Off-road vehicles, also referred to as off-highway vehicles, are machines typically used in construction, mining, agriculture, forestry, military, and transportation applications. Forklifts, tractors, backhoe loaders, cranes, bulldozers, trains, and tanks are a few examples.Regardless of their use, off-road vehicles have two crucial and contradictory requirements; i) they must operate in some of the harshest conditions, and ii) the they should induce minimal breakdowns which can result in costly downtimes or even endangering lives e.g. in military applications. To satisfy such difficult requirements, monitoring, predictive maintenance, and automation have become an increasingly important part of the vehicles which naturally require sensors. Hydraulics, suspension or any other moving parts, are great examples of functions you can efficiently monitor with sensors.
Sensor solutions for off-road vehicles
Effective monitoring, predictive maintenance and automation of off-road vehicles require sensors which can provide precise data, being able to endure the harsh operation conditions, and yet be cost competitive.
The markets for leased machinery and teleoperation in this field are growing fast, and both need sensors for making the machines easier to use, or to be fully remote controlled.
Temperature, pressure, force, rotation, and displacement are the five most important parameters to monitor in an off-road vehicle. Among these parameters, displacement remains to be the most difficult parameter to measure as it requires the sensor to be attached to the most aggressive parts of the vehicles where shock, vibration, and misalignments occur.
The choice of displacement sensors has historically been restricted to either non-contact sensors (magnetic, capacitive, or ultrasonic), or piston-based sensors such as LVDTs, potentiometers, and linear encoders. Non-contact sensors are solid-state and robust, but they require line of site and clean environment to operate thus limiting their use in off-road vehicles. Piston-based sensors are very fragile to shock, overload, and misalignment due to their required construction.
An effective displacement sensor solution for off-road vehicles has therefore historically been challenging – until now!
Sensor solutions from ElastiSense
Our sensors enable producers and end-users of off-road vehicles to effectively introduce monitoring and predictive maintenance for greater reliability and longevity in these vehicles.
These sensors are precise yet mechanically flexible thanks to our ground-breaking ‘active rubber’ sensor technology. Unlike piston-based displacement sensors, our displacement sensors tolerate shock, overload, and installation and operation misalignments. This is because the core sensing element is made of rubber and thus deformable in all directions.
Furthermore, our displacement sensors are solid-state and fully encapsulated making them IP68 equivalent which allows their use in the harsh environmental conditions enduring heat, cold, water, snow, ice, etc. The sensors require no special mounting, protection, or cleaning, which can reduce cost of installation, operation, and maintenance up to 90% compared to other sensor solutions.
ElastiSense sensor solutions in industrial automation
All sensor solutions from ElastiSense can be customised to fit your application and control system by providing data in familiar formats delivering the exact results you need to monitor and control your heavy-duty off-road vehicle, EVEN WHEN THE GOING GETS ROUGH!
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