Not quite, but still a superhero that apparently nobody wanted to be. The baddie: tyre-pressure monitoring systems, or TPMS for short. If we take the “AirGuard” programming device from Herth+Buss and add the matching wheel sensors, what we get is the ability to equip almost any vehicle on the market with TPMS sensors: either by duplicating the old sensors or re-programming blank sensors. It goes without saying that there are more functions, too. Over the past four years, the AirGuard has developed into an entire concept rather than just an individual product.
The AirGuard market launch
In Europe, TPMS have been mandatory for newly certified passenger cars since November 2014. Since 2013, we’ve been selling the AirGuard: our programming device for our very own, universally programmable tyre-pressure monitoring sensors. Incidentally, the first car equipped with TPMS was the top-of-the-range Porsche 959 in 1986, which was on sale in Germany for the princely sum of 420,000 marks. But I digress.
The AirGuard became a topic of interest for us back in 2011. Initially, not everything worked correctly like it does today, of course. In 2013, the time had come! We launched our AirGuard product onto the market in October of that year for its début season. The first winter season was fairly low-key. The market wasn’t quite ready yet. However, this changed in the course of 2014. As the Product Manager for the AirGuard, I went on many trips with our Field Service and its staff in order to raise customer awareness of TPMS and our product. Explaining all of the technical information and setting out the benefits of a universal system in terms of costs, storage and day-to-day efficiency in workshops was hugely important at the time of the AirGuard’s market launch.
What no-one would have suspected…
The floodgates opened and we were completely sold out in no time at all. Telephones all over the department were ringing off the hook. As everyone seemed to have questions about this new product and about TPMS in general.
These calls were not always pleasant, but we learned a great deal and made a few improvements. Obviously the topic was new and there were often problems of comprehension to contend with. During the duplication process, the wheel sensors’ IDs also have to be re-installed in the same positions that are saved in the vehicle control unit, of course. Our colleagues in the Field Service may well have held 30 to 40 training sessions on TPMS within just two months. Nowadays, the AirGuard concept comprises our programming device, universal sensors, optionally available with a rubber or aluminium valve, installation tool, individual valves, OBD II diagnostic adapter and toolbox.
By the way, there’s a Bluetooth speaker available with our AirGuard wheel sensors this year. There’s a Bluetooth speaker included with our AirGuard wheel sensors this year. You can find the product bundle here!