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High-precision chassis measurement: A new kind of optical axle measurement system from Bosch receives worldwide BMW approval


Automotive spare parts and accessories/Testing Technology

· Automatic data acquisition through eight high-performance video cameras

· No wear on the system components

· System initially marketed as the BMW variant of the KDS new generation

Bosch and BMW have cooperated closely on the development of the “KDS new generation”, a new and innovative optical axle measurement system. The system has now been approved by the BMW Group for worldwide use by the servicing operations for the BMW, mini and Rolls-Royce brands. It is the first optical axle measurement system that records the wheel position through contact-free 3-D imaging technology, and simultaneously measures the vehicle height in real time. A system is now therefore available to authorized BMW Group workshops which supplies the highly precise measurements needed for the accurate adjustment of modern car chassis in a very short time. Information is available on the Internet describing the technology and advantages of the KTS new generation at the dedicated website that has been set up at and at It is planned to introduce the optical axle measurement system to the independent aftermarket in the second half of 2007.

Thanks to the short setup time and easy handling, the time needed for axle measurement using the KTS new generation is significantly shorter than on conventional systems. The axle measurement system acquires the data describing the chassis geometry without contact, using stereoscopic measurement and 3-D imaging. For this reason, its mechanical parts are not subject to wear. As a result, the highly precise measurement offered by the system, and the reproducibility of its results, are retained throughout its entire service life.

The KTS new generation works with the aid of chassis marks that are both easy to apply and to remove again, instead of the sensitive wheel sensors that are used on conventional systems. The chassis marks are attached along all the wheel housings and to each wheel using magnetic adapters. The setup time for the axle measurement is extremely short.

In order to take the measurement, the vehicle drives slowly past the four measuring pillars that are located around the measuring bay. Meanwhile, two high-resolution video cameras for stereoscopic measurement on each measuring pillar record the chassis and wheel marks. Within a fraction of a second, the computer at the heart of the measuring system processes the image data, so that the kingpin angle and the tracking have been measured by the time the measuring bay has been entered. Compensation for the rim edge is also integrated into the input measurement. In addition, the height of the vehicle is measured automatically, and the corresponding required values are calculated. If the height changes, the required values are automatically updated, and the system compensates automatically for any inclination of the lifting platform.

The Bosch Group is a leading global manufacturer of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology. In fiscal 2005, some 251,000 associates generated sales of 41.5 billion euros. Set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering,” the Bosch Group today comprises a manufacturing, sales, and after-sales service network of more than 280 subsidiaries and more than 12,000 Bosch service centers in over 140 countries.

The special ownership structure of the Bosch Group guarantees its financial independence and entrepreneurial freedom. It makes it possible for the company to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future, as well as to do justice to its social responsibility in a manner reflective of the spirit and will of its founder. A total of 92 % of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by the charitable foundation Robert Bosch Stiftung. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG.

Additional information can be accessed at

PI5566 - September 2006


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