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News: Bosch, ALLDATA Plan New Shop Productivity, Efficiency Solutions

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Las Vegas — Robert Bosch LLC and ALLDATA announced at AAPEX that the two companies are planning new software solutions in the area of ECU diagnostics and repair/service information that will provide automotive service shops in the U.S. and Canada with a solution to increase shop efficiency and productivity. Availability is planned for 2009.

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The increase of electronic components in modern cars and trucks, new safety features like ESP and ABS, and new generation high pressure diesel pumps providing increased fuel efficiency in modern trucks will change the work that technicians and shops will have to address. Moving from largely mechanical work to electronically supported work is changing the playing field for today’s technician. Precise ECU diagnosis and the professional handling of the many electronic components in modern vehicles are absolute musts. Today, adjustment work in all areas requires a precision that was unimaginable only a couple of years ago.

On the tool and software side, today’s shops need multiple tools and additional software programs for repair and service information to solve these issues. This new software solution from Bosch and ALLDATA will equip repair shops with a new tool to help them become more competitive in the marketplace by having quick and easy access to accurate repair information that is critical for the efficiency and productivity of their daily operations.

Automotive Lift Institute Elects Officers and Directors
Cortland, NY — The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) has re-elected Jerry Lentz of Challenger Lifts Inc. (Louisville, KY) to a third term as chairman of the board of directors. The board was announced during the association’s annual membership meeting held recently in Las Vegas in conjunction with the AAPEX/SEMA shows.

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Other board members elected include: Rick Wells of Mohawk Resources Ltd. (Amsterdam, NY); Pete Liebetreu of Hunter Engineering Co. (Bridgeton, MO); Doug Grunnet of Stertil-ALM (Streator, IL); Jeff Kritzer of BendPak Inc. (Santa Paula, CA); and Gary DiAngelo of Wheeltronic Ltd. (Mississauga, Ont.).

Gary Kennon of Rotary Lift Consolidated (Madison, IN) continues to serve in the role as past chairman and R.W. (Bob) O’Gorman (ALI president) remains as ALI secretary/treasurer.

Midtronics to Supply Essential Programming Tool for GM Hybrids
Willowbrook, IL — Midtronics recently announced an agreement with General Motors Inc. to supply a new essential tool for 2-Mode Hybrid vehicle programming support.

SPS Programming Support Tool EL-49642, based on the Midtronics PSC-550S Power Supply Charger, is shipping as an essential tool to all General Motors dealers during the fourth quarter of 2008.

GM Service Operations determined that any fluctuation, spiking or loss of voltage will interrupt Service Programming System (SPS) programming events, resulting in controller lock up. Advanced technology vehicles such as the 2-mode Hybrid from GM, require a sequential SPS event where multiple modules are programmed in simultaneously.

The EL-49642 SPS Programming Support Tool provides precise voltage control and clean power, eliminating potential fluctuations and spiking, or a loss of voltage, which could interrupt programming and cause a controller to lock up. The main function of this new tool is to act as a clean power supply during programming to avoid module failures. Even a fully charged vehicle battery can’t supply the necessary power for a successful SPS event and a reliable external power supply is required. GM has also stressed the importance of maintaining proper battery voltage during all SPS reprogramming events.

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TV Personality To Promote Safety — With Style
Reno, NV — Microflex Corporation has announced a partnership with hot rod designer and TV personality Rich Evans, owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks. The new partnership will promote the use of the Microflex line of gloves as not only necessary for workers’ safety, but with the MidKnight glove in particular, as a high-style accessory in the automotive industry.

Wearing gloves is becoming more prevalent in the industry, with high-profile automotive designers like Evans helping to show the benefits of hand protection. Nitrile gloves offer protection against many chemicals used in automotive painting. According to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency, “nitrile gloves provide a better barrier to paints and organic solvents — the chemicals that are some of the toughest on gloves. Because they protect well and are durable, nitrile gloves offer good value for your safety dollar.”

“It’s great to have a protective glove that is strong and comfortable all in one,” stated Evans. “It makes my job much easier and at the end of the day I don’t have to worry about paint and junk on my hands and fingers.”

