Tires are the only vehicle components that actually touch the road. In an era where connectivity is becoming a staple in automotive, Connected Tires will quickly become your tire dealer’s new allies
To understand the importance of a correct wheel alignment, we can try with a little experiment: wear two different shoes, swap the right with the left and then walk with a height difference of, say, ten centimetres between one leg and the other. At best, this will result is an uncomfortable, awkward and slow walk. In addition, there is also the serious risk of falling and, in the long run, of having physical repercussions due to incorrect posture. That is what wheel alignment is for: adjusting the vehicle's “posture”. Technically this is a procedure to be carried out strictly in a workshop if one wishes to have the correct geometric angles on all the wheels. The main ones are toe-in - a term that is often mistakenly understood as a synonym for alignment -, camber and caster. These three values have the power to influence the way both tires and suspensions behave. The correct alignment guarantees the best footprint, resistance to stress, driving precision, stability, handling, as well as better efficiency in terms of tire wear and fuel consumption. Toe-in is the angle formed by the wheel in relation to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle on the horizontal plane of the direction of travel. Positive toe, or toe in, is the front of the wheel pointing towards the centreline of the vehicle. Conversely, toe-out, or negative toe, is when the front of the wheels tilt outwards from a vehicle’s centreline. Finally, toe-in is neutral when the two opposite wheels are perfectly parallel to each other. A positive toe-in usually enhances stability, while a more negative toe-in favours vehicle responsiveness. A correct toe-in is the one that respects the manufacturer's specifications: the penalty is an overall downgrading of tire and suspension performance. The effects of incorrect toe-in can be easily detected by the driver who feels that the vehicle is "pulling" to one side and that the steering is rather stiff or misaligned. Poor toe-in can also cause abnormal tire wear and increase fuel consumption. The concepts of camber and caster, on the other hand, are much less well known. The first defines the angle between the vertical axis of a wheel and the vertical axis of the vehicle when viewed from the front or rear. If the top of the wheel is farther out than the bottom (that is, away from the axle), it is called positive camber; if the bottom of the wheel is farther out than the top, it is called negative camber. The camber is a value that affects both the vehicle's grip when cornering, as it increases or decreases the footprint of the tread on the ground, and how quickly the tire will wear. Also in this case, the best camber is not necessarily the one where the wheels are perfectly perpendicular to the ground because elements such as, for example, load transfers while driving, which can weigh heavily on the wheels and suspension, must be taken into account. Furthermore, a negative camber at the rear increases grip and facilitates cornering. Finally, Caster defines the angle that identifies the forward or backward slope of a line that is drawn through the upper and lower steering pivot points. If the line slopes towards the rear of the vehicle, then you have positive caster. If the line slopes towards the front of the vehicle, then the caster is negative. A slightly negative angle improves manoeuvrability but decreases straight-line stability as speed increases. On the contrary, the latter increases with a more positive caster angle. On the market there are several technologically advanced tools that help the aftermarket specialist to produce, easily and quickly, the correct wheel alignment for any type of vehicle.
Q.Lign wheel alignment, the latest addition to the Beissbarth family, besides the qualities that have always distinguished the German company’s equipment, introduces new features: new graphic interface, wireless connectivity thanks to which alignment can be carried out from any device, new set of patented Q.Grip wheel clamps designed to speed up operations. Once in place the system immediately provides the measurement values, helping the operator to identify any anomalies on the vehicle, even before investing time in selecting the program. Targets are automatically detected by the system and do not have to follow a specific installation sequence. Being self-centring on the shoulder of the tire, the wheel holders allow working on all types of wheels without having to touch the rim thanks to three-arm wheel clamps and 4 auto-identification targets. Another innovative element is the high-precision measuring sensor. Q.Lign requires no cabinet or support poles and is therefore completely portable. In addition, connecting Q.Lign to the local network allows to operate from any device on the shop floor. The new interface software has been renewed in its graphics and browsing menus. Q.Lign is finally "ADAS ready". The software and the tools such as sensors, targets and clamps in addition to the classic alignment functions give the possibility to work on the calibration of electronic sensors without repeating the preparatory work and without leaving the alignment program.
