With a diverse range of models, many variations of track widths and wheels, and an increasing number of driver-assistance systems, commercial vehicle (CV) production requires flexibility for measuring and adjusting chassis geometry at the end of the line. Identifying a market opportunity, the engineers at Dürr Assembly Products GmbH have developed the X-3Dsurface non-contact sensor for the X-wheel Truck D wheel alignment stand for commercial vehicles.
Some commercial vehicles have a multi-axle structure, which can present challenges for line-based measurement technology, which the non-contact sensor x-3Dsurface is intended to address. Key features of the technology are that it can be integrated into existing systems; its precise surface-based measurement; and that it is ready to perform measurements immediately, providing a cycle time benefit, especially for multi-axle vehicles.
Two cameras, three dimensions
The two cameras in the non-contact system capture the entire wheel and display it as what Dürr calls a three-dimensional “measuring surface in space”, which helps to calculate chassis geometry values such as toe-in and camber. The sensor x-3Dsurface also enables non-contact caster and kingpin inclination measurement without having to mount measuring plates on the wheel. Precise adjustment of the chassis geometry ensures that the steering wheel remains straight while the vehicle is driving straight ahead, and tyre wear is optimised, helping increase range for commercial vehicles, whether ICE or electric powered.
Success reported in tests
The company reports that joint tests with commercial vehicle manufacturers at the Dürr Assembly Products factory in Püttlingen, Germany, verified the function, reliability, precision and reproducibility of the sensor on various vehicles, with accuracy shown on the calibration gauge. Based on the test results, says Dürr, many European commercial vehicle manufacturers have decided to equip all their new test stands with the technology and retrofit the new sensor to existing machines.
The company says that commercial vehicle manufacturers in the USA, China and Brazil have also equipped their new wheel alignment stands with x-3Dsurface.