TeachMeFluke.com Offers Courses, Resource Materials
Everett, WA — Fluke Corporation has unveiled a technology training website, www.TeachMeFluke.com, that offers a rich resource of information and training opportunities for industry professionals.

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The Fluke offerings include training in calibration and metrology, electrical measurement safety, power quality and thermal imaging, as well as free classroom materials for qualified instructors and company trainers. Online seminars, hands-on (classroom-based) training seminars, application notes, videos, virtual demonstrations, online tools and links to extensive additional resources are all available through the TeachMeFluke.com site.

Zero-Landfill Option for Disposal of Used Industrial Wipers
Roswell, GA — Kimberly-Clark Professional has launched a partnership with Safety-Kleen to provide its customers with safe disposal options for used WypAll wipers, including a zero-landfill, waste-to-energy option.

As part of this program, customers can have their used wipers delivered to a waste-to-energy facility for energy recovery through incineration, thereby diverting the wiper waste from a landfill.

“Our customers are becoming more environmentally conscious and have expressed interest in a service that would pick up and properly dispose of used WypAll wipers,” said Larry Nedrow, director of the wiper business for Kimberly-Clark Professional. “With Safety-Kleen, we now have a solution — a zero-landfill option where waste is converted to energy via a company with more than 40 years of experience solving waste and disposal issues for business.”

The Safety-Kleen disposal service provides Kimberly-Clark Professional customers with either a 30- or 55-gallon drum for the accumulation, storage and transportation of used WypAll wipers. The wipers are picked up by request or via a prearranged service schedule. Safety-Kleen handles all required shipping forms and manifests and then transports the used wipers for proper disposal in accordance with all federal, state and local regulations.

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For more information, visit www.kcprofessional.com.

NASTF Releases SDRM Tutorial
Leesburg, VA — The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) recently announced a new tutorial for the Secure Data Release Module (SDRM), which provides online directions for service repair facilities and locksmiths wishing to become registered and thus be eligible to receive vehicle security information through the SDRM system. The tutorial provides information on the background of SDRM, how to access the application forms and sign up for the registry. It also explains how to use the registry effectively and access vehicle security information, once registered.

The SDRM is designed to provide access to key codes and other vehicle security information for automotive service professionals and locksmiths on a 24-hour/seven-days-a-week basis nationwide for most manufacturers.

“The new tutorial will enhance the ease of use of the SDRM and answer many questions from potential applicants and the industry at large,” said Charlie Gorman, NASTF chairman. The tutorial is available on the NASTF website at www.nastf.org. The full list of OEM carmakers participating in the SDRM is also available on the NASTF website.

SPX Forges Expanded Partnership with Identifix
Owatonna, MN — SPX Service Solutions and Identifix recently announced a partnership whereby Identifix will leverage its established Direct-Hit information service, its existing intellectual property portfolio and its relationship with SPX Service Solutions to develop a high-value, Web-based, information resource featuring online and hotline diagnostic and repair information for Pegisys users. OTC Direct-Hit Technician — Powered by Identifix — serves to extend the new Pegisys scan tools’ diagnostic capabilities by offering technicians “At The Fender” access to Identifix’s extensive experience-based diagnostic information data that enables technicians to diagnose and repair vehicles more efficiently.

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“OTC Direct-Hit Technician can be accessed directly from the new Pegisys tool via a hot link highlighted on the tool’s touch screen,” said Ed Lipscomb, OTC senior product manager of diagnostic systems. “Automotive technicians seeking assistance in diagnosing vehicle repair problems can now seamlessly access OTC Direct-Hit Technician directly from the tool.”

Direct-Hit delivers more than 100,000 confirmed fixes and adds approximately 6,000 new symptoms, associated short-cut tests and fixes to the database each month. Combined with Direct-Hit’s robust and current database and Identifix’s comprehensive on-site library of factory vehicle service information, Identifix plays an integral role in helping technicians increase service bay productivity.

“Direct-Hit Technician enables technicians to find fixes faster by offering valuable automotive information databases captured from more than 3.5 million repair hotline calls and authored by Identifix’s 45 ASE-certified master technicians,” said Jeff Sweet, president of Identifix.

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