How Smart Sensors Optimize Mobile Equipment Performance Through the IoT

Smart Sensors Optimize Mobile Equipment Performance Through the IoT | Men on Lifts | Electronic Controls DivisionThe design and deployment of aerial lifts, truck-mounted cranes, telehandlers, scissor lifts, man lifts and other modes of vehicular material handling demands two requirements above all others:

  • Safety for the operators

  • Operational integrity for the vehicles

Achieving these dual goals requires constant monitoring of out-of-level conditions. For three-quarters of a century following the Industrial Revolution, analog technologies addressed this challenge with visual indicators at each axis, which an operator then had to diligently monitor, making mechanical adjustments to ensure personal safety and the safety of the load—a task that required extreme vigilance and precise execution.

By the last decades of the 20th Century, electronic controllers powering audio signals and flashing lights had arrived on the scene to help reduce a handling system’s dependence on the operator’s monitoring of individual gauges for each axis of control. Many of today’s material handlers continue to rely on such electronically powered alert systems.

But with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the near-limitless interconnectivity possibilities it presents, a seismic shift has occurred in material handling control. The Universal Tilt Sensor (UTS) technology was specifically designed to optimize operator and load safety while facilitating interconnectivity.

Smart Sensors Optimize Mobile Equipment Performance Through the IoT | Download white paper | Electronic Controls DivisionDownload the Universal Tilt Sensor Technology white paper and learn how smart sensor technology optimizes operator and load safety while facilitating interconnectivity through the IoT.


OEM designers benefit from open protocol connectivity

Universal Tilt Sensors operate over a CAN bus using an industry-standard SAE J1939 communication protocol and an integral Deutsch DT four-pin connector. With UTS, OEM designers can deploy one product to achieve single, dual or three-axis mobile control, while it's plug-and-play connectivity with a full range of Parker hydraulics and electronic control components ensures system-compatible data collection, monitoring, and alerts. The communication scheme also facilitates daisy-chain-style single-harness configurations that reduce exposure to accidental cutting and pinching and other operators or environmentally induced damage.

For OEMs and their customers, this means one single part can perform the many functions that formerly required a multitude of individual products, slashing inventory requirements, simplifying both installation and replacement, as well as reducing related labor.


Compactness and versatility

Smart Sensors Optimize Mobile Equipment Performance Through the IoT | Universal Tilt Sensor | Electronic Controls DivisionUTS technology features a low-profile form and three slightly offset mounting holes around its diameter that make it easy to install and remove, even in challenging field conditions. This fool-proof mounting profile ensures the UTS is properly and consistently mounted across a vast array of machines while enabling a full range of horizontal, vertical and angular mounting positions.



Meets robust and reliability

UTS technology features glass-filled hybrid-plastic construction with no moving components and is designed to resist corrosion and vibration. Its robust sensor technology can withstand rugged material handling environments. With a spin weld design and a sealed connector, environmental protection for outdoor as well as indoor applications is ensured. The UTS is rated IP68/IP69k in all orientations, and IP68 upside-down. For lifts working around electric or magnetic fields, UTS provides effective insulation against electromagnetic and electrostatic interference, meeting or exceeding EMI and ESD ISO environmental protection standards. In addition, customers who have field tested the UTS reported it providing predictable linearity over its specified operating temperature range (-40°C to 85°C) and without deviations experienced with competitive products.


Where the IoT connectivity comes into play

Smart Sensors Optimize Mobile Equipment Performance Through the IoT | UTS Technology in machinery | Electronics Controls DivisionPerhaps most exciting of all is the infinite possibilities for connectivity possible using UTS technology. This closed-loop electro-hydraulic solution communicates over an open, industry-standard protocol, enabling plug-and-play IoT connectivity to controllers, hydraulic components, data collection, and reporting software, as well as to the entire family of Parker hydraulic and electronic products and accessories.




Design engineers, OEMs, and operators new reality

  • Smart Sensors Optimize Mobile Equipment Performance Through the IoT | Mobile hydraulic vehicles | Electronics Controls DivisionLadder engines using UTS for auto leveling and boom elevation transmitting operational behavior back to an OEM design team, which they can use to analyze safety-lapse trends and improve next-generation vehicles

  • Refuse trucks, dump trucks or forestry equipment operating on steep inclines transmitting individual route profiles back to the home office to identify problem areas and improve safety training

  • Material handlers transmitting information on operator behavior to spot and intervene when irresponsible handling repeatedly requires override intervention

  • Every mobile hydraulic vehicle’s field performance being monitored by OEMs to facilitate warranty reviews and reduce liability


Bringing this all together

As more and more components and processes attempt to leverage the IoT, UTS technology will become a drop-down configurable component within an increasingly complex, interconnected system that:

  • Smart Sensors Optimize Mobile Equipment Performance Through the IoT | Material Handling Equipment | Electronic Controls DivisionPromotes operator safety

  • Optimizes equipment performance

  • Provides comprehensive reporting for analysis and improvement

  • Increases productivity through predictable maintenance and improved uptime IoT connectivity

  • Improves customer satisfaction and loyalty through proactive data-driven service engagement

  • Selectively shares data across distribution and supply channels


Smart Sensors Optimize Mobile Equipment Performance Through IoT Connectivity | Download white paper | Electronic Controls DivisionDownload the Universal Tilt Sensor Technology white paper to see the UTS technology solution in action from a multi-angle standpoint and operational point-of-view.


Marcel Colnot, regional application manager, Electronic Controls DivisionArticle contributed by Marcel Colnot, regional application engineer, and Chase Saylor, product manager - sensors, Electronic Controls Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation.





Chase Saylor, product manager - sensors, Electronic Controls Division







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