Oh Boy! Lots to comment on:
The OP quoted an article about the future of balance machines and tire mounters. They interviewed 5 balance machine manufacturer's reps - and they all read like an ad for their current product. These were sales guys, not technical folks - and it showed. There were a number of errors and falsehoods. So let me start by filling in the blanks for those folks who are new to the subject.
There are 2 things that can cause a wheel end vibration: Balance and - oh, let's call it runout.
We are all familiar with static and dynamic balancing - but runout is a different kettle of fish and has to be treated separately.
No, runout is NOT affected by balancing a tire and wheel assembly. You can have a perfectly balanced assembly and still have a vibration caused by the runout. You can also have a perfectly round assembly that is out of balance. In fact, tire manufacturers measure it at low speeds - speeds where balancing isn't an issue.
Not only can the wheel be out of round, but the tire can be too - except with a tire there is the additional structural stiffness variation and when combined with runout, we call it Uniformity
. We tire engineers use the term RFV (Radial Force Variation) as another way of expressing uniformity. Why the CEMB rep used the word "Vector" is a bit of a mystery.
Every vehicle has a certain sensitivity to out of balance and uniformity. Some are very sensitive, some very insensitive, most are in-between.
My experience says that vehicle sensitivity is pretty much always lower than the 1/4 oz. (5 gram) balance weight increment - meaning there is no need to balance an assembly more accurately than that. Add the fact the roads are affected by freezing and thawing and heave during the winter, makes the small amount of potential vibration improvement a moot point. It can't be felt because of all the road input.
Vehicle suspensions are - in engineering terms - Spring/Mass/Damper systems (the damper being the shock absorber). SMD systems have a resonant frequency where the vibration isn't damped out effectively. For most vehicles this is in the 50 mph to 70 mph range. We also refer to this as the wheel hop frequency. Outside that speed range, the SMD system does what it is supposed to do - damp out the vibration.
In the old days, other rotating components such a brake rotors and wheel hubs were problematic - and an on-car balancers could correct some of that. Even during that time, on-car balancers were somewhat hard to find.
But nowadays the components are much better and the need for an on-car balancer is virtually nil.
- EXCEPT -
We are seeing brake rotors and the like coming from .... ah .... let's call them sources that new to the game and as yet aren't quite up to speed - and because they are inexpensive, many parts store carry them. Anything on a new car or from an OEM source will meet the OEM's quality level, but the aftermarket is a free-for-all!
OK, now to the questions:
Correct me if I am wrong but by balancing wheels/tires arent you removing the "high point". .......
No. You are thinking about "heavy spot" Balancing does not affect runout. It has to be dealt with separately.
During balancing I have the tire marked for where the weights will be and then break the tire off the bead. I have them rotate the tire to align the lighter of the two weights to index with the tire air valve. We re-inflate, apply the weights and recheck the balance. Sometimes this requires 2 or 3 attempts to get it "dead on". This counter acts the Radial Vectoring Force by 1 magnitude. ......
Ah ..... Mmmmm ..... Not exactly.
The RFV (Radial Force Variation) is unaffected by balance - and shifting the tire around relative to the wheel to reduce the amount of balance weights only reduces the amount of weight. It's largely a time wasting activity because once the weights are applied, the assembly is balanced and there is no residual force due to balance - EXCEPT that the wheel has some amount of runout and rotating the tire relative to the wheel does change the amount of RFV, but since the indexing process isn't trying to reduce that (it isn't even measuring that!), the result is a random RFV - it could be large, it could be small.
- BUT -
There is a company that makes a machine that measures a form of RFV: The Hunter RoadForce machines. They aren't prefect, but they are a significant help in trying to diagnose wheel end vibrations.