The DXR Transactivator Tool
When the DXR is brought up to the tyre rim in the proximity of the valve stem and the push button is operated this exposes the RTPMS sensor to an external 125kHz field. After 5 seconds the sensor outputs a special RF learn transmission containing pressure and unique identification information. This information can be used to initialise the RTPMS receiver in the vehicle during vehicle maintenance, for example where a sensor replacement becomes necessary.
In addition to the above, a radio detecting circuit contained in the device will recognise the presence of the UHF transmission and illuminate a green flashing LED on the face of the tool thereby confirming the sensor is operational at both of its frequencies.
Background to the design
The DXR Transactivator was designed following consultation with early RTPMS users, dealers, manufacturers, and Schrader Electronics Limited. The design has also benefitted from the experience gained by Bartec Auto ID Limited in installing fixed and portable RTPMS readers for manufacturers around the world.
The feedback available from the DXR Transactivator allows a low-level diagnostic function which is proving very important for users of the RTPMS product and the service network.
The experience-to-date of car manufacturers with RTPMS is that a substantial proportion of RTPMS sensor devices returned under warranty to the manufacturer are functioning normally. In most cases a poor understanding of the system functionality has led service operatives to the replacement of sensors which should have not been replaced. The availability of a low level diagnostic tool in the dealerships would have given the service operatives the means of testing the functionality of the RTPMS before removing the wheel, thereby saving considerable unnecessary work and all of the cost associated with the warranty returns.
The pie chart shown below gives a breakdown of the root-cause distribution of customer returns based upon the first six months after launch of a mid-size European car.
Customer Return Report Analysis Summary
This chart shows how in at least 34% of the cases a better initialising tool could have prevented the return of the sensor to the car manufacturer. The estimated financial impact of a single sensor returned under warranty has been put at $1,000 US by the car manufacturer! This includes replacement part, labour, shipping, and overheads for analysis and reporting of the failure etc. At a projected rate of 100ppm of field returns per year, the estimated unnecessary cost surplus for customer returns in the above example would be $34,000 US. The use of the DXR Transactivator tool would lead to a considerable saving here.