RL Automotive markets TAC-Scan at CV Show
With the cost of fuel only going one way, how tyres are managed is becoming increasingly more important. That’s why RL Automotive was showing its TAC-Scan laser-based tyre wear diagnostic equipment at April’s CV Show. According to the company, tyre wear diagnostic equipment has been left behind in the tide of new technology as it is largely still done manually, which not only effects accuracy but also makes readings subjective.
The genesis of accurate tyre wear measurement began in the exacting world of Formula 1 racing with a RL Automotive producing a laser scanning device that helped the teams develop their tyre changing strategy. It proved to be so accurate that it could predict tyre failure down to a single lap. With tyres proving so critical in the 2011 F1 season TAC-scan is again being used to offer a competitive advantage.
The next few years were spent developing the equipment and the software for the global commercial market for car, van and truck. The 2011 Commercial Vehicle Show saw the first official appearance of the production model in the UK Commercial Vehicle after market. The interest from a wide variety of customers has been very encouraging with particular focus on fleet managers, fleet auditors and tyre alignment specialists.
For fleet managers the equipment allows them to collect and upload tread and pressure data easily, quickly and efficiently. The software suite allows them to produce individual vehicle reports as well as fleet audit reports. This gives them a major advantage when trying to reduce fuel consumption and tyre expenditure. For inspectors and auditors the equipment can dramatically reduce inspection time, produce very accurate readings and provide comprehensive action reports at the touch of a button.
It is important to understand the relationship between tyre condition (pressure and tread) and fuel consumption – there have been many reports and studies that conclude that for around 10 per cent under-inflation, an additional 3 – 5 per cent of fuel is consumed and for a misalignment of just 2.5 degrees, an extra 16 per cent is added to the fuel bill. RL Automotive’s argument is that for tyre shops and alignment specialists, the benefits of proprietary software give them a powerful marketing tool. Instead of the lengthy process of alignment in order to check if an alignment is necessary, a “free” check can be offered using our TAC-Scan machine which will take about one minute to complete with a further minute to produce and print the ‘Tyre Wear and Alignment Analysis’ to show the customer and which will highlight the areas of tyre wear that may cause concern.
RL Automotive was set up in 1998 to serve the tyre after-sales market. Based near Oxford it has designed, developed and built a range of portable and drive-over tyre wear diagnostic equipment using laser and Bluetooth technology.