INA – Using the best technology in the automotive program at Rend Lake College ensures students get the progressive and practical training they deserve. The latest addition, Hunter’s HawkEye, is keeping RLC’s program in-line with the cutting-edge technology being used in the workforce today.
The HawkEye is a high-definition digital imaging wheel alignment system by Hunter Engineering Company, based in Bridgeton, Mo. The company is a world leader in wheel alignment, brake service and safety inspection lane equipment, according to the Hunter website. Hunter equipment is trusted and approved by manufacturers, dealers and service facilities across the globe, it states.
The name is also approved by the RLC Board of Trustees, which voted to trade-in an aging Hunter P211 system and upgrade to the Hunter HS401 for the automotive technology program at a price of $33,776 after a trade-in value of $5,000. RLC Auto Tech Professor Nigel Thompson said it was money well spent.
“This system is what most of the shops, dealers and manufacturers are actually using to align the vehicles,” Thompson said. “It is vital that we train our students on the equipment they will see after RLC. This new piece of Hunter equipment is critically important in delivering the level of training our students need to be marketable and highly successful once they graduate from our program.”
Thompson pointed out that the HawkEye will be fully involved in automotive technology curriculum starting this fall. In the spring, students were introduced to the new system that uses Hunter’s Faster Caster computer software with WinAlign software – the largest vehicle-specific information database in the industry, installed in 60 countries and operating in 36 languages.
High resolution cameras located on a wall-mounted component work with newly-designed wheel targets to optimize alignment service. The wall sensors work with the targets to gather complete vehicle measurements in less than two minutes. This data is used by the computer system to make adjustments which are updated instantaneously as the HawkEye camera system continuously monitors wheel target position and orientation. Not only is the new system more efficient, but it saves on space.
Dale Morgenthaler of Pinckneyville was introduced to the HawkEye this spring. He enrolled in the automotive technology program at RLC after losing his job when the Technicolor Universal Media Services plant closed. As a displaced worker and non-traditional student, Morgenthaler said the quality of the program is very important to his goal of retraining in a new field and specializing in automotive transmissions. The level of instruction and education he has received has been exceptional, he added.
“New equipment helps us keep up with technology and that has been really good,” he said. “I’m old school. They didn’t have advanced electronic sensors and high-definition imaging systems before. I think the instructors make it easy to digest it all and learn.”
He is on track to complete the automotive technology program in the spring of 2009.
“This first year has went by pretty fast,” he said. “So far, I’ve had a blast.”
Keep up with RLC’s Automotive Technology program by visiting online at www.rlc.edu, watch an informational video about the program at http://www.rlc.edu/aca/techprep/degrees/automotivetech.php, or call a college counselor at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1266 to talk about enrollment.
Additional information about this release is available by calling Thompson or Auto Tech Professor Shannon Perkins at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1806 or 1784.