In the tire and wheel assembly business, radical innovations are few and far between. So when 3M stepped up to the plate and developed a wheel weight technology that allows precision balancing, the industry took notice. The 3M™ Wheel Weight System makes wheel balancing easier, faster and more precise than ever while reducing inventory and freeing up floor space. In addition, the lead-free material has less impact on the environment than industry-standard lead weights.
Esys learned of this new product in 2008 and quickly jumped on board with 3M to develop a production worthy Weight Dispense and Cut System (DCS) using level wound rolls of 3M Wheel Weights. The Esys DCS was developed around the premise that it must be production worthy with as few moving parts as possible and virtually maintenance free. This project was a collaborative effort in which Esys equipment engineers worked closely with our customers and 3M engineers to create an easy-to-use and highly dependable machine. The ultimate test came once the machine was complete and 3M purchased one for its production facility in Minnesota. 3M production staff and engineers wasted no time putting the equipment to work and have since produced over 3,000,000 pieces! This enormous volume of production created a unique opportunity to learn how the equipment would perform in the real world. Many lessons were learned from this and have since been incorporated into our Gen2 DCS equipment. To the end user, this means a durable piece of equipment that eliminates the risk associated with deploying a new technology.
Over the course of the past two years, Esys and 3M have teamed up to conduct multiple online trials of this technology in actual production environments. These trials were conducted for several of the largest OEMs. The results of each test showed the ability of this technology to streamline the balancing process by reducing static residual imbalance by (up to 23.9%) and couple residual imbalance by (up to 31%). To the vehicle buyer, this improved balancing technique will result in a smoother ride, better gas mileage and more even, reduced tire wear. To the assembly plant, this will result in fewer balancer rejects and less rework, fewer parts to keep track of and a more efficient assembly process.