While manufacturers and vehicle producers push toward a more connected world in which every component on a system can report functional data to a centralized server, much of the motor vehicle world is still analog. Especially in the commercial truck, off-highway equipment, and military spaces, analog fluid power sensors are still the norm, says Brett McNalley, product manager for the CANect line from Hydro Electronic Devices (HED) Inc.
“Analog sensors still rule in the mobile equipment market. There have been transitions to controller area network (CAN) based sensors; however, the cost benefit of the analog sensor is better,” McNalley says.
Adding HED telematics, controls, and monitors to commercial vehicles can tie component-level monitoring into control software. McNalley says such Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications are growing in popularity.
“The market started with heavy-duty fabrication operations, later migrated to a mechanical/material oriented design model, fluid power focus, and then distributed electronic control and human-machine interface (HMI), respectively. The next step is a smart, connected heavy vehicle,” McNalley says. “A solution provider needs to be able to respond to customer needs and provide a flexible hardware platform and back-office solution. Customizable dashboards, reports, notifications, and cloud data exports/interfaces are becoming a standard requirement.”
Some of the biggest IIoT opportunities may come from the off-highway vehicle market, he adds. “Remote earth processing equipment, custom agricultural equipment, fueling trucks, and paving equipment are exceptionally complex pieces of machinery that require different solutions. We have seen a significant emergence of equipment-to-cloud, equipment-to-device, and smart data-logging capabilities requirements. The equipment-to-cloud topology fits the telematics description; however, the other two are unique requirements that our CANect portfolio supports.”
Hydro Electronic Devices (HED) Inc.