The team over at Bosch are rather excited about their brand new FWA 9000 wheel aligner, which provides touchless wheel alignment faster than conventional equipment.
The system has been through a period of testing prior to release at a Bradford garage who has found that nine out of ten cars given a quick check in under 30 seconds were in need of alignment and 75% of these customers agreed to having the alignment work done – meaning a return on investment is achievable in under 18 months. The equipment assesses four wheels simultaneously, providing quick values for camber and tow and there’s no set-up time as there’s no tyre clamps to deal with. This also means there’s no chance of damaging wheel rims.
The Touchless system bases its assessment on the position of the tyre and the chassis, recognising the movement of a vehicle as it approaches the unit’s turntable pads, starting the initial measurement automatically. Thousands of reference points, generated by laser, are projected on the side of the vehicle and two stereo cameras per measurement head provide an accurate 3D reference model of each wheel. Camber, individual toe, total toe, setback, caster and geometric driving axis values are taken in a few seconds and the system can be controlled remotely so the operator need not leave the vehicle. A database holds data for more than 30,000 vehicle types, from approximately 130 manufacturers.