Demand for versatile diagnostic equipment continues to grow

In recent years, the demand for supply and support of diagnostic equipment has grown dramatically. Multispares discusses how it has adapted its offering.

Demand for versatile diagnostic equipment continues to grow
Multispares has developed a range of technologies to help mechanics diagnose buses

In many ways, the role of independent companies in the supply of diagnostic products is now similar to the role they have played with aftermarket parts for decades, for example the parallel distribution to original equipment (OE) channels.

The standardisation of communication protocols, and the rigour of laws in major economies that prevent any restriction on access to vehicle systems, have opened the door for the development of new diagnostic tools that do everything, or almost everything, a vehicle manufacturer’s systems can do. 

However, these independent systems also offer the advantage of broader connection capabilities across many vehicles.

Multispares first became involved in diagnostic equipment after identifying the best independent systems weren’t being fully supported in Australia and New Zealand, leaving workshops and fleets with poor alternatives to the OE platforms. 

After investigating the market, they commenced what has become an enduring and important partnership with Jaltest. 

Jaltest Diagnostics is manufactured in Spain, where they have a large engineering team, and they operate ground support from sites across Europe, the United States
and Asia.

Multispares has already sold well over 500 Jaltest systems in Australia and New Zealand. One critical reason for this success is the breadth of systems coverage; what Jaltest calls Multi-Brand, Multi-System diagnostics. 

The local market is one of the most diverse in the world, divided between European, Japanese, American and more recently Chinese vehicle systems. 

Blair Rundle, pictured working with Multispares.

Jaltest will connect to, diagnose and perform normal diagnostic functions on just about every vehicle in service, and its engineers make regular visits to Australia and New Zealand to investigate models that are less common or differently configured in local markets.

The next technological step for fleets and independent mechanics is telematic diagnostics, to allow remote vehicle monitoring and early intervention when a failure is imminent and remote resets when diagnosis indicates problems can be addressed after the vehicle returns to base.

While telematics has become common, until now telematic diagnostics have been largely limited to the services provided by vehicle manufacturers. 

Following intensive development, Jaltest telematics has been operating in some large European bus fleets for a couple of years, and Multispares has been facilitating tests on a range of local trucks over the past six months. Multispares is now looking for early adopters and gearing up to offer broader telematic diagnostics support.

One important step has been the decision to establish a Technology Services Team focused on building market penetration of multi-brand diagnostics and developing the market for remote multi-brand diagnostics. 

Multispares is a major distributor for many OE products, including electronic products such as electronic braking systems, but sees no conflict in these OE relationships and its support for Multi-Brand Diagnostics. Indeed, it has been keeping its OE supply partners properly informed of its activities.

Wabco is a great example of an OE manufacturer with a proprietary diagnostic system, more recently testing its proprietary telematic diagnostics in Australia. Yet, with the understanding that multi-brand diagnostics will be used by many workshops to connect to their systems, Wabco has also taken an active interest in Jaltest. Blair Rundle attended the very first Multispares-Jaltest training session and, more recently, conducted procedural training to allow Jaltest users to correctly exchange Wabco electronic control units. 

Managing director Geoff Stewart said Multispares is hoping to speak with more bus companies about their diagnostic and remote diagnostic needs. 

For those wishing to learn more about Jaltest, the best way to start is to call a local branch on 13 16 15 and a member of the Jaltest support staff will be in contact

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