Buying an alignment machine? Lets use some common sense and compare a value priced CCD alignment system to a much more expensive 3-D alignment system.
3D alignment measurement is not a NEW technology. It has existed since 1995. The CCD optical alignment measuring system (Atlas® 401) is not a NEW technology. It was first used in 1990. Both technologies have been improved but neither technology is NEW.
There appear to be no practical advantages to using the 3D type of alignment system over the CCD:
3-D technology does not align the car more accurately. Testing has proven that in most cases our Atlas® (401) CCD machines are more accurate. Our measuring sensors attach directly to the object we are measuring. (vehicle wheel). The 3D alignment system takes an image of a target mounted to the wheel and uses software to determine the wheel position.
The 3D alignment system does not align the vehicle faster than the CCD system. The Atlas® CCD systems can be set up and provide accurate vehicle measurements in under 5 minutes.
The 3D alignment system does not align a larger variety of vehicles. Our CCD systems will align all the vehicles that the 3D system will align plus many more. Many vehicles are too large for the 3D to align on the average size alignment lift rack. Our CCD systems will align large vehicles on a larger lift or on a (fairly) level floor or parking lot. We can align larger and more specialized vehicles than most 3-D alignment systems.
The 3D will not save the shop owner money on maintenance costs. Our system can use a non-proprietary replacement PC, monitor, printer, keyboard... if these components ever need to be replaced the owner can source them locally.
The 3-D alignment system does not have a larger vehicle data base... we have over 90,000 vehicles in our data base.
Simple Question: How do you generate the extra income needed offset the extra thousands of dollars you paid (or will pay) for a 3D alignment system?
1. Can you do more alignments per day, which would generate more income?
SO HOW DO YOU OFFSET THE THOUSANDS OF EXTRA DOLLARS SPENT TO OWN THE 3D SYSTEM?
Simple, you must work harder and longer (do more alignments) in order to offset the initial purchase cost of the system. Sounds like a government project...doesnt it?
Remember this important fact:
A wheel alignment is just a wheel alignment. Your goal is to make sure the wheels are pointed straight ahead in the horizontal plane and standing straight in the vertical plane. No matter what technology is used, a wheel alignment system simply locates the wheel position in two planes and then guides the technician to make any needed adjustments in those two planes. It is very simple.