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February 28, 2012

A technological balancing act

Mounting and balancing equipment and procedures evolve to handle today’s high-tech vehicles

by Bob Bissler

Hennessy Industries has added the BL300, BL400 and BL500 to its BaseLine by Coats tire changer family.
Hennessy Industries has added the BL300, BL400 and BL500 to its BaseLine by Coats tire changer

It’s a procedure that’s been performed on vehicles since they were called “horseless carriages.” Service technicians have been demounting, mounting and inflating tires for years.

For today’s modern automotive marvels, equally modern high-tech tire changing machines have made the process easier than in days past. But there are many factors that technicians must consider before attempting to demount, mount, inflate or balance a passenger or light truck tire.

Industry groups such as the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA) help keep techs informed on the latest practices and procedures. Both groups have guidelines to make mounting and balancing tires a safe, efficient and profitable procedure (see www.rma.org and www.tireindustry.org).

And equipment suppliers are continually creating new and better equipment. Here’s a rundown of some of the equipment suppliers’ latest offerings.

Robert Bosch wheel balancer portfolio

Robert Bosch LLC says its portfolio of advanced wheel balancers ranges from compact, tech-friendly balancers to sophisticated electronic and laser-actuated units.

The WBE 4110 compact wheel balancer offers an invisible weight mode for hiding weights behind spokes and a weight optimization mode that reads wheel imbalance.

The WBE 4140 wheel balancer features an easy-to-read upright LCD monitor, with intuitive and straightforward steps illustrated on the monitor.

The WBE 4230 features an easy-to-read color LCD display and exact attachment of all concealed adhesive weights using the electronic Easyfit data recording arm.

The WBE 4430 offers automatic, precise and quick wheel data input via electronic data sensor arms, and features an Easyfix data recording arm for measuring rim diameter.

Lastly, the WBE 4510 wheel balancer has a laser sensor that provides fully automated measurements for tire width, run-out and tire symmetry.

Corghi USA EM9380 wheel balancer

Corghi USA’s EM9380 wheel balancer has been specifically designed for the North American market. The main characteristics of this machine include accuracy, robustness and quick cycle speed, Corghi reports.

The EM9380 electronic wheel balancer features a monitor for cars, lightweight transport vehicles and motor vehicles. Rapid and precise, it handles high work loads.

New Coats BaseLine tire changer models

Hennessy Industries has added three new models to its BaseLine by Coats tire changer family. The BL300, BL400 and BL500 are ideal for shops where tire service is an important, but not primary, source of business. All four BaseLine models offer reliable, economical alternatives to pre-owned equipment.

The BL300, BL400 and BL500 service both steel and alloy wheels. Each tire changer comes with an air-powered side bead loosener, and X-shaped tabletop and bead-sealing jets to assist with inflation.

The BL400 and BL500 also include a fully articulating Robo-Arm helper device to easily mount stiffer sidewall tires.

Hunter TCX575 tire changer

Hunter Engineering Co.’s TCX575 tire changers now include the new PowerOut side-shovel bead loosener system. The PowerOut system provides fingertip bead-loosening controls outside of the wheel on the shovel handle.

This ergonomic design eliminates the foot-pedal control that often forces technicians into awkward positions when loosening beads, says Hunter. By operating the loosener at a more efficient and comfortable position, technicians gain additional power, speed and control.

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