About John Bean

Pioneer in Alignment Technology

John Bean is one of the world's leading brands of garage equipment for garages, tyre shops and body repair service. The company's roots date back to a retired inventor, John Bean.

In 1904 he founded the John Bean Spray Pump Company. When the company merged with a nearby food machinery company, it became the Food Machinery & Chemical Company (FMC). In 1996 Snap-on Corporation acquired the successful automotive equipment division from FMC and renamed it John Bean, honouring the original founder and visionary inventor.

In 1925, John Bean engineers designed the first dedicated mechanical alignment machine that could diagnose alignment problems and by 1932 this new alignment machine was being marketed broadly.

John Bean engineers continued to innovate automotive service equipment and in 1934 introduced the first dynamic wheel balancer.

In 1947, John Bean launched the Visualiner which was the first optical wheel aligner in the world and quickly became the standard of the industry.

The FMC Visualiner II of series 9000 in 1984 marked the first successful application of optical measuring heads with a CRT computerised aligner. FMC engineers were also the first to develop calibration for both wheel aligners and wheel balancers which could be performed by operators.

In 1987 the John Bean Signature Series model 9909 became the first alignment machine with built-in training systems for the operator.

After Snap-on acquired the company, John Bean kept to their mission of developing innovative technologies. Most notable were development and introduction of the 3D wheel aligners the accuracy, speed and user-friendliness of which set new standards.

In 2008 John Bean was the first and only to launch wheel aligners in PRISM technology which once again marked an amazing milestone in their long tradition of innovative service equipment.

Finally, in 2016, the launch of the V1200: the first aligner with live alignment error checking system to notify the user of errors as they happen without slowing the process

The company's engineers have always been eager to develop and apply new technologies in the field of wheel service equipment such as:

  • First wheel aligner
  • First dynamic wheel balancer
  • First computerised wheel aligner
  • First cordless measuring heads
  • First built-in operator video training
  • First use of colour monitors
  • First use of CD ROM
  • First use of animated colour graphics
  • First pre-wired alignment lifts
  • First preventative maintenance programming
  • First use of 3D imaging technology for wheel aligners
  • First to use true 32 bit Windows alignment software
  • First wheel aligner in PRISM technology
  • First wheel aligner with live alignment error checking
It is our mission to develop new technologies and offer innovative products to our customers, increasing their productivity and profitability - as your success is our goal!