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IMI Develops Self-Adjusting Weight

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) Last year, IMI, the maker of truck balancing powder, Equal, launched a product aimed at the passenger car market.

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XactBalance, distributed in the U.K. by Rema-Tip Top, is a new style of dynamic balancing weight and is aimed at premium level fitments.

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According to the product’s Pennsylvania-based manufacturer, XactBalance is the first lead-free, dynamic wheel weight made for all types and sizes of wheels. The product can be installed using standard tyre balancing equipment and features adhesive tape that allows for repositioning prior to being firmly and permanently pressed into place. What makes XactBalance different from other weights is the “dynamic media” housed within its thermoplastic shell. This media moves and adjusts to changing conditions as the tyre rotates, targeting the exact location of the imbalance and correcting it. According to the company, the result is a more precise and long-lasting balance.

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“We’re seeing more car owners that care a great deal about the performance and appearance of their vehicle,” said IMI president Bob Fogal Jr. “We’re also seeing tyre dealers who are looking for ways to provide the most accurate balance possible for customers with high-end or even traditional tyre and wheel packages – and that’s what XactBalance delivers.”

Though other lead-free alternatives like tin, steel and zinc do exist, none offer the added benefit of being able to adjust to changes in tyre and wheel dynamics in order to provide a more precise balance for the life of the tyre, says company literature.

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At the end of last spring (May 2006) XactBalance won an Innovation Award in the category of Technical/Products at the Reifen Essen trade exhibition. Nominees for the award were chosen by an independent jury on the basis of innovative content, benefit to user, economic efficiency, safety, sustainability, environmental performance and potential for winning and retaining customers.

"International recognition like this is critical when trying to introduce a product to a global audience," said Fogal. "This is a validation of all the hard work that went into developing XactBalance."

In January 2006, XactBalance was granted a patent for its unique design, following recognition at the 2005 SEMA show’s first-ever International New Product Awards. Winners of the SEMA International New Product Awards were selected by a panel of international journalists who reviewed more than 1,000 new automotive products.

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