Smarter features can aid efficiency and reliability in many applications such as waste collection trucks. This is important to achieve without compromising functional safety or contravention of EC directives.
All refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) must conform to strict quality standards, as well as the requirements of certain current EC directives. In addition, worldwide legislation will doubtless continue to impose lower CO2 emission levels on the industry, driving manufacturers to pursue ever-greener technologies. And then there’s the safety of both operations and all those in and around the refuse truck, which must, of course, remain the number one design priority.
In short, there’s a lot to consider. Until now, the RCV industry’s answer to this challenge comprised of little more than a basic PCB with a processor, providing no flexibility and, frustratingly, no opportunity for modification. In addition, there has emerged a clear market need for remote logging and diagnostics capabilities.
The recently introduced IQAN-MC4xFS controllers have been developed to offer a more cost-effective way of meeting the safety standards necessary for RCVs. Designed for controlling hydraulic valves and certified to IEC 61508 SIL2, the IQAN-MC4xFS incorporates a considerable amount of monitoring functionality to better serve application requirements. For example, extended diagnostics measures have been introduced that include the run-time diagnostics of potentially dangerous faults, along with extensive start-up tests.
Among those already enjoying the benefits of adopting IQAN-MC4xFS controllers is Kaoussis, a leading waste management equipment manufacturer in Greece. The company sought a remote logging and diagnostics system offering flexibility, compliancy and local support.
Drawn to the IQAN-MC4xFS, Kaoussis duly provided an RCV truck to evaluate the Parker system. The use of remote diagnostics in the truck, which is designed to collect both recyclable and non-recyclable waste, was successfully tested and subsequently commissioned for use in Portugal.
The system helped Kaousiss achieve some important application-specific benefits. These included the ability to remotely log and monitor parameters such as tyre pressure, high oil temperatures and hours of operation, as well as registering ‘errors’ such as the triggering of the foot bar or light curtain by operators. In addition, some parameters, such as timers, could be adjusted, again remotely, alleviating the need for time-consuming and costly travel.
The connection of the truck to a remote location where parameters could be monitored or adjusted in real-time, was achieved using IQANconnect. This is Parker’s remote diagnostic service which allows customers to connect to their machines over the Internet. IQANconnect integrates hardware and software into a single system, offering easy access from the cloud to ultimately help customers reduce downtime and be more productive.
As a final point, the IQAN-MC4 family of controllers all share the same pinout, making it easy to scale the application up or down if required. Each controller is available as either a performance-optimised standard unit, or an IEC 61508 SIL2 Functional Safety (FS) variant. Furthermore, when applying EN ISO 13849-1 for safety functions, the FS variant can be used as a PLd subsystem.
Smart, yet safe, RCVs are finally an affordable reality. Learn more about Parker IQAN-MC4xFS controllers
Article contributed by Johan Liden, product manager, IQAN Electronics, Parker Hannifin Corporation.