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Bosch Automotive Aftermarket in UK
Diagnostic Tools

30 years of Bosch KTS diagnostic testers

Reading time: 5min

06/03/2018

In 1988, the legendary “Bosch Hammer” brought control unit diagnoses into everyday workshop life.

In 1988 the Bosch KTS 300, the first diagnostic tester, allowed independent workshops to check electronic vehicle systems. Bosch named it KTS or “Klein-Tester-Serie”, which is German for “series of small testers”, and the name is still used today.

“Since the company was founded, Bosch has been a name that stands for development competence, technical quality and reliability. We were among the first companies that started to meet these requirements in the field of control unit diagnostics,” says Oliver Frei, Regional President Europe at Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, describing the motivation behind driving continuous further development of KTS diagnostic testers.

“We have always aimed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of everyday tasks in workshops, by means of our diagnostic testers and modern software. Diagnostic solutions fit for the future of workshops – that’s what drives us,” Frei continues.

The 30-year success story of Bosch diagnostic testers will continue – thanks to optimised control unit diagnoses and new generations of KTS testers providing future-oriented hardware solutions.

The success story began with the “Bosch Hammer”

When the first KTS was launched, it was able to handle the engine management data of three different makes of cars. But the number of control units KTS was able to test grew rapidly.

By 1999, it allowed control unit diagnoses on some 120 systems from 25 different vehicle manufacturers. The automotive sector soon got to know the KTS 300 as “Bosch Hammer” and as a synonym for engine testers.

In 1999, the Bosch ESI[tronic] workshop software was launched, introducing another important milestone for control unit diagnostics and further development of the KTS series.

Quarterly updates that were originally on CD and then on DVD, are now mostly online and make sure workshops are always provided with up-to-date diagnostic data that is suitable for even the latest vehicle models and control units.

Nowadays, KTS diagnostic testers and ESI[tronic] 2.0 allow workshops to perform control unit diagnoses from more than 90,000 vehicle models of more than 150 different makes.

Oliver Frei

Oliver Frei, Regional President Europe at Bosch Automotive Service Solutions

30 years of experience and competence in control unit diagnoses

Several electronic vehicle systems used as original equipment by vehicle manufacturers around the world have been developed by Bosch engineers.

For 30 years, Bosch has been a leader of control unit diagnostics. While the demands placed on technically qualified and efficient diagnostics in automotive workshops grew, Bosch continuously improved its KTS and ESI[tronic] workshop software.

Today, KTS modules complement exhaust gas testers and vehicle system testers. They are both either integrated into a trolley housing a PC, screen and printer or available as part of handy tablet computers suitable for mobile use in workshops. Using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or LAN, they can be connected with other testers, with the workshop network or even with the Internet.

In addition, they also support all common communication protocols used by electronic vehicle systems.

We have always aimed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of everyday tasks in workshops, by means of our diagnostic testers and modern software. Diagnostic solutions fit for the future of workshops – that’s what drives us.

Oliver Frei, Regional President Europe at Bosch Automotive Service Solutions

Future-proof hardware with PassThru and ethernet interfaces

With its latest generation of diagnostic testers, the KTS 560/590, Bosch once again supports independent multi-brand workshops with service and repair tasks on modern vehicle systems.

Under Euro5/6 standards, car manufacturers are obligated to make technical repair information available to independent workshops through online portals. In order to access these online portals, a PassThru interface is needed. Bosch KTS devices have been PassThru-enabled since 2009 and can still be used to access repair data – although with some restrictions.

Current KTS 560/590 testers feature an improved PassThru interface that provides workshops with trouble-free access to data for almost all vehicle manufacturer portals.

This allows independent workshops to maintain modern vehicle models and reprogram control units. They do not have to turn away customers to authorised workshops. Using the latest diagnostics tools, the KTS 350/560/590, workshops are well prepared for the future. The devices already include the new, Ethernet-based Diagnostics over Internet Protocol (DoIP) diagnostic interface. It allows much higher data transfer rates, particularly important considering the growing data volumes required, for instance, by driver assistance systems.

More and more vehicle manufacturers also use Ethernet for diagnoses. Basic diagnoses will still be possible via CAN interface, for comprehensive diagnoses or flashing of control units, however, an Ethernet interfaceas the one included on the latest KTS generation will be required.

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30 years of Bosch KTS diagnostic testers

Press release, March 2018

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