Small UK firms specialising in information technology in general, and laser scanning in particular, look set to revolutionise the way big commercial vehicle fleet operators and tyre service providers manage tyre costs. This is the clear impression left by CV Show plans from two rival Oxfordshire-based companies.
Transportnewsbrief reports that the Tac-Scan laser scanning system from RL Automotive has been designed with truck fleet managers and transport operators in mind. It takes only five seconds to scan tread depth in each groove across a truck tyre’s full width. Results can then be printed or saved to a USB memory stick for downloading to a computer for detailed analysis. The company has now launched TyreWatch, a web-enabled tyre pressure and temperature monitoring system (TPMS) for commercial vehicles.
RL Automotive is part of the consortium led by Tructyre Fleet Management, an independent Hampshire-based tyre-management company, which recently won government funding for a driverless commercial vehicle research project. The TyreWatch system is at the heart of this project.
TyreWatch is the only independent web-enabled tyre pressure monitoring system in the UK, according to RL Automotive Commercial Director, Nigel Blackwell. It monitors tyre pressure and temperature continuously, around the clock and in real time. The data are used to warn the driver through an in-cab display, uploaded to the web in real time and can be used to issue alerts to fleet managers by e-mail or text messages. The potential for cost-savings by avoiding tyre-related breakdowns is huge.
Another small Oxfordshire-based firm with new laser-scanning tread depth measurement equipment to display at the CV Show is Sigmavision. It specialises in sophisticated inspection and measurement equipment used by tyre-makers and, five years ago, decided to move into the tyre service and fleet operation sector with the introduction of the TreadReader laser-based tread-depth scanner.
Now Sigmavision has developed this equipment into what it describes as “the world’s first three-dimensional tyre measurement handheld scanner.” This creates a detailed 3D scan of a tyre (from cars to the heaviest trucks) that can then be displayed on a tablet computer, smartphone or desktop computer using Sigmavision’s app. The accuracy of the scan is unaffected by mud or water on the tyre, it is claimed.
“By scanning the full width of the tyre and 50mm around the tyre, Treadreader devices far surpass the accuracy and reliability of traditional dip gauges and non-contact laser pointer measurement devices,” says Sigmavision Marketing Director, Sue Pryce.