Auto Service World
Feature   August 1, 2001   by Auto Service World

Over the Counter: August 2001

Ontario Government Bans CFC Refills

The Ontario government has banned the use of CFCs to refill vehicle air conditioning systems beginning next year.

Under the amended regulation, after January 1, 2002, no vehicle owner with a CFC-based air conditioning system requiring service can refill it with CFC-based refrigerant.

The ban applies to passenger, commercial, industrial and agricultural vehicles with any CFC-based refrigerants.

Ontario’s updated refrigerant regulation also strengthens the requirements for service people who wish to purchase or use ozone-depleting refrigerants, including mandatory record keeping and immediately reporting large refrigerant releases to the ministry’s Spills Action Centre.

The new regulations also require a mandatory re-examination of ODP cardholders every three years prior to issuing a new card. A voluntary refresher course will be made available for those whose cards have expired.

Grote Industries Celebrates 100 Years

Grote Industries, manufacturer of lighting and visibility products primarily for the trucking industry, celebrated its 100th year in business in July.

Grote, which was founded in 1901 in Indiana by William Grote, has been privately owned by the Grote family since its inception. It began life as a chemical company producing cleaning products, but entered the lighting industry in 1926 when it acquired National Colortype. The success of this company’s offerings convinced Grote to sell the other companies and concentrate on the transportation industry. It developed a special, more efficient reflector in 1929–the patent for which sustained the company in the Great Depression.

In addition to lighting innovations, Grote was also instrumental in developing automatic plastic injection molding technology, in 1934.

Innovations that are more recent include high-intensity discharge lighting for trucks and replaceable LED lamps.

Today, Grote has facilities in Madison, Ind., Toronto, and Waterloo Ont., and Monterrey, Mexico.

Mechanics Speed Repair With Wearable Computer

Mechanics at an ambulance company in the U.S. reduced repair and maintenance time on their ambulance fleet by nearly 70% using a prototype wearable computer system and voice-activated software.

The computer, from Microvision Nomad Personal Display System, and voice-activated graphic user interface software, from Tangis Corporation, acted as an electronic maintenance manual.

During the trial, the mechanics from American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance used the system’s augmented vision display to superimpose data from repair manuals onto their vision at the point of task. In two different repair procedures, mechanics wearing the display system gained almost 57% in time spent repairing a brake failure, and achieved nearly a 70% gain in time spent repairing an emissions system failure.

The study is the latest in a series of field trials Microvision is conducting with customers and technology partners in aerospace, medical and industrial applications as the company develops market opportunities for the system, which is scheduled to be released late this year.

Canadians Among Global Automotive Aftermarket Scholarship Recipients

A total of 132 students will receive the annual Global Aftermarket Symposium Scholarship in 2001, including 20 Canadian students from schools across the country.

The Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium Scholarship is funded through proceeds from the annual Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium. The two-day program brings together numerous industry executives to examine issues and trends facing the aftermarket.

The scholarships are focused on providing assistance to individuals pursuing automotive studies at technical colleges and vocational schools or college-level programs.

The scholarship is unique in that students may receive two financial grants: one to assist in tuition payments while they are in school; and an equivalent matching grant for all scholarship recipients who graduate from their program. Graduates must provide proof of employment in the automotive aftermarket for at least six months following graduation.

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