ContiTech has expanded its workshop portfolio. The company is now unveiling its own air spring press for fitting replacement air springs in commercial vehicles.
“This helps workshop staff fold the air spring bellows in itself, thereby simplifying the fitting operation on a truck or bus,” says Bastian Dobrick, sales manager for the air springs aftermarket at ContiTech Air Spring Systems.
Up till now, folding the air spring bellows in on itself has been a complicated process requiring both force and experience. To make the air spring bellows the necessary fitting height, workshop staff apply pressure to it manually. That’s no easy task as the bellows often buckles unevenly. At the same time, a great deal of force is needed to fold it in on itself to reach the desired height.
Workshops therefore sometimes also make use of home-made tools to achieve the relevant size in the air spring. “However, these home-made tools are not standardized and sometimes do not conform to the current safety regulations,” declares Dobrick.
ContiTech has now developed an air spring press of its own to ensure greater reliability and safety for workshops when fitting air springs. It is designed to work with ContiTech, Phoenix and Prime-Ride brands and speeds up the fitting process. Before operating the press, the user selects the appropriate seal plates that are fitted in the press at the top and bottom. The air spring is located on the lower seal plate. The press is positioned on the air spring with the aid of a hydraulic pump. The user then has to connect the compressed air to the press and close the guard before the actual process starts. The hydraulic pump is then operated to ensure that the air spring is folded in on itself uniformly.
The air spring press also presses the air spring onto a piston. In some cases, the original piston is therefore re-used and fitted to the vehicle together with the air spring. The piston is located on a mandrel in the press for this purpose. The air spring folds over the piston during this process, resulting in a firm connection.
“Our press has been optimized to work for both processes, meaning that damage to the bellows surface is reliably prevented,” says Dobrick. “The new service tool therefore contributes to our air springs achieving a long service life in the vehicle.”