Ensuring the integrity and traceability of critical fasteners to prevent wheel loss, whilst helping fleets to maximise workshop efficiency, are key objectives for Atlas Copco, which is showcasing its latest generation of battery nutrunners at the Commercial Vehicle Show.
Wheel detachment from a large goods vehicle (LGV) is an all too real issue. Weighing over 150 kgs with the potential to accelerate to around 150 km/h and reach a height of 50 metres with a kinetic force equivalent to over 10 tons, this scenario is subject to continuing research from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), which has previously found that up to 11,000 LGV wheel fastening defects are reported each year.
In addition to the potentially horrific consequences associated with a wheel loss, commercial vehicle operators are at risk of suspension of their Operators Licence, as well potential litigation and reputational damage. The safety and security of wheel fasteners are, therefore, dependent on a number of variables, including: the quality of the joint to the wheel hub; number of wheel nuts involved; tightening process of each wheel nut; and their servicing. TRL research suggests that wheel fixings provide adequate clamp load when all components are in good condition and properly tightened. However, it also found that there can be issues involving joint relaxation, torque to clamp ratio and component temperature, all of which can affect joint integrity.
In situations involving a wheel loss, the wheel fitter is often blamed but detachment can still occur even if the nut tightening has been conducted correctly and verified. Wheels are subject to both static and dynamic lateral forces, which leads to small and large-scale distortions of the wheel disc, that can ultimately compromise fastener integrity. Investigations by TRL have shown that wheel distortion is responsible for many wheel losses.
With a specific focus on helping to improve safety at all levels, Atlas Copco will be demonstrating its SRB HA battery nutrunner on its stand.
Powered by Lithium-Ion 36V technology with charging and battery health indicators, the SRB HA has a torque rating of up to 4000Nm and an internal torque transducer for maximum control and reliability. Clear user feedback comes from multi-functional LEDs, displaying OK/NOK status messages based on torque and angle readings.
Atlas Copco’s ergonomically designed SRB HA is the only product of its type on the market equipped with a dual trigger, which prevents the risk of finger pinch injury. Its low-reaction tensor motor technology also ensures that operators are not exposed to the risk of HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome).
With three models available, the entry level SRB HA Digital version has a ‘Set and Go’ function, so it’s ready for use straight out of the box. The Smart and Connected models feature an internal WIFI server, allowing the tools to be linked to any mobile device. This enables torque, angle and batch data collection without the need for additional software.
Matt Jenner, Business Line Manager – General Industry, Atlas Copco Tools and Industrial Assembly Solutions, said:
“By combining market-leading ergonomics, safety and performance, the SRB HA is the world’s most advanced and productive battery nutrunner and an ideal solution for commercial vehicle operators. Being able to control and measure torque in real-time with precise accuracy provides a fully traceable, ‘No Click’ approach to vehicle maintenance, which avoids the issue of over tightening from the use of manual click wrenches, that can lead to bolt stretching. This error-proofing functionality adds significant value to customers, as it not only improves safety but also saves time and money by ensuring ‘right first time’ tightening.
“Atlas Copco’s SRB HA range gives operators the reassurance of traceability and data-driven insight for their fleet maintenance and shifting critical fastening to electric tools also makes financial sense, when you consider that air-powered pneumatic tools cost significantly more to run than DC-powered tools. The newer generation of electric tools also delivers superior power, reliability and operator protection.”
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Established in the UK for 100 years, Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers through its innovative compressors, vacuum solutions, generators, pumps, power tools and assembly systems.
Atlas Copco’s Industrial Technique business area provides industrial power tools and systems, industrial assembly solutions, quality assurance products, software and service through a global network. The business area innovates for sustainable productivity for customers in the automotive and general industries, maintenance and vehicle service. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Sweden, Germany, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Japan and Hungary.