WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. (Sept. 19, 2001) — Ingersoll-Rand Co. is launching an automated lug nut fastening system that it claims will reduce the chances of over- or under-torquing lug nuts, thereby potentially increasing safety for consumers and cutting dealership's expenses.
The “IntelliTorque” integrated lug nut fastening system is being launched by Ingersoll-Rand, a diversified industrial firm with activities in automotive service tools, through its Tool and Hoist business unit.
The company said IntelliTorque will enable tire retailers to input the make, model and year of the vehicle, and the number of wheels needing service. The fastening tool is then automatically programmed with the correct lug nut torque according to the original equipment manufacturer's specifications—including the number of lug nuts to be fastened.
Because the system alerts the tire technician when each lug nut is properly tightened, Ingersoll-Rand said, it also minimizes the potential for overlooking lug nuts on a wheel, as well as reducing the possibility of improperly tightening lug nuts. As a result, there is less risk of technician error, which helps to ensure that tires are properly fastened to the vehicle.
Automobile wheels fastened too tightly can break wheel studs and damage brakes, according to the company, while wheels fastened too loosely can become separated from the vehicle. Unequal tightening can result in wheel vibration.
The new system controls, verifies and archives lug nut torque data and automatically generates customer receipts and documentation, Ingersoll-Rand said. By reducing the chance of technician error, the unit may help eliminate additional expenses from unnecessary rework and help prevent potentially dangerous situations caused by improperly tightened lug nuts.
Ingersoll-Rand has been testing IntelliTorque at several major tire retailers across the U.S. since early this year to gain workshop experience.
Among the retailers is Penske Auto Centers L.L.C., which will start rolling out a pilot program at selected stores in Ohio and West Virginia, according to Jim Wheat, president and CEO.
IntelliTorque is part of a comprehensive tire services strategy within Ingersoll-Rand's Industrial Productivity sector, which encompasses other products designed specifically for complete tire-lane solutions.
“With IntelliTorque as the platform, we envision significant growth opportunities by continuing to develop innovative solutions for the tire services aftermarket,” said Joseph Jones, president and general manager of the Tool and Hoist unit.
Other Ingersoll-Rand products in this strategy include the Zimmerman suspension system, which suspends tools with a “zero-gravity” cable balancer, enabling tools to float in the same position when released by the technician.
The vehicle services solution includes air compressors and compressed-air plumbing, ARO lubrication systems and diaphragm pumps, other I-R power tools such as ratchets, impact wrenches and sanders and onsite maintenance of I-R products and accessories.