The evolution of tire changers
Tires are changing and consequently also the equipment used for their maintenance in the workshop. Tire changers are no exception. In recent years, technological advancements in the tire industry resulted in the development of products able to adapt to wheel with Tpms sensors, run-flat tires or super-low profiles
Tires are changing and consequently also the equipment used for their maintenance in the workshop. Tire changers are no exception. In recent years, technological advancements in the tire industry resulted in the development of products able to adapt to wheel with Tpms sensors, run-flat tires or super-low profiles. This evolution has also led to changes in the way things are done inside the workshop and to an increasing professionalism on the part of the operators. It is no longer sufficient to know what a tire is, to be able to work on it. Nowadays, you also need to know its characteristics and technical components so that the most suitable equipment can be used. Certain kinds of tools are essential, especially for pure tire specialists, where equipment and operators are subjected to continuous and repetitive work cycles. Tire changers with high levels of automation are in great demand - some, in fact, require little more than pre-setting the measurements, lubricating the contact areas and mounting the wheel to be removed on the lift. Alongside them, we may still see few traditional machines, as many clients still require them. In this short review, we will see some of the most recent models recently presented by leading manufacturers on the Italian market.
Specific for work on vehicles of the Volkswagen group, the VAS 741 047 is a tire changer for 13 to 30" wheels with tipping pole and central locking, Tll lever-less assembly and disassembly system (also suitable for ultra-low profile and run flat tires), integrated side lift and tubeless inflating device. Designed for workshops with a high work rate, and for this reason highly ergonomic; the structural innovations of the tire changer reduce the physical effort needed and reduce the working time. The Ergo Control bead breaker comes without a pedal and is meant to be used by means of a control lever; the rotation speed of the self-centring plate is from 7 to 15 rpm and is regulated by a moto-inverter. The column structure has been increased (now 140x140 mm section) and the assistance pillar, the Tecnoroller NG, is equipped with independent arms. The wheel locking system is ultra-fast. It is suitable for wheels up to 1200 mm diameter.
The Capture 3 and 4 lever-less tire changers work with highly automated cycles that minimize any manual intervention by the operator. The computer that controls the machine can be set to pre-set cycles, such as only disassembly (normally used in scrapyards for tire / rim separation), only assembly (OEMs) or complete and repeated cycles, used by workshops with high work rates. The complete assembly and disassembly cycle lasts from 90 to 110 seconds depending on the rim and tire models, including ultra-low profiles and run-flat tires. The automatic SmartLock system with automatic locking shaft output ensures quick and safe centring. A scratch-proof tool (upper tool on Capture 3, upper and bottom tool on Capture 4) with pneumatic movement fits between the rim and bead; built to prevent stress to the rubber, they can operate close to the edge. The self-locking wheel support increases the grip on the wheel during rotation and is fixed in three different working positions. The rollers (one on Capture 3, two on Capture 4) automatically detect the edge of the rim without contact; the rotating bead pusher allows to operate without problems even on tires with hard shoulders. The inverter that controls the motor allows continuous speed adjustment between 0 and 16 rpm. The computer can store over 100,000 customers and the characteristics of their tires and wheels in the database. Both Capture 3 and 4 are available with the tubeless tire inflator in the Top version (initials 3.FI and 4.FI respectively).
Lever-less operations are the special feature of Corghi tire changers like the new Artiglio Master 28. The Smart Corghi System, introduced in 2001, makes it possible not to touch the rim (thanks to a synchronized movement between the tool and the rim at every stage of the process) and to eliminate tension on the tire during assembly and disassembly. There is no risk, therefore, of damaging the valve sensor; the new model introduces a new demounting tool head, born from the synthesis of the characteristics of the Artiglio Master 26 and Artiglio Master Code. From the console, designed with ergonomic criteria and divided into three working areas, the operator sets the rim diameter and obtains the horizontal positioning of the work tools. Thanks to a dynamic bead-breaking device with dual specular bead breaker disc, positioning of the discs is made automatically preventing any manual positioning by the operator. The patented bead-breaking system guarantees perfect control of tool penetration; the bead-breaking force has been enhanced to work on all types of tires, even those with hard sidewalls, for which a quick procedure is provided. The Automatic version has a third pedal that releases the system that locks the turntable centring handle. By pressing it, it is possible to set the locks at the beginning of the work and to free the wheel at the end. The manual version has a quick-lock wheel clamp that allows bead breaking on both sides without having to turn the wheel itself by hand. The constant working height works to reduce the physical effort needed. The bead depressor returns to work position with a spring system; pedals, console and wheel loading take place on the same side of the machine. A wheel lifter can be added on request to position the wheel on the turntable. The Claw Master 28 is suitable for 13" to 28" rims, tires up to 1100 mm diameter 406mm wide and 85 kg weight, conventional, low profile and run flat. The bead breaker has a stroke of 450 mm and works with a force of 7600 N; the motor powered by an inverter has two speeds (7 and 18 rpm) and delivers a torque of 1100 Nm.
