This article is the second installment of a three-part article series on equipment innovations.
There are tons of great technological advancements being made now for tire changers and wheel balancers, but what’s expected in five to 10 years?
David Martin, chief operating officer at CEMB, said with different alloys and composites entering wheel production, his company will be looking for new ways or methods to clamp rims for tire removal and mounting.
“Polymer mounting heads have been in use for many years,” Martin said. “The possible need for other options and/or blended materials may be necessary in future mounting head design.”
Kyle Harris, key account manager at Hennessy Industries, manufacturers of Coats tire changers, wheel balancers and inspection equipment, said he expects to see tire changers with “new and improved leverless duck heads and tire changers that make changing tough tires easier and more profitable for dealerships and tire dealers alike.”
“We may also see a line of tire changers able to handle a wider range of tire and wheel combinations,” he said.
Jim Hudson, product manager for tire changers at Hunter Engineering Company, said he hopes to see tire changers continue to evolve with features that reduce or even eliminate wheel and tire damage risk.
“Features like leverless heads, bead press systems and further automation also have the benefit of making the machines easier and safer to operate,” he added.
When it comes to wheel balancers, Greg Meyer, product manager of wheel balancers at Hunter Engineering, said he expects RFID readers to be integrated into premium balancers so the machine knows what tires are being balanced on the machine,” he said. RFID, or radio frequency identification, is a technology that uses radio waves to identify and track tags attached to objects. “This will enable a number of improved features for shops and technicians,” Meyer added.
Another innovation of the future will be mobile wheel service as more customers look for convenience and might not want to head into a shop for wheel services, said Jeff Castillo, technical adviser at BendPak.
“Being able to supply equipment especially suited to mobile wheel service is a major focus,” he said. “We are currently developing mounting and balancing equipment that takes up less floor space and is capable of being powered by remote generator service – all without sacrificing any in-shop capabilities required to service today’s performance wheels and tires.”