Busy day in NOVA Auto!…Well, actually almost any day is busy in Auto, but today was particularly so. Why’s that? We had a visit from some students from another school! We have an “entente” with the Riverside School Board to offer an Automotive Mechanics DEP on their territory, so we invited them for a visit to the mothership…
It was great! The reason for their visit was actually kind of cool. They were here to learn about wheel alignment, firsthand and not from a book, and then actually work with a state of the art alignment machine.
Our John Bean Visualiner uses wireless “targets” in place of the old style alignment heads, this has been industry standard for several years now. What’s new is how they attach to the wheel and the processing that goes on behind the scenes. It’s one of those things where it’s so complex it’s simple, like a smart phone or tablet. The targets now clamp on to the tires in place of the wheels, eliminating any chance of damage and allowing for much quicker set up and installation. Once the vehicle is on the alignment rack, we can have precise and accurate readings in less than three minutes. Adjusting the vehicle to specifications could take considerably longer however 🙂
The students had a chance to practice on a fairly recent car, with alignment angles adjustable on each corner. What was interesting with this car were the procedures needed after the alignment. Late model vehicles often have special requirements due to the many different safety and steering systems involved, and this was one of those! 🙂 So the students also had a chance to perform the various computer relearns and resets needed with a modern alignment. We’ve come a long way from using a string and plumb‑bob.
Due to wheel alignment not “technically” being part of the 5798 Automotive Mechanics DEP, many schools have decided not to update their machines, or even have one for that matter. In order to offer our students the most complete education and ensure that they are competitive in the workforce, we try to keep as up to date as possible. Being the Centre of Expertise for Automotive Mechanics in the English sector, and thanks to our industry partners, such as John Bean, NOVA is fortunate to house some of the best equipment to be found in any automotive shop. As such, when we can, we feel that it is our responsibility to share our knowledge and equipment with others.