Speed, precision, ease of use and reliability characterize all CEMB wheel alignment solutions. The range, distributed in Italy by Sipav, offers CCD, 3D or contactless systems. Among these, the Argos contactless wheel alignment system stands out, which ensures the measurement of camber and toe-in in less than five seconds. Argos is the result of an extremely advanced technology developed entirely in-house. The procedure guarantees surprising ease of use thanks to the automatic start of the measurement process without any manual input from the operator. The newly introduced license plate reading function quickly recognizes the vehicle and automatically selects all the necessary specifications, for an immediate start of the measuring process. Without any clamps, detectors or targets, the Argos allows you to check all vehicles entering the workshop, generating a clear report of their status, increasing workshop productivity and customer satisfaction. In addition to comprehensive vehicle alignment results, Argos also provides an easy-to-understand Audit report, which contains a list of out-of-specification angles and related problems that may reflect on driving. The Audit printout helps the operator to present a clear overview of the vehicle's condition to the customer and the customer to make more informed decisions.
R.E.M.O. (Robotic Equipment for Measuring by Optics) by Corghi (Nexion Group) provides workshops with all the opportunities offered by innovative contactless technology for wheel alignment: pre-control and adjustments are carried out very quickly and without the need of clamps, passive targets or other devices. The accuracy of the measurements is of the highest level thanks to high resolution Hi-Q infrared cameras for artificial vision.
The steps involved in measuring and adjusting the angles are simple and take place automatically. R.E.M.O. is available in two versions: 4C and Compact Due, i.e. with four or two robotic units. The choice depends on the specific needs of the workshop. In case of high working volumes, the 4C version is recommended due to the exceptional speed of the system.
While at work, the robotic units automatically position themselves in front of the wheels. This is essential to guarantee optimum performance regardless of the vehicle's wheelbase. In addition, the optical scanners automatically move on vertical rails to be able to "follow the vehicle" at any lift extension. Each unit is independent and projects a laser light onto the wheel. Using the two stereoscopic cameras, it determines its angles and recognizes its location in space through a reference system created with the two targets positioned in front of the lift. The identification of the vehicle upon entering the workshop is easily carried out by scanning a specific QR code, issued to the customer when the vehicle is delivered. In the central unit, in addition to the image acquisition system, there are PC, monitor and an A4 printer to produce a pre-check and inspection document.
Cormach’s wheel alignment offer includes 3D solutions and CCD sensors with data transmission via high frequency radio (2.4 GHz). The range includes specific models for cars, light transport vehicles, but also dedicated solutions for trucks. In particular, the WR328A model with CCD sensors is designed for measuring heavy duty vehicles such as trucks, trailers and semi-trailers. Cormach supports with great commitment the activity and the growth of its customers with technical training through courses and assisted installations. It also guarantees a valuable remote wheel alignment assistance service. Finally, a new 3D wheel alignment is ready to enrich the Cormach range: in the next few months, in fact, a brand-new model of great versatility will be presented, with a system for adjusting the height of the horizontal bar that will work in synchrony with the vehicle lift.
Fasep's catalogue includes several solutions dedicated to wheel alignment, starting with NoContact, the contactless measuring robot: no targets required and there is no need to move the vehicle back and forth for correct measurements. NoContact offers accuracy and automatic camera positioning. The VDP-S2 Power Scenic cabinet offers a large viewing area with a 42" retractable high-resolution monitor, large workspace, and sleek, functional design. The new and larger VCO-K2 cabinet boasts ergonomic elements designed to allow maximum ease of use. For those who prefer more mobile versions, Fasep offers VCO-K.Eco and VDP-K. Practical and compact, the VCO-K.Eco can be safely moved and used on pit, scissor and even 2-column lifts, with the appropriate software options. Like top-end models, the small VDP-K incorporates new Windows-based technology, with the ability to connect sensors and PCs wirelessly in a very price-competitive solution. Designed for situations where alignment service is made difficult by lack of space, Fasep's ATOMIC offers the same performance as computerized systems in terms of measurement accuracy, convenience and speed of execution with minimal cost while taking up little space. The range of Fasep solutions is completed by the digital portable wheel aligner M2. Avant.CPS.
