The Market For Air Conditioning Components Is Continuously Evolving

Andy Brooke, Key Accounts Manager for Workshop Equipment at Bosch, gives an insight into the importance of air conditioning system repair by looking at the range of servicing machines Bosch has on offer.

Many UK based fast-fit organisations use Bosch machines as a first choice because of their reliability and longevity. The measuring technology within the product is claimed to be high precision, helping reduce wastage, which is better for the environment, cost savings and efficiency, leading to return on investment over an extended period.

Bosch has sourced and won OE approvals for its R134a equipment for the last 15 years, which are now sold worldwide. These machines, which contain a number of patented technologies, meet the requirements of garages throughout the UK and Ireland, offering a fully automatic service without the need for manual intervention. This includes: refrigerant recovery, refrigerant recycling, used oil drain, vacuum and associated leak test, recharge of fresh oil (PAG/POE) with UV additives and refrigerant recharge.

Ensuring that air conditioning servicing of cars and light commercial vehicles remain environmentally friendly is an important aspect to the company’s approach. The high precision measuring technology and fully automatic processes available in the ACS511 and ACS611 R134a units are designed with this attitude in mind.

With the ACS511 and ACS611, workshops are able to meet the high requirements for air conditioning servicing of cars and light commercial vehicles. Suitable for both POE and POA, automatic service hoses, flushing functions enable AC service on any vehicle with R134a refrigerant, and the option to fit an external flushing kit. Yearly database updates contain new information, including hybrid and electric vehicles.

Both units offer a fully automatic service process using high-precision measuring technology. The ACS511 is fitted with a smaller 8kg tank for the workshops that carry out less than 10 services a day. Whereas, the ACS611 has a 20kg tank and a larger vacuum pump for those who service upwards of 10. The final offering, the ACS810, with its 35kg tank and extra liquid pump, is ideal for larger capacity systems such as bus passenger compartment systems.

Quality and reliability provide returnon investment over an extended period. The company claims the measuring capability of the machines is so exact that they will ensure cost-efficiency with nearly no  wastage. Reliability is crucial for any piece of equipment within a workshop as it reduces the chance of down-time, which in many cases can result in lost business or a longer wait for the customer.

A simple return on investment calculation tells us an air conditioning (AC) unit is one of the most cost effective ways to earn revenue. So, a reliable and long lasting machine is an effective way to earn revenue in a modern workshop. To avoid expensive repairs, vehicle air conditioning systems need to be routinely serviced.

However, servicing air conditioning systems must be performed with great care as any refrigerant leakage can be harmful to the environment. The machines from Bosch have been designed to make air conditioning servicing as safe and efficient as possible. Air conditioning systems have become standard equipment in most modern cars and trucks, with around 60% of small cars and over 90% of mid-range and premium cars fitted with air conditioning. These numbers are increasing every day. All of the Bosch ACS range has integrated vehicle databases that regularly receive updates of all new vehicle models. The database also provides refrigerant quantity and oil specification data for passenger car, light commercial vehicles and some heavy commercial vehicles.

After working with the vehicle manufacturers for many years supplying their approved R-1234yf machines, Bosch now offers the ACS561 and ACS661, which are R-1234yf units for the aftermarket. These are very similar in design and operation to our R-134a units, with the same ease of use and quick operation. The manufacturer is continuing its investment in technology for air conditioning servicing as it is a key component for future vehicle technologies. OEMs invest millions each year in the research and development of air conditioning components in vehicles.

It is likely that there will be a steady increase in demand for air conditioning components over the next few years, particularly due to the evolution into EV, HEV and PHEV vehicles. Many vehicle systems, such as batteries and motors, are intrinsically linked to the air conditioning system to heat and cool components. For example, battery heaters, through the air conditioning system, extend the range of a battery in cold weather and battery coolers do the same in warm weather. Therefore, the market for air conditioning components is continuously evolving and Bosch intends to serve the aftermarket with the correct servicing capabilities as the future unfolds.

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