What Pennies and Mitchell 1’s OEM Data Have in Common

What Pennies and Mitchell 1’s OEM Data Have in Common

When I first started working at Mitchell 1 almost 10 years ago, I was in awe of the amount of information the Editorial Team processes every year. In 2003, Mitchell 1 was processing 200,000 pages of information per year. We’ve come a very long way since then, thanks to numerous process and technology improvements through the years.

In 2012, Mitchell 1 added over 1.8 million pages of data to our online repair information system. In total, there are now over 25 million pages of information available in ProDemand™, our online repair information product. That’s a LOT of pages.

The Ten Million Penny Cube from the MegaPenny Project.

So many pages, in fact, I couldn’t really picture how many that is. So, I turned to the Internet to visualize this huge number and found the MegaPenny Project. They use stacks of pennies to help visualize what a billion looks like. We don’t have that many pages (yet), but I did discover that 10 million pennies when stacked in a cube would measure 6 x 6 x 6 feet, would weigh 31.3 tons,  and if stacked one on top of another would be 9.88 miles high. You can do the math to imagine how much larger 25 million would be. In a word, wow!

But I digress. Back in the automotive industry, much has changed about servicing a vehicle in this last decade. The amount of data required to diagnose and repair cars is increasing every year. Since the introduction of computers and On Board Diagnostics (OBD) into vehicles in the late 1990s, the level of vehicle sophistication has increased significantly.

No technician can possibly hold 25 million pages — or even 1.8 million pages — of information in his or her head. And imagine how many shelves of books it would take to hold all of that information! But technology like ProDemand literally puts it at their fingertips in a matter of seconds. The system manages the rapid proliferation of OEM information by optimizing search capabilities and delivering repair data in a more granular format. ProDemand makes it possible to access relevant information such as procedures, related diagrams, specifications and TSBs from a single lookup.

So, when you think about the Mitchell 1 data you access every day to repair the vehicles in your bay, you might have a new appreciation for how technology is simplifying your life — or at least you’ll have a mental image of all those pennies.

This is the second in a series of posts that I originally wrote as part of an “Ask the Expert” feature for Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN). To view the original article, click the link: PTEN’s Ask the Expert. Stay tuned for the next installment!

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About the Author

Gary Hixson

Gary Hixson is a Sr. Market Manager at Mitchell 1, and is responsible for product and market management of the Repair Information product line. Most recently he managed the release of ProDemand™, the industry-leading repair, diagnostic and maintenance information system.