Leading products in the Vehicle Service Group (VSG) portfolio are Ravaglioli's TD3200 series of wheel aligners and Space's SP TD2.0 WIFI. Ravaglioli's TD3200 series models operate with 3D technology and represent a significant innovation in the industry in terms of practical use and efficiency in the workshop. Measuring heads with integrated battery are connected directly to the lift, saving valuable workspace. The 3D system is extremely compact and does not require additional detectors that are usually very bulky. In addition, data transmission to the console is entirely wireless. It is available in three variants: "top range" TD3200HPR-HP, "mid-range" TD3200SP, "entry level" TD3200L. A special feature of the Ravaglioli series is the use of a material with low environmental impact in the top and mid-range models. The SP TD2.0 WIFI model is based on CCD TD2.0 technology and is installed on a wall panel rather than using the classic trolley. The software, developed to be installed on Android devices, can be used on mobile devices too. Like all the wheel aligners of the VSG Group, also the 3D and TD2.0 WIFI series can be connected to the Internet network of the workshop (if present) through Wi-fi (AlignmentOn) which allows to receive automatic updates of the system and to send via e-mail the test reports to the vehicle owner.
The HPA-Faip (Nexion Group) solution also uses contactless technology. iCheck allows to perform a quick pre-check of the wheel alignment during acceptance, without "touching" the rims as targets or sensors are not required. Each unit projects a laser light on the wheel and, through the 2 stereoscopic cameras, determines the characteristic angles. Furthermore, iProfile makes it possible to scan the profile of the tire tread at the same time as detecting the geometric angles of the wheel. iProfile provides a simple and professional tool able to guarantee greater accuracy and precision than more traditional visual inspections. Moreover, the system also provides a complete report of the results obtained. HPA-Faip’s integrated system is available with an accessory software suite "Launcher Auto QR" for further checks, in order to deliver to the customer an exhaustive documentation about the state of the vehicle, complete with list of interventions to be performed and QR code for the identification of the file at the next check.
Hunter manufactures and sells wheel aligners approved by the world's leading vehicle manufacturers. Specifically for the heavy-duty vehicle segment, the DSP760T is a cordless, transportable, multi-position, six-sensor wheel aligner that can be accurately used in 60 different configurations. In just a few minutes, the DSP 760T can provide complete alignment data for a three-axle truck and, using the "Pusher", allows compensation to be performed without lifting the vehicle.
In the wide range of Hunter wheel alignment systems HawkEye Elite definitely stands out, a detection system for car and light transport vehicles that in just 70 seconds allows to display all the data related to the angles of the vehicle. Detection is accomplished through four powerful high-definition cameras using four three-dimensional targets. The patented QuickGrip adapters and three-dimensional targets speed up service with reduced installation time. Spring-loaded clamp arms attach directly to the tire, eliminating metal-to-metal contact and possible rim damage. HawkEye Elite is ADAS ready and performs calibration through two cameras and software designed to operate on the most relevant ADAS equipment on the market. Both Hunter alignment systems, DSP760T and HawkEye Elite, meet Industry 4.0 requirements. The alignment systems, like all products in the Hunter catalogue, are distributed exclusively in Italy by Commerciale LMV.
