A Brief Company History:
Workshop Solutions was founded by Richard Gartner and commenced trading in 1990.
Richard, a trained toolmaker from Switzerland, was at the time involved in motor racing. There he realised the importance of correctly adjusted and maintained brakes on motor cars, both on the race track as well as on public roads. He also realised the only way of testing the correct Left to Right and Front to Rear brake force distribution, simulated as 'on road conditions', is on a plate brake test machine. These would actually simulate and measure the precise brake force distributions on each wheel under heavy braking like an emergency situation. Ultimately being able to measure and adjust a vehicles' brake force distribution will lead to a faster car on the track and a safer car on the road. This is a vital safety aspect other test methods miss.
Workshop Solutions in Australia then became the distributor for the leading German Plate Brake Test Manufacturer, HEKA. This system was sold to workshops for several years, however, after the Roads and Traffic Authority changed brake testing regulations for Pink and Blue slip operators in NSW, these machines, just like the other overseas manufacturers, could not meet these new regulations set by the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), and therefore could no longer be used by the industry.
Richard then worked closely with the RTA to develop a new plate brake testing system meeting the exact requirements for pass and fail criteria for their new regulations. The new test track was designed by Richard and Workshop Solutions, concentrating on several key issues which were a problem with the previous model. Development especially concentrated on a more durable test track, with the criteria being able to test up to 4.5t vehicles and being able to install the machine in the driveway of a workshop business, therefore making the concept of PlateTronic and Safe-T-Stop possible. The software and load cell devices were developed by HKM, a leading manufacturer in Germany supplying 80% of the brake test manufacturers market in Europe. Their research and development program is on the cutting edge of technology. Workshop Solutions concentrated on building a more robust, safer and easier to use system for the rugged Australian conditions.
In 1997, the first prototype, the BAT, was introduced at Taxis Combined, a workshop where up to 300 vehicles per day drive over the system. This system is still in use today (2009). The PlateTronic was introduced to the Australian market in January 2000 at Sydney City Toyota, a large dealership owned by Toyota. 80 cars per day are tested on the PlateTronic and this machine still works faultlessly today (2009). These two examples alone are a great testament to the durability and reliability of the new system.
PlateTronic has now moved to a PC based system with a world-first inclusion of photo verification of the tested vehicle. The test results are presented with easy to understand colour graphics enabling the customer to appreciate the accuracy and validity of the test.
With an improved and expanded product range and experiencing continuous growth, Workshop Solutions has moved their operations including head office and manufacturing to a larger facility located in Minchinbury. Workshop Solutions is the Number 1 plate brake test manufacturer in Australia. Other products produced by Workshop Solutions are: side slip testers, shock absorber testers, and weighbridges. These are built and designed for light vehicles through to heavy, multi axle vehicles.
The accuracy and ease of use of the PlateTronic range of test equipment , combined with the Safe-T-Stop Business Plan, has increased profits for a large number of motor vehicle dealerships, mechanical repair shops, tyre and brake specialists, Repco Authorised Repair Centres and many other franchises. Platetronic test tracks are also used in TAFE Colleges and by Government Departments. The PlateTronic range, with non-slip stainless steel grip plates, is world-class, absolute state of the art. Workshop Solutions has now begun exporting to various regions around the world.
Over 1,000 of these systems have been installed around Australia in many different situations. Each business is assessed by the team for the best position for an installation. This decision is based largely on the daily routines of the business and is agreed upon by managers, technicians and the PlateTronic team.
The Platetronic test tracks are destined to be the "must have" item in workshop equipment both for customer satisfaction and safety reasons as well as the all important extra profits created by the Safe-T-Stop business plan. Contact Workshop Solutions for further information! The test tracks are suitable for any size workshop in any sector of the automotive industry.
The components and their functions:
The brake force of each individual wheel is measured in N. Seized callipers, leaking wheel cylinders, leaking axle seals, collapsed or blocked brake hoses, faulty or wrongly adjusted proportioning valves and master cylinder problems are detected immediately. These cause dangerous side to side and front to rear brake imbalances that will, in an emergency brake application, cause a vehicle to spin out of control. The computer generated proof of these imbalances makes it easy for you to sell the extra brake work to your customers. The brake tester and its operation is fully approved by the NMI Europe, RTA, VicRoads, Qld Transport and NZ Transport Agency so no more road testing is required.
Just imagine, suddenly EVERY car entering your workshop is tested for front and rear alignment. The side slip alignment tester is state of the art technology, designed for our harsh driving conditions. With proof of excessive tyre wear provided by computer, extra wheel alignment sales are guaranteed! And what about the cars that do not have to be put on your alignment machine because the alignment is actually within manufacturers specifications. A lot of time is wasted that way. This tester is guaranteed to maximise the tyre performance of any vehicle whilst at the same time keeping fuel consumption to a minimum as you are minimising the drag of the vehicle's tyres. Your customers will thank you for that and return time and time again for optimum performance.
Shock Absorber Tester
Each individual shock absorber is tested for both compression and rebound. Results are shown clearly in an easy to read format of percentages from firm to soft. The computer generated proof of shock absorbers past their working life will result in extra sales.
Dealerships that have new cars fitted with after market bodies no longer need to be driven out of the premises to a public weighbridge. This can be done in their own service or pre-delivery departments! Performance cars, where the corner weights are of utmost importance, can now be accurately measured within a couple of minutes. The PlateTronic (depending on the model used) measures corner weights and then prints the results. It can also be used for caravans, trailers, horse floats - in fact any thing up to 1 tonne per wheel can be accurately measured. The heavy vehicle TruckStop can measure weights of up to 5 tonne per wheel. Portable weighbridges and certified weighbridges are also available.
No extra space is required for an installation. The PlateTronic test tracks fit easily onto your driveway without the need to cut into concrete. (However, if preferred, a flush in ground model is also available.) The plates are just 50mm high and come with a surrounding ramp system that is completely weatherproof. The weight limit for the light vehicle system is 4.5 tonnes and 5 tonne or more per wheel for the heavy vehicle test unit. Installed inside your workshop or in an outside position, the system is specially designed with a stainless steel grip protection grid, so as not to be slippery even in the wet! The test tracks are installed in a day and can also be easily relocated. The PlateTronic system runs on 12 volts and costs virtually nothing to operate.