TEXA, MADE (TO STAY) IN ITALY
World leaders in multi-brand diagnostics systems, Texa has recently presented its three new solutions-TPS, AXONE S in TPS and TPS KEY mode- for the electronic diagnosis of direct tire pressure monitoring systems. All of this strictly-and deliberately- designed and manufactured in Italy
A few miles from Roncade, in the Treviso hinterland, where in 1897 Carlo Menon embarked in the manufacturing of the first Italian car, we find TEXA, an acronym for Tecnologie Elettroniche X l’automotive (automotive electronic technologies). From the “vetturetta Menon” to today’s cars, we’ve come a long way, and not just in terms of efficiency and design, but also for the great electronic contents typical of modern vehicles. A pioneer in the automotive electronics sector, the Monastier di Treviso based company, founded in 1992 by Bruno Vianello together with his friend and associate Manuele Cavalli, is now a world leader in the design, development and production of multi-brand diagnostic solutions, exhaust gas analyzers, A/C recharge and maintenance stations and tele-diagnosis systems.
A leading position in the market obtained through innovation, research, development and investing with determination on a young (average age is 30) and skilled (45% are graduates) workforce: TEXA has revolutionized the sector introducing video assistance, tele-diagnosis and, in 2007, following an agreement with Google Search Appliance, prepared the groundwork for future productions. In 2009 TEXA launched, first company in the world, a multi-brand diagnosis system for the agricultural and marine sectors. In 2010 it is the first to produce a complete line of A/C recharging stations in line with the new EU regulations. In 2011 TEXA presented AXONE 4, an innovative touch-screen tool, the new frontier in vehicle diagnosis. Being always up to date, TEXA couldn’t help but produce its own solution for monitoring tire pressure, which, as we well know, will be mandatory from November 2014 on all passenger vehicles.
TPMS, electronics and tires
With sensors fitted in the valve stem, able to read the tire’s pressure, temperature and motion, fed by a lithium mini-battery and radio connected to the vehicle’s electronic control unit, electronics now permeates all those past manual activities. Mandatory tire pressure monitoring systems will have a huge impact on the range of services offered by tire fitters as well as specialized dealers: the new EU regulation provides new opportunities, but to make the most of it, alongside tire changing and wheel balancing machines, tire fitters and dealers will need to purchase electronic diagnosis equipment. The Treviso based company has made the most of the opportunity provided by Automechanika of Frankfurt presenting three new solutions - TPS, AXONE S in TPS and TPS KEY modes - able to step in when a malfunction of the control system or the warning light is detected, and also during all those routine operations carried out by tire dealers and FAST-FIT centers on a daily basis, like tire replacement, seasonal change and rotation.
The TPS, Tyre Pressure Service, is the basic instrument offered by TEXA being able, when brought close to each wheel, to communicate with the sensor or activating it if in stand-by mode. A clear and intuitive menu makes it possible to access all the information gathered by the various TPMS sensors, such as pressure, temperature of the tire, the sensor’s battery charge and its ID code, and show it all on a 1,5” integrated display. In case of a sensor failure, the TPS internal database provides a list of compatible spare parts for each specific vehicle and, if a sensor is replaced with a universal one, the TPS allows programming it with the same ID code of the original one, therefore reactivating the connection to the vehicle’s control unit.
AXONE S represents the technological leading edge with TPS software and key able to connect, beside the TPMS valves, also to the vehicle’s OBD, so as to reprogram, when necessary, the tires ECU. A tire fitter is able therefore to perform every operation, regardless of the technical layout chosen by the vehicle’s manufacturer, supported by the Android system that follows every operation step-by-step providing all the necessary information. TEXA offers therefore a diagnostics solution specially designed for the tire shop, so far obliged to use expensive and complex instruments, made for mechanics, in which most functions remained unused. AXONE S, designed as a multi-utility tool with expandable functions that meets the specific needs of the tire specialist, who can now have a versatile instrument at a reasonable price. Workshops that are already TEXA clients, on the other hand, will be able to expand their TEXA AXONE 4 and AXONE 4 Mini diagnosis tools, transforming them in true and proper tire pressure control units, through the TPS KEY that can be installed via a USB port and a TPMS Repair APP.
Relocation? Texa says no!
Manufacturing solidity, innovation and aesthetics. These are the cornerstones of TEXA’s manufacturing philosophy, as stated by its co-founder Bruno Vianello. Principles to be found not only in the products of the company, but also in its new headquarters, opened in 2012 in the presence of the then Minister of Labor Elsa Fornero. A 30.000 sq.m. architectural complex located inside a 100.000 sq.m. area that houses, besides the factory, a setting reminiscent of an ancient village with a cafe, theatre, restaurant, games room, roof garden and even the first world museum dedicated to the history of automotive repair. If, on the one hand, the complex is a tangible demonstration of the success of this company, representing the excellence of the “Made in Italy” (“Luis XIV, the Sun King, built Versailles to intimidate other Kings”, joked Vianello), on the other, it wants to be a statement against relocation and depersonalization of work, a place where the workers feel inspired, respected and valued, creatively taking part in the company’s activities.
Texa “members” and not “employees”, this is how the approximately 450 workers around the world are considered by Bruno Vianello, who doesn’t just invest in the professional growth of those already working for Texa, but since 2004 also in training new recruits through its TexaEdu project, responsible in organizing inside Italian professional institutes a biennial course recognized by the Ministry of Education. The determination to keep on investing in Italy, while many other companies chose to relocate in low cost countries, is an ethical imperative, besides being for Vianello a rational concept. Relocating means handing over to your worst enemy a know how that represents a national heritage, thanks to which Menon built his “horseless carriage” and places TEXA among the world leaders in manufacturing electronic diagnostics instruments. Design and production go hand in hand: braking this virtuous cycle will lead to the depletion of the productive system of a country. “Zero-Km work”, says Vianello, and who knows, maybe adding a hashtag to this slogan we might draw the government’s attention.
“Vetturetta Menon”, the first “car” Made in Italy
A brilliant inventor and farsighted businessman, Carlo Menon founded his “Ditta Menon” in 1875 in Roncade, at just 17. At the beginning he specialized as a gunsmith, crafting the precise mechanisms of hunting rifles, then became interested in making velocipedes and bicycles and, in 1890, he even devoted himself to the design of a light aircraft, but without significant results. Once the flying dream was over, the ingenuity of the Treviso craftsman was devoted to the project of a carriage driven by an internal combustion engine. In 1895, "Rebus", the so-called "Vetturetta Menon," took its first steps ( or, rather, moved its four wheels) among the intrigued and baffled people of Roncade. The first car in Italy was equipped with a French De Dion & Boutonda 3.5 HP air-cooled engine. Menon perfected his creature over time, and even built his own engine. With the experience gained in the field of bicycles, and soon even motorcycles, Carlo produced steel spoke wheels, equipped with tires supplied by Pirelli. A little more than 20 of these vehicles were produced until 1902, of which only one still exists in the hands of one of Menon’s heirs.