The Monty 8800 SmartSpeed offers an intuitive and fast Powermont lever-less mounting system and works with tires up to 1200 mm in diameter. The wheel movement is controlled by the machine’s SmartSpeed system, which automatically adjusts torque and speed; the dynamic two-disc bead breaker allows you to work on run flat tires and ultra-low profile tires, while the traditional floor-mounted bead breaker is used to remove high profile tires. The electromechanical wheel-lock, locks and unlocks the wheel with constant force and the PDB330 bead depressor allows to work on tires with very stiff shoulder and sidewalls. The high stiffness of the machine guarantees precision without the risk of damage; bead breaking is very quick and the inflator is controlled by pedal. The lift with a maximum load capacity of 70 kg is standard. PowerMont and SmartSpeed are also present on the Monty 8700 SmartSpeed: the central locking system is manual and the 70 kg lift is optional. The self-centring tire changer Monty 3300 Racing has a double acting bead breaker cylinder that guarantees 40% more clamping force than a conventional one. The locking system has four sliding jaws with plastic protection, mounting head with adjustable distance from the rim and tilting pole with pneumatic locking in the work position, and works on wheels up to 24". The optional lifter is mounted on the right side. Finally, Hofmann proposes the totally automatic, labour-saving Quadriga 1 GP able to accurately position the wheels on the clamping flange by means of a wheel lifter. The latter is able to identify the contour of the rims, without contact, through a laser and automatically monitors the changing of the tools. Works with rims from 12" to 30", it has a quick ring nut for hydraulic wheel locking, disc bead breaker, integrated bead depressor and inflating system for tubeless wheels with foot control.
The Series 1032 hydraulically operated tire changers introduce lever-less and no contact technology, even without plastic protectors, to prevent damage to chrome-plated and painted alloy wheels. Suitable for 13" to 32" rims, wheels up to 1200 mm in diameter and up to 400 mm width. No contact between rim and tool. Ease and precision of work are guaranteed by the coordinated movement between the wheel axis and the automatic revolver tool (a multi-tool with integrated plastic roller that ensures wheel locking, automatic rotation and three working positions); the rim size is pre-selected by the operator. With the fully automatic version Diamond A (at the top of the range of four basic models, the only one to also integrate a TPMS reader) the operator does not touch the wheel at any stage of the work but simply monitors the operations carried out automatically by the machine. The lifter of the Standard, Silver SL, Gold SL and Diamond A models is side mounted and carries 80 kg; the 85 kg lifter of the Silver PL, Gold PL and Diamond A models is front mounted. The camera (the image that can be recalled on the screen at any time) is standard starting from the Silver version, the electronically controlled inflator, controlled by the touch screen with over-inflating function for beading, is available from the Gold. The turntable is self-centring, the control console can be moved to the most comfortable working position. From the touch screen you can select the rim diameter for the correct positioning of the wheel (with the possibility of micro-adjustment); the Diamond version can boast, as standard, a tread probe and temperature probe for measuring tread depth and heel temperature, the value of which is displayed with three colour levels (green, yellow and red). The pedal control has four pedals that manage rotation, locking, unlocking and inflation. The axial mounting turntable revolves at 7 or 18 rpm, with a maximum torque of 1200 Nm and a bead-breaking force of 900 kg.
