen and Bluetooth connection, created ad hoc for use by garages.  A more economical option is the KTS stand-alone mobile tester, but it uses a different version of the software based on Linux.


• How I show you the fault and help you to repair it

 After the hardware has been connected, Esi[tronic] identifies the vehicle. A menu appears with 6 permanently available options: equipment (spare part codes and information), electrical diagrams, maintenance, faultfinding instructions (for analysis data interpretation), vehicle information and control unit diagnosis. Here, the screen shows the electronic units in the vehicle and indicates all the ordinary maintenance options. If the tester recognizes all the control units on board, the system will operate at its maximum potential. Otherwise, it gives a subset of functions in order to avoid any damage. There are three options: system overview, repairs, and servicing. The latter simplifies the work by giving detailed instructions that will help the less expert. When the system has provided the fault code, the display shows the repair method; this display can also be accessed directly for individual jobs such as resetting maintenance intervals. When the repair as been completed, the software asks for a new test to be carried out in order to verify that the job has been done successfully.

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