Half a million trucks from Europe will be manufactured with Meggitt’s Piher Sensors & Controls’ technology onboard from 2013, helping to cut the energy consumed by each vehicle’s water pump by 66%. This will contribute significantly to the 77% reduction of particle emissions and nitrogen oxides required by European Union ‘Euro-6’ emission laws for new trucks from 2013.
Piher’s contactless ‘intelligent’ sensor monitors the position of an electromagnetic induction clutch for a variable duty-cycle water pump that is engaged and disengaged to give a fine degree of control over drive speed. Energy is saved because water is only pumped when the engine temperature requires it.
The contract, worth EU3.5 million, is with Concentric AB, Birmingham, UK.
Piher’s Managing Director, Rafael Fernandez-Ladreda, commented: “We have the manufacture and adaptation of commodity position sensors for consumer electronics and automotive applications down to a fine art, differentiating ourselves from the competition with quality and service. Growth will come from developing high value, low volume business using new technology to custom-engineer intelligent solutions. This energy-saving sensor is the first of a number of such developments to come to fruition."
Based in Tudela, Northern Spain, Piher won the contract in competition against other leading high-tech sensor manufacturers following a detailed requirements analysis, very rapid prototyping and testing. Specialising in rotary sensors measuring angles, it demonstrated significant experience of safety-critical contactless sensing work in wireless steering, braking and throttle-by-wire applications for agricultural machinery, prestige cars and high-cylinder motorcycles. This reflects substantial investment by Meggitt in Piher’s research and development and clean room facilities for manufacturing and testing.
Performance despite environmental extremes
The sensor will withstand significant environmental extremes—an average 500 litres per minute of coolant will be displaced within the truck system within an extreme electro-magnetic environment; temperatures will average 150ºC; and vibration in the truck’s engine compartment can amount to 10gs @ 350Hz (while the sensor can withstand twice that).
Immune to electro-magnetic interference is also guaranteed. John Adams, New Product Development & Engineering Director, explains: “More electronics means more radio frequencies potentially interfering with the functionality of electronic devices. While our contactless sensor works on a magnetic principle, we have succeeded in making it immune to extreme electro-magnetic interference.“
Conceived for direct 360° pivot-point absolute angular sensing, the low-profile sensor can be adapted to vehicles’ existing bearing and shaft mechanisms without additional mechanical interfaces. According to Adams: “Our sensor’s highly adaptable interface means we can measure any rotational position in any application with a degree of accuracy that indirect mechanical contacting solutions cannot match. Conventional solutions often involve metal interfaces such as threaded bars and levers but they are highly vulnerable to mechanical wear, losing precision over time.”
These features means the sensor can be used for highly accurate position and control across a wide range of vehicles including steering, steering-by-wire, motor shafts and joysticks, pedals, lifts and shuttles, throttle and exhaust gas recirculation valves and gears, digger buckets and ploughs.
For further information, contact
Fiona Greig, Corporate Communications, Meggitt PLC
Tel: 01202 597587
Director of New Product Development & Engineering
Piher Sensors & Controls SA
Tel: +34 948 82 04 50
1. Meggitt’s Piher Sensors & Controls makes position sensors and controls for climate control, adaptive front lighting, infotainment, seat memory and heating and controls for consumer electronics, major appliances, power tools and industrial instrumentation.
2. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Meggitt PLC is an international group operating in North America, Europe and Asia. Known for its specialised extreme environment engineering, Meggitt is a world leader in aerospace, defence and energy markets.
3. Concentric AB specialises in fluid dynamics and fluid power technologies providing better fuel economy, emissions reduction, vehicle control and productivity in trucks, buses and off-road vehicles. Its pumps, hydraulic motors, power packs and flow dividers are widely deployed in construction and agricultural equipment, lift trucks, aerial work platforms, trucks, buses and transmissions manufactured by customers such as CNHTC (Chinese National Heavy Truck Group Company), Caterpillar, JCB, Caterpillar, John Deere, Yuchai Deisel, Volvo, Volvo Penta, Perkins, Scania, Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Mitsubishi Fuso, Sterling Trucks and Western Star Trucks.