PNEUSCAN suitable for Retread Sector

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VENTECH Systems considers the worldwide retreading market to be very interesting. Retreaders who already have their own truck workshops or tyre dealers could particularly benefit from PNEUSCAN.

VENTECH Systems GmbH, the Germany based manufacturer of the PNEUSCAN tyre monitoring system, sees the global retreading market as a very interesting one for its equipment. During a visit to the company’s headquarters in Dorsten, Chief Operating Officer Andreas Pietsch explained the thinking behind this evaluation; “We believe that PNEUSCAN could provide a key benefit for retreaders looking for to provide extra value-added services to their fleet customers, especially those operating truck service outlets of their own, or retreaders servicing large truck or bus fleets.”

VENTECH Systems has become the world market leader in the area of stationary tyre inspection systems, and its product, PNEUSCAN, first launched in 2008, has developed into a multi-awarded high-tech solution - developed, produced and installed locally and internationally with premium quality components manufactured with German expertise. The system, designed to measure truck and bus tyre pressures and thereby increase safety and reduce fuel consumption, won the Innovation Award at the 2008 “REIFEN” show in Essen and resulted in the German Tyre Dealers and Retreaders Association BRV commenting that; “The jury considers the PNEUSCAN ATM system to be groundbreaking for the future of the tyre industry."

Nowadays, the system has much more to offer than just the tyre pressure measurement when it was first launched. PNEUSCAN has redefined process-optimised tyre inspection technology when it comes to safety and economic efficiency. It offers the unique, multi-awarded solution of a stationary, tyre inspection system that consists of five modules, namely: tyre pressure, tread depth, axle load check, vehicle identification, and data management. The data management system allows further analysis and ensures efficient tyre management.

Key benefits of the system include fuel saving due to improved rolling resistance of properly inflated tyres, the timely capture of punctures and the efficient management of tyre wear, allowing proactive maintenance and long-term tyre replacement planning. Furthermore, tyre safety problems are identified more rapidly and in advance. The fact that the driver and fleet manager can see both tyre pressures and weights at the time the vehicle is driven over the plate can also be helpful in helping assure the optimum distribution of load across the axles.

The PNEUSCAN measurement system is backed up by PNEUSCAN DAT, which is a web-based data management tool, which can be used for the diagnosis of service requirements, statistical analysis, and the acquisition and management of vehicle specific data. It can be used to show how tyre pressures and tread depths of a specific vehicle have developed over a period of time, which vehicles show repeatedly critical measurement results, and can also be used to set up warning limits set to the fleets own requirements. The system can also be used as a stock management tool in that it can help forecast how many tyres will be needed to be ordered over a given length of time. PNEUSCAN DAT can also be used to manage multiple fleets in one system, a clear benefit for retreaders looking to service and provide data to a number of fleet customers.

PNEUSCAN DAT has recently been enhanced with two new functions designed to improve tyre management. PNEUSCAN’s alert function detects critical tyre conditions or even tyre damage. In this case the system will immediately send a message to the responsible individual by e-mail. With the advent of reception on mobile devices, it provides data regardless of time and location. This push function, in particular, makes fleet tyre information immediately transparent and enables faster response times, as well as helping minimise potential hazards, tyre wear and costs.
In addition to the alert function, a comprehensive eReporting mode is also made available to fleet and tyre managers and managing directors. With this feature, eReports recorded in defined time periods can now not only be called up within PNEUSCAN DAT, but are now also available on a mobile basis via e-mail and in freely configurable time intervals (e. g. monthly, weekly or daily).

PNEUSCAN has been used successfully by truck and bus fleets around the world. An example of a major truck fleet to gain benefits using the VENTECH system is PepsiCo, whose main UK site in Leicester installed the equipment at the start of 2015 and achieved a 70% reduction in breakdowns in the months following installation.

In order to achieve such a significant reduction in blowouts PepsiCo used PNEUSCAN to track the degree of accuracy of tyre inflation within their fleet. They started measuring with a relatively wide tolerance of +/- 15 PSI, but narrowed the tolerance after four months to +/- 7 PSI when the impact of the introduction of PNEUSCAN began to become clear.

Said the company: “In February 2015 only 34% of tyres in our fleet were within the 15 PSI tolerance level. However, by August, the PNEUSCAN system had allowed us to achieve as many as 53% within the narrower 7 PSI tolerance and a huge 80% within the wider acceptable parameters, so there was a significant improvement in the accuracy in tread pressures across the whole of the fleet. Because tyre pressures can drop over a period of time, the regularity of checks has had a major impact on making sure our pressures are optimised at all times.”

Another example of a successful installation of the system was at Rosario Bus SA, which operates a fleet of 1,500 urban buses in the Argentinian cities of Rosario, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires.

According to Area Manager-Systems Fernando Feldmann, prior to the installation of the PNEUSCAN INGROUND system, nearly 30% of the fleet’s tyres were outside the expected pressure range, whilst in the region of 5% of tyres were operating with critical levels of wear on the tread. A key aim of the installation of the system was to significantly improve these figures in order to improve safety and reliability, reduce fuel consumption, prevent breakdowns due to poor tyre conditions, optimise labour efficiency, and extend tyre life.

Says Feldmann; “In November 2016, shortly after start-up, critical pressures were as high as 28.99% of the fleet, but this had reduced to 18.41% by March and now is running at only 4.59%, which is a massive difference.”

According to Feldmann, similar results have been achieved in the area of tread depth management, thanks to the PNEUSCAN PRO module which calculates the tyre´s tread depth by applying a laser plane intersection procedure. This method not only provides tread depth information but also information on possible axial misalignment. Meanwhile, the electronic documentation of the tread depth values can be useful for tyre management purposes. For example, based on the tread depth history of the tyres, the stockpiling and demand of different tyre models can be planned.

Says Feldmann; “In November 2016 as many as 5.06% of the fleet’s tyres were running on tyres with critical tread depth, but the implementation of the PNEUSCAN system had an immediate impact. The difference in the figures was noticeable from Month 1, and by July 2017, we had reduced this figure to 0.86%.”

It is now over a year since the PNEUSCAN INGROUND system was installed, but now Feldmann is looking at the long-term benefits of the system.

“In the first year of operation, the equipment has remained operational with little maintenance demand, and as a result we have able to reduce the direct cost of labour dedicated to the maintenance of tyres by as much as 70%, whilst continuing to guarantee a reliable tracking of the fleet. In the medium term, we hope to improve the mileage of our tyres by as much as 15-20%, as a result of maintaining the inflation pressure within an optimum range of operation. The time necessary to obtain the greatest benefit is estimated to be between 2 and 3 years.

“Return on investment is also impressive,” he adds. “Even if we were only to achieve a 5% improvement in the mileage of the tyres, the savings achieved, including those in maintenance personnel, mean we fully expect a recovery of our investment within two years.”

As far as the retread market is concerned, PNEUSCAN could serve as a valuable tool for retreaders looking to add fleet management services to their services offerings. The system, which is available in either “inground” or “onground” options, would be especially suitable for retreaders who have a number of local fleet customers, including small or medium-sized fleets, who are able to measure their pressures and tread depths at the retreader’s facilities on a regular basis. Retreaders who already have their own truck servicing facilities or tyre retail outlets could benefit particularly from this equipment. At the other end of the scale, larger retreaders who are managing large fleets on an in-house basis could also benefit from locating such equipment at customers’ premises.

Source: Retreading Business, Issue No. 5, 2018/2