PCL’s Tyre Inflation Solutions Presented at NTDA Tyre Industry Conference
The NTDA Tyre Industry Conference was a success in 2017, and Simon Shorter, Sales Director (OE & End User Sales) for pneumatics and tyre inflation manufacturer PCL was on hand to present visitors with a compelling argument for accurate tyre pressure. Since it is the tyre’s air that carries the majority of the load, it is crucial that tyres are inflated correctly, where PCL’s technology ‘comes into its own’.
At the event the key areas under discussion were safety, fuel consumption, tyre performance, logistics and revenue generation. In Simon Shorter’s presentation to delegates from the tyre manufacturing, wholesale, retail and associated sectors, Simon explained: “The ‘contact patch’ of an inflated tyre is critical to maximise vehicle stability, and ultimately road safety. Tyre inflation affects braking performance, tyre wear and fuel efficiencies - all well documented by vehicle and tyre manufacturers.”
Shorter also highlighted that for retailers, first and foremost there is a duty to ensure that tyres are inflated accurately, and being able to offer this service provides opportunities, before moving onto sharing some other key statistics. For example, around 3% more fuel on average is used if tyres are 6psi below recommended levels, and Tyresafe estimates this alone costs consumer £600 million every year. Additionally, for every 10% a tyre is under-inflated there is 10% higher rubber wear, meaning reduced tyre life. Finally, with 2.4% of the roads carrying 33% of all traffic and 67% of all freight the risk of a tyre incident has never been costlier. At 80% capacity a two-hour motorway shutdown costs UK plc £731,920 (according to estimates by the Highways Agency), and penalties with missed deadlines for operators.
Despite the importance of accurate tyre inflation, Simon said: “In the UK there is no approval system for tyre inflation products, or a process for inspections to ensure equipment is accurate - in contrast to much of Europe. Alongside safety, market developments driving change in tyre inflation delivery offering new revenue opportunities for retailers include: a 58% reduction in forecourts since 1990; the change in fuel technologies altering tyre requirements and the locations for refuelling and tyre inflation; while the impending arrival of the self-drive car will potentially open up more car and tyre services.
Simon also emphasised the importance of the key equipment for true professionals to deliver 21st Century service expectations. He said: “PCL are continually developing products and services to meet the future needs of the market place, utilising new electronics, sensors, communications and next generation tyre inflation for maximum safety, service and revenue opportunities.”
There are several examples of these products, which include fixed inflator developments with new QUBE safety protocol, and increasing connectivity for remote control from Smart device and information reporting.
Moreover, PCL has been developing new handheld inflators for increased reliability, accuracy and speed to provide better service – AirForce and ACCURA MK4s, as well as air and fluid towers designed to drive revenue with air, nitrogen, screenwash or Ad Blue for car/tyre locations with options for cashless, cloud reporting, bespoke livery, built-in compressors.