LAS VEGASHunter Engineering Co. has developed what it's calling a fully automated tire changing process engineered into its Revolution tire changer model, which promises users time and cost savings.
Launched at the recent SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Revolution operates automatically for all tire and wheel combinations, Hunter said, saving time in handling tire/wheel assemblies from 12- to 30-inch rim diameters with maximum tire diameter of 50 inches and maxmimum wheel width of 15 inches.
The automated process eliminates the need for a skilled operator, the company added, essentially turning all technicians into experts. On average, changing a tire with the Revolution saves about 20 seconds vs. the time a skilled operator takes on a conventional changer, Hunter said.
The time difference is magnified when low-profiles and/or run-flats are considered.
The Revolution's automated process incorporates three patented and 12 patent-pending innovations, Hunter said, starting with an intuitive touchscreen interface that leads the operator through the tire-changing process step by step and stores 15 helpful videos.
The automated process offers time and cost savings along with ergonomic and workplace safety features. It places the operator away from the machine's working mechanism, increasing technician safety and eliminating pinch points, Hunter said.
The changer's ergonomic features start with the wheel hub, which doubles as a hydraulic tire/wheel assembly lift that pivots from vertical to horizontal to raise the assembly from the floor to the horizontal position. The operator never has to lift the assembly; he or she does, though, still remove the demounted tire and position the new tire manually, the company said.
The operator's input is limited to entering the tire's rim diameter and matching the TPMS sensor location to the bead demounting roller by rotating the tire/wheel assembly. The machine takes over at this point; the operator monitors the process and controls its progress by keeping a dead-man's foot pedal depressed.
The Revolution also increases tire and wheel safety as all rim contact or near rim contact components are plastic. The Revolution constantly monitors tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensor location and will not allow the tire to be mounted or demounted in an unsafe position.
The leverless tool head demounting hook automatically deploys to catch and lift the bead and the mount head is designed to work with clad, raised spoke and other distinct wheel designs.
The Revolution features powered press arms for use when necessary for maximum control. Powered press arms adjust automatically when the diameter is set and power clockwise to prevent tire slippage. Damage-free bead-loosening rollers loosen even the most stuck-on soft sidewall tires.
Most tire changes can be accomplished in just over two minutes, Hunter claims.
The Revolution is the first electric tire changer listed to UL201 Garage Equipment Standard, meeting national electrical code requirements for electrically powered shop equipment. This is a critical element to meeting state codes in a number of states, a Hunter representative said at the SEMA Show.
Hunter builds the Revolution at its plant in Union, Miss.