John Bean (Snap-on) affirms its technological supremacy, presenting a new series of V2380 wheel aligners, a fast, precise and intuitive solution created to simplify work. Among the strengths of the new John Bean V2380 set-up is its small working platform: the 1.7 m between the cameras and the turntables represents one of the smallest footprints in the 3D wheel alignment segment. Thanks to an advanced camera system, the John Bean V2380 automatically follows the movements of the lift. The cameras follow the height of the vehicle, so there is no need for adjustments every time the lift is moved. Alignment readings are also ready in less than two minutes. Tread width and wheelbase values, collision damage, rolling radius measurement and discrepancies as well as tire size discrepancies are quickly detected. Thus, the interactive software promotes fast and intuitive adjustments. Through the interface, in a few simple steps, the operator can check if the measurement is correct or if there are problems and discrepancies that need to be corrected. Finally, the new John Bean can connect via WIFI network to mobile devices, receive automatic software updates (provided in the various John Bean subscription plans), share data and information, send and print reports.
Digital ADAS from Mahle sets new standards. Thanks to the digital Targetless system, the Connex Digital ADAS calibration tool no longer requires physical targets. Instead, it calls up the correct reference images for test management on its 4K Full HD monitor by simply selecting the make and model of the car being serviced. The Keystone technology (patented by Mahle) allows the system to adjust the digital image of the monitor starting from the positioning of the vehicle to provide a perfect match between the ADAS sensor (camera/radar) and the instrument without having to perform long manoeuvrers. This allows a perfect and immediate calibration, without wasting time or having to reserve special spaces in the workshop for service. The Digital ADAS station is also fully automated and can be used even by a single operator. In addition, although it is possible to calibrate starting from the rear axle, the Mahle Digital ADAS procedure measures from the front axle by default for better performance in terms of calibration accuracy and speed of operation. Finally, Mahle Aftermarket is launching on the market a certification of the calibration result - the Digital ADAS Certified Calibration (DAC2) system - as part of a project involving the entire supply chain (manufacturer, distributor, installer, etc.).
M&B Engineering offers a variety of solutions for measuring wheel alignment with CCD detectors or with 3D targets. At the top of the range, we find the Sniper WA 100, a 3D system, equipped with a mobile cabinet able to produce the measurements of wheelbase, track, diagonals, wheel diameter, friction and so on. Sniper WA 100 also allows for single-wheel run-out measurement, useful when space is scarce. The HD cameras are automatically adjustable to the height of the lift, thus reducing measuring time. Universal self-centring wheel clamps allow operation on wheels from 12" to 24", but three-point rim clamps and three-point tire clamps are also available as options. Designed for workshops with limited space, the Sniper WA90 is, on the other hand, a 3D alignment that, although compact in size, guarantees all the essential functions and is therefore suitable for those who are just beginning to practice wheel alignment. The M&B range in the wheel alignment segment is completed by the CCD Sniper WA80, Sniper WA80 Truck and Sniper WA85 wheel aligners. All wheel aligners in the M&B range are easy to use thanks to specially developed software that supports the operator during all phases of the procedure as well as selling the service to potential customers. The software is equipped with an "Audit" function that provides a detailed and easy-to-understand report of possible disturbances perceived when driving.
Trigon Super Novo by Mondolfo Ferro (Nexion Group) is a 3D aligner of small dimensions, equipped with high-resolution cameras and lightweight targets. The 3D technology includes four passive targets with various types of wheel clamps. On the central unit there are infrared illuminators and cameras. The continuous acquisition of the target images, combined with a 3D calculation software, allows to determine in real time the characteristic angles of the wheels. In addition to the image acquisition system, there is a PC, monitor and an A4 printer to produce the final report to submit to the customer. The equipment is completed by a vertical lift applied to the measuring bars to allowing the operator to work easily even at different heights. The automatic target tracking function is also available, which saves a great deal of time, since the operator has only to raise or lower the lift, while the measuring bar automatically tracks it, positioning itself at the right height to continue measuring or adjusting. Finally, Trigon SuperNovo is compatible with the PROADAS system, a universal modular calibration system for driver assistance systems.
