Pilkington Working on Calibration Tool for AGR Industry

Jon Sheets of Pilkington North America spoke about a new solution the company is offering to a captive audience.

Jon Sheets of Pilkington North America spoke to a captive audience about a new calibration solution currently in development.

Pilkington North America’s automotive glass replacement team is working on one solution intended to solve the calibration issue so many AGRR companies face. This news came from Jon Sheets, national accounts sales and marketing manager, during his presentation on Thursday.

“With calibration, the dealers do have a leg up,” he said. “They are the only shops that do have a solution. … Advanced Drivers Assistance Systems (ADAS) are not considered safety systems yet … but I think they will be over time. They are considered active safety. Airbags and seat belts are considered passive safety [by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration].”

Pilkington’s team expects the integration of collision avoidance mitigation, lane-departure warning systems and lane-assist systems to increase over time.

The company has been analyzing ADAS to provide:

  1. Education;
  2. Practical training to automotive glass replacement industry … whether a database that offers information of calibration steps involved for the industry or more; and
  3. A solution for the aftermarket automotive glass industry.
Jon Sheets

Sheets spoke about Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and a tool Pilkington is working toward to help techs re-calibrate these.

“We are working on one solution that would cover a bunch of different makes and models,” he told a large crowd of attendees. “We’ve been looking into this but right now we don’t have a solution. We need to have one.”

There are two types of calibration methods, which vary by OEM. These are static and dynamic calibration, explained Sheets. The difference is that static is generally more complicated while dynamic is not. A technician can drive a vehicle within recommended parameters and the ADAS system will calibrate with a dynamic calibration. Both types require a diagnostic tool to access the system.

“Dynamic is much simpler,” Sheets said. “You just have to drive the car. For the most part all you need is a diagnostic tool. A lot have calibration built directly into vehicle software. They will tell you what to do.”

This can be done on a mobile basis, he pointed out.

Static calibration, on the other hand, is a different story. A technician needs an auxiliary power supply for the diagnostic tool because the OEM may require the vehicle be turned off. Also, a reflection board or target is needed to aim the camera at. A laser alignment tool is also likely needed, said Sheets. Oftentimes, this type of calibration must be done on level ground. All this makes it very difficult to do this in the field.

“You could be off by half an angle because you didn’t use a laser alignment system,” he said.

Ford F-150s, some Land Rovers and others have adaptive air suspension, which may also prove problematic when calibrating. This system will balance a car out if there is a lot of weight in one side, said Sheets.

“A lot of these things are all tied together and you have to calibrate it all,” he explained.

An attendee asked Sheets what type of diagnostic tool he can invest in that would cover these systems. Currently, each OEM has a different tool, he responded. There isn’t one tool that works for many models.

“We’re trying to compile all this information,” said Sheets. “We are working on finding out which models are static … which are dynamic. This is information we can provide to the industry.

“We are making sure one tool can actually work for all these different makes and models … there are so many tools for each one right now. Right now there isn’t one in the AGR tool,” he said.

Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com for more coverage from Auto Glass Week™ 2015.

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