Aquila Tornado, the new tire changer by Mondolfo Ferro is a hydraulically operated, contactless and lever-less tire changer, suitable for working on “delicate” wheels such as painted light alloy wheels. Three new patents have increased the ergonomic features of the machine to the advantage of the operator; in particular, in the Premium version the electronic controls and the four-tool revolver, with the wheel automatically positioning itself in coordination with the axis, avoids the operator any manual operation. Automatic positioning is standard with the Premium lifter, available on all versions including the entry level Base, and the medium-low range Vision (named Base A and Vison A). The medium-high level Super and Premium have feature an electronic tire inflator Inflatron as standard; the TPMS sensor reader, tread depth reader and bead temperature probe are all standard on the Premium. The control console is mobile and, like the pedals, is particularly user friendly. The interactive display with TFT matrix can alternately display the wheel diameter selection screen, the camera image (standard on all versions except the Base) and, if present, all data gathered by the TPMS reader, the tread depth sensor and the bead temperature probe. Wheel centring accuracy is ensured by the intelligent electro-mechanical turntable, while the automatic disassembly cycle ensures that TPMS sensors are not damaged. Bead breaker arms and bead breaker discs also position themselves automatically; the bead breaker is standard on all versions. The Aquila Tornado is able to operate on wheels from 13" to 32", with tires up to 1200 mm in diameter and 400 mm wide. The lower and upper bead breakers work with a force of 900 kg. The motor powered by an inverter has two speeds (7 and 18 rpm); the standard lifter has 80 kg capacity, the Premium lifter, on the other hand, reaches 85 kg.
The Grip series of the Bergamo-based company is a line of tire changers that includes traditional models such as the Grip 22 as well as super-automatic lever-less models. All of them are fitted with 200mm double-acting bead breakers as standard, able to guarantee maximum performance during bead breaking operations on any tire. The Grip 22 is available in different versions. The basic version is designed for customers with low working rates, the lever-less version allows operations in maximum safety, reducing fatigue with a reasonable investment for the workshop. The Grip 22 is suitable for wheels with diameters up to 22" and 1000 mm in diameter for tires. For operators with higher working rates we find three traditional tire changers, Grip 23, 24 and 26, all with reinforced structures. These models are suitable for 24” wheels (Grip 23 and 4) or 26" (Grip 26) and tires with a diameter of 1100mm. The wheel lifter is available as an option on all models. Both Grip 24 and 26, feature an ergonomic design after moving the bead breaking pedal closer to the working area, a wider wheel support and a turntable adjustment system that facilitates operations on the most difficult tires, with OMCN patented Power Out extraction system. These tire changers are available in several versions with traditional double speed systems or with an inverter and a series of accessories for a variety of needs. The Iron Arm assistance arm, available for all OMCN models, facilitates working on difficult tires such as ultra-low profiles and run flats eliminating risks and fatigue for the operator. At the top of the range, we find three models such as the Grip 30, 34 and RS, with patented ultra-quick wheel-clamping system, through cone and shaft with lock nut, all lever-less and with disc bead breakers; they can work on wheels with maximum diameter of 30" (Grip 30 and RS) and 34" (Grip 34). The Grip 34 and RS have a standard lifter, a synchronized double-disc bead breaker system and the bead depressor arm with automatic exit system.
The G8945 series tire changers for cars and light commercial vehicles, all lever-less, can work on all types of rims and tires (low profile, run flat, iron...). They work with a bidirectional roller bead-breaker and a side extractor and have a pneumatic rotating bead depressor, particularly useful on ultra-low profile tires, a quick wheel locking system and a two positions locking plate. The Memory system allows, once the rim edge distance has been set, to resume work on the next rim without resetting it. The "S" versions also have a wheel lifter, auxiliary arm and pedal tire inflator as standard, and are available with a continuously variable speed motor or two speeds; the “normal” versions have a single speed motor and do not offer the above-mentioned accessories. The G1045.EL, instead, is a lever tire changer with top of the range performance. It features a double bead-breaking roller, central plate locking on a sloping frame (for greater ergonomics) and anti-scratch tools. It offers three working heights and is available in a standard version or with specifications for the BMW authorised network.
