The workhorse feature of carwash controllers is the delivery of wash services a customer wants when he or she wants them, but today’s controllers can also help deliver vehicle profile detection. This is especially important for helping equipment recognize pickup trucks in the tunnel.
“The big key … is being able to turn on and off your devices at the appropriate times,” Miller says. “That’s where the industry is going … being smarter about how we deliver services.”
For instance, it is extremely valuable for a carwash to recognize a vehicle is a pickup truck so that the bed is not inadvertently filled with soap. Sensors connected to the controller can tell the exact location of the open bed, and this can stop the delivery of multiple services. According to Miller, treatments like a lava wax are more expensive to provide, and though it may be pennies per application, it adds up when a business washes several vehicles of this type. In addition, sensors and controllers can deactivate dryer blowers to avoid blowing trash or debris out of an open truck bed.
Miller states that there is “real excitement with these enhanced sensors … delivering services to the exact type of vehicle without operator intervention.” Much like the adding of popular new services, this detection capability via a carwash controller aids in providing a better experience for the customer.
Another area of improvement modern controllers can provide is precise measurement of vehicles as they move through the tunnel. Controller systems can measure better than the actual wash equipment, according to Homan. Again, this feature minimizes the waste of chemicals, changes operation for different sized vehicles and can even adjust functions so, for example, tires are not oversaturated with shiner.
As these examples show, modern controllers help control costs by first making the operator aware of what the costs are. Janezic says that a controller can constantly take measurements and convert that information to chemical consumption data. This constant data stream is the real advantage; the controller takes out the human element of forgetting to measure. Using controllers and reportage options lets an owner be in touch with the pulse of the carwash, easily checking on the data as it arrives and being able to quickly see key metrics in chemical cost and use while correlating it with car count data.
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