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ATLANTA — Mitchell 1 announced a new interactive feature for its wiring diagrams, which is meant to increase efficiency for technicians conducting diagnostics and repairs.
Wiring diagrams, which bear a resemblance to subway maps, depict the layout and connection points of an electrical system. Ben Johnson, director of product management for Mitchell 1, described wiring diagrams as the life-blood of the electrical circuitry within a vehicle.
Mitchell 1 provides a software service that makes repair information available to the automotive and trucking industries. Johnson made the announcement Feb. 23 at the annual meeting of American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council.
The interactive feature allows technicians to access component repair information directly from inside the wiring diagrams without having to conduct a secondary search. While viewing a wiring diagram, technicians can click on a component and call up a menu that presents options to learn more about specifications, component locations and connector views.
“This interactivity, we think, is going to change the game,” Johnson said.
Highlighting that extends across the pages until a wire reaches its termination point is meant to simplify the user’s view of the system. A technician also has options for a “focus view” and “macroview.” Johnson demonstrated a diagram of a shaft speed sensor, followed by a view of how the sensor fits into the rest of the system.
The interactive feature will be made available on the company’s TruckSeries repair software. TruckSeries provides access to repair information and other data for all makes of medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
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Johnson suggested that wiring diagrams will become even more prevalent as the trucking industry continues to embrace new technology and advanced driver assistance systems.
“We think that, especially with the complexities these vehicles are facing, that technicians are going to be challenged,” Johnson said. “We believe these diagrams are going to become more and more important, and that’s why we wanted to invest in this technology.”
Johnson, who has worked as a technician, added that he generally could get an idea of what was wrong with a vehicle when he drove it around and tried to replicate the symptom. He said experience was a technician’s most important tool. With new technologies, he pointed out that technicians can’t rely on a wealth of previous knowledge.
“When you’re dealing with these newer technologies that continue to come at us and there’s really no end in sight, the first time a technician hears about a symptom is the first time they’re going to hear about it,” Johnson said. “They don’t have that history to look back on. At Mitchell, we exist to make those guys’ lives easier.”
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