The Falco Evo 624 S V6 is a pneumatic-tilting-back-pole passenger car tire changer. It is equipped with a 24" (external clamping) turntable and a 4-position adjustable bead breaker. It was designed to reduce fatigue improving safety and shortening processing times. The pole ensures reduced flexion even when removing the most difficult tires, such as low profile and run flat tires. The new design of the self-centring jaws does not require the removal of the internal plastic protections for steel rims. The 100 mm diameter tilting pole cylinder guarantees greater stability to the column (now with section 140x140 mm) and to the assembly tool during any stage of the work. The bead-breaker is placed on an optimised support/stand, to reduce space and increase operator ergonomics, as well as the lubricant container is flexible and ring shaped to avoid damage from impacts. New design also for the bead breaker cylinder, which reduces operation time by 40%. The bead breaker is 25% faster than most competitors. It is suitable for rims with external clamping ranging from 10" to 24" and width from 3" to 12.5"; the maximum wheel diameter is 1200 mm. The turntable rotation speed ranges between 7 to 15 rpm.
Suitable for 30" wheels, the S200 is a universal super-automatic tire-changer that takes up very little floor space (1650 x 1620 mm with lifter and 1650 x 1400 without) thanks also to the lateral positioning of the pedals. It has no lever and uses a lateral movement that integrates a bead depressor. It occupies very little floor space. The axial mounting turntable ensures quick clamping also allowing bead breaking on both sides without having to turn the wheel itself; the two double control discs can perform match-mounting operations between tire and rim. The multifunctional control console contains all the operating controls. Ideal for dynamic bead breaking and rim/tire match mounting, thanks to the two dual controlled discs. The penetration of the discs is controlled with a patented system. Quick second bead demounting procedure made possible by a patented disc movement, particularly useful with stiff sidewalls. The quick disassembly of the second bead, with a patented movement for the disc, allows work on tires with hard sidewalls. The S200 works with wheels ranging from 12" to 30", tires up to 1143 mm in diameter and 381 mm in width.
The GA560.30IT Giotto is a lever-less tire changer. Bead-breaking operations are performed by means of two rollers with a synchronized movement. The adjustable locking base has three positions and the locking is done through a central rim locking system, suitable also for reverse rims. The electrical motor is equipped with an exclusive and innovative inverter, which allows to regulate the chucking table rotation speed by pressing the pedal slowing down the rotation speed as the stress on the bead increases (to avoid any damage to the tire). The pneumatically controlled bead-clamping device is also pneumatically controlled, as is the wheel lifter. The system handles all wheels from 10" to 30" and tires up to 1143 mm in diameter, with a maximum width of 15 mm. It is available in three versions for 10" to 26", 12" to 28" and 14" to 30" wheels, in each case with a maximum wheel width of 15" and a maximum diameter of 45"; the bead-breaking force of 1200 kg.
The Variant 100 is a lever-less tire changer for cars and light commercial vehicles, and comes in a variety of versions with a wide range of accessories. It can operate with wheels from 12" to 30" without adjustments or adapters (however, there are special clamps for non-standard rims) and offers a side bead-breaking system with independent and synchronized discs that eliminates the need for rollers or cameras; it is possible to bead-break wheels in series without repositioning the arms. The models with three-phase 380 V power supply have a two-speed motor as standard; the GP version has a pedal tire inflator as standard. On all models the standard wheel lock is manual while the pneumatic one is optional. The V-1 variant has an IPL-2 pneumatic lifter with 85 kg capacity, the V-2 a quick inflating system for tubeless tires (Blast kit). V-3 is the model with automatic locking, while the V-4 - configuration with Motoinverter, V-5 Bead breaking system with blade (available only for version MI). The tool has no lever and uses plastic protection to avoid damaging rims or tires. The helicoidal automatic swing-arm configuration is completed with pneumatic control of the working arm. The horizontal head is equipped with triple regulation system for easy maintenance, double locking system and with rollers to improve its movement fluidity. The standard pneumatic arm is suitable for work on low profile and run-flat tires; the bead depressor is adjustable in height to work on reverse channel rims. The lifter holds 85 kg; the machine operates on tires up to 1150 mm in diameter and 380 mm wide, with a bead-breaking force of 800 kg; the two speeds of rotation of the chuck are 8 and 15 rpm.
The Uranus TC20 is an entry-level tire changer with a tilting pole equipped with a 20" self-centring chuck, double rotation speed from 7 to 15 rpm. The internal clamping diameter varies from 10" to 20", the external one from 12" to 23"; it can work on rims from 3" to 11" and with wheel of a diameter of up to 1000 mm. The bead breaker's working range goes from 60 to 300 mm.