Service

A New ‘Groundbreaking’ Development in Tire Tread Measurement

John Stone
Posted on September 11, 2017

All over the world, making sure that vehicles maintain a legal limit in tire tread continues to be a constant problem, with tire dealers taking valuable time to measure customers’ tires. In Europe there is an ongoing crusade to find a piece of equipment which is light and easy to use that ensures a swift turnaround of tire checks in dealerships and garages.

I have followed this project with interest for quite a while and have seen potentially innovative products appear to be the answer. But eventually they fail to deliver through one detail or another from precision reading to size and weight.

However, recently I have been researching a totally new and different type of equipment called a TreadReader Hand Held Scanner.

This new TreadReader scanner device is manufactured by a UK-based company called Sigmavision. Very quickly this innovative piece of tire technology is gathering interest across Europe.

So just what makes the TreadReader Hand Held Scanner so different? Well, it seems that built-in technology overcomes the limitations of traditional point gauges and the measurement errors normally associated with such optical devices and it performs particularly well on dirty and wet tires.

It also incorporates an impressive 3D laser scanner that covers the full tire width as well as 50 mm around the circumference that additionally highlights any uneven or edge wear which could indicate wheel misalignment or worn suspension. An intensive 3D scan is taken of each tire from 320,000 measurement points with an accuracy of 0.2 mm or 0.008 inches and advanced software algorithms give detailed color-coded three-dimensional tire tread images complete clarity.

3D scans of a tire’s tread can be viewed on a tablet, mobile phone or PC through a special TreadReader app.
3D scans of a tire’s tread can be viewed on a tablet, mobile phone or PC through a special TreadReader app.
3D scans of a tire’s tread can also be viewed on a tablet, mobile phone or PC through a special TreadReader app making the system completely versatile in any tire inspection environment. The app easily connects to the scanner through Wi-Fi to produce a complete customer report showing vehicle identification, 3D tire scans with color-coded tread warnings and error alarms for every axle and tire position.

In fact, this new TreadReader scanner has captured the attention and imagination of the retail tire sector across both the UK and Europe of national fast-fit networks, regional dealership groups and even tire manufacturing companies who operate retail outlets.

This is because of the product’s versatile ability to identify negative issues with customers’ tires along with being able to state when a tire will need replacing due to worn tread depth (in due course). It has also been stated that using a scanner effectively protects a technician from making manual visual errors.

TreadReader Drive Over Ramp uses laser sensors to take measurements of footprints of passenger and light truck tires.
TreadReader Drive Over Ramp uses laser sensors to take measurements of footprints of passenger and light truck tires.
Sigmavision also offers an alternative TreadReader product — the Drive Over Ramp which is a fully automated measurement system for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with laser sensors located in a surface-mounted ramp.

The tire then passes over a pressure switch that triggers the measurement of the tire patch at a width of approximately 50 mm and around 300,000 data points on the tire patch to ensure accurate and repeatable measurements.

As I write this article there are still an estimated 30 million illegal tires being driven on European roads. When you couple this alarming fact with a proven high percentage of tires that come into tire dealers for replacement which are already illegal, it goes without saying that badly worn tires continue to be a very serious problem. Any new, innovative product that helps tire technicians to easily check tread depths on customers’ cars is always going to be enthusiastically received by the industry.

Not all new products live up to their initial marketing credentials, but in my opinion this new TreadReader scanner has already established an impressive reputation for adaptability and efficiency. It seems to be destined to become popular in tire outlets and workshops in the future. ■

John Stone has been working within the global tire industry for the past 26 years. In 2004 he launched his own consulting company, Sapphire Media Services, which caters to business media clients around the globe. Stone also writes for tire and automotive-related publications in Europe, South Africa and Asia.

Read more European Notebook articles here:

Tire Aging Tire Battle Gets Closer to Victory in Europe

A New Era Dawns for Mobile Tire Fitting in Europe

A Worrying Aspect of TPMS Innovation

Bridgestone in Europe! Building on Continued Success

Related Topics: European Notebook, John Stone, Tire aging

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
The ADS 625 (pictured) and ADS 325 scan tools are part of Bosch's new Automotive Diagnostic Solutions line.
Product

Bosch Introduces Two Diagnostic Scan Tools

The new ADS 325 and ADS 625 scan tools from Bosch Automotive Service Solutions feature full diagnostic capabilities including system scans, data stream, special tests, bi-directional controls, and repair information.

News

Versatile Credit Adds EasyPay Finance Option

Versatile Credit Inc. has added the EasyPay Finance option to its list of platform offerings. The "second look" option focuses on offering financing solutions to the automotive market.

Article

Unit Sales Volumes Were Up Nearly 2%

Our recent discussions with dealers leave us with a view that sell-out trends improved in May versus the prior year’s period, re-accelerating from year-over-year contractions early in the year. While always somewhat subjective, we note commentary from installers was at the highest level since October 2017. From a volume standpoint, surveyed dealers reported they saw unit sales volumes up nearly 2% relative to the previous year’s period.

News

New Tire Pros Ad Campaign Costs $1 Million

American Tire Distributors Inc. (ATD) has launched a $1 million ad campaign highlighting the work of its Tire Pros franchisees. The message is hassle-free customer service.

ATEQ TPMS Tools and Jeff Buckley, owner of My Father’s Shop, are collaborating on Facebook to give away two TPMS tools to high schools, technical centers or colleges during their “Back to School” giveaway.
News

Ateq Collaborates with Texas Shop Owner to Give Away TPMS Tools

Ateq TPMS Tools and Jeff Buckley, owner of My Father’s Shop, are collaborating on Facebook to give away two tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) tools to high schools, technical centers or colleges during their “Back to School” giveaway. Ateq and Buckley will each donate a VT36 TPMS tool to two winners.

With an end-to-end cyber security solution Continental, Elektrobit and Argus protect vehicles over their entire lifespan against hacker-attacks.
News

Continental Protects Vehicles From Cyber Attacks

Continental AG is offering end-to-end cyber security and over-the-air software update solutions from Argus Cyber Security (Argus) and Elektrobit (EB) pre-integrated into its connected vehicle electronics products including telematics units, infotainment systems, gateways and more.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!