OMCN offers solutions to be used in combination for correct and precise wheel alignment. VISION45 with eight-sensor CCD technology boasts sensors with non-deformable aluminium structure and lithium batteries. VISION 80PRO, on the other hand, is equipped with high-definition cameras, uses 3D technology with automatic lift tracking device. OMCN's offer is completed by the universal platform and the X-LINE series of electro-hydraulic total alignment lifts. Equipped with four turntables, four loading ramps and four compensation pads, the universal platform allows to perform wheel alignment operations also with lifts not specifically meant for this type of work (e.g. lifts used in body shops, scissor lifts, etc.). The X-LINE series (PRB European patent with triple A), on the other hand, completely changes the way of working around lifts. Built to have ample working space in the area below, both for the operator and for bulky working tools such as trolleys, it is an ideal lifting system for any vehicle with a capacity of 5.5 t and a maximum length of 5.6 m. The lift is equipped with a hydraulic system, safety racks and electronic levelling system for maximum precision and repeatability. The system with electronic control PLC allows integrated self-diagnosis function and takes advantage of Industry 4.0 benefits. All solutions proposed by OMCN are built in accordance with the parameters set by the 4.0 transition plan.
For passenger cars and light transport vehicles, the SICE brand (Nexion Group) has developed a simple and complete solution. The A926E is a computerized wheel alignment with eight CCD sensors. The system consists of four electronic detectors, compact and lightweight, connected to the wheels of the vehicle with a variety of clamps. Each detector is powered by internal rechargeable batteries and contains an electronic board with radio transmission (2.4 GHz), two infrared angle sensors and an electronic inclinometer. The four detectors calculate in real time the characteristic angles of the wheels and sends these to the central unit, where the alignment software allows a simple interpretation and guides the operator through the various adjustment phases. The central unit houses a PC, monitor, battery recharger for the detectors and also an A4 printer for printing reports. Compatible with PROADAS system, the SICE wheel aligner is also available in the A926E Mobile version which fits in a case.
Designed not only for vehicles and vans, but also for trucks, trailers and semi-trailers, TECO model 814 is available in two versions, Special and Special Truck. It is a professional CCD computerized wheel aligner with eight optical sensors. The main feature of CCD wheel aligners is that they do not require large working areas and are therefore also suitable for small workshops. The integrated wireless communication makes using it rather simple. The detectors, compact and lightweight, use a 2.4 GHz industrial radio transmission and have internal batteries with charging system on the cabinet. TECO 814 is equipped with a detector arm sized for wheel alignment operations on vans and a real-time levelling status indicator. In the 814 Special is suitable for work on vans and light commercial vehicles while the 814 Special Truck uses the professional alignment software for two-axle, three-axle trucks with central engine or two-axle, three-axle, four-axle, trailers and semi-trailers. TECO 814 is compatible with the PROADAS system. It allows you to use the aligner to position the PROADAS trolley at the correct distance and angle from the vehicle before launching the procedure for calibrating the ADAS sensors.
Vamag’s totally Made in Italy solution stands out in the sector: New Dimension 3d boasts six HD cameras positioned laterally to the vehicle to check, quickly, accurately and without excessive effort for the operator, all the characteristic angles and the setback of all vehicles. The position of the cameras also means that it is possible, with specific clamps that do not touch the rim, to skip the off-centre and, consequently, not to change the set-up of the vehicle. Auto-focus technology enables automatic data acquisition and automatically adjusts the brightness of the monitor to compensate for the lighting conditions of the working environment.
The simple and intuitive software can complete the measurements in a few clicks and compare the data with those in the integrated Autodata database. Software and database updates released periodically online ensure that the product is always up to date with new features and performance. Various solutions and customized configurations for cars and trucks complete the range of Vamag wheel aligners.