The modern trucks use hundreds of meters of different types of cables which are made of copper and plastic. These cables are used to supply electricity and data to supply power and data to various sensors which make sure the truck functions properly.
The Volvo Group is taking part in a European Union research project to replace certain cables in trucks with wireless sensors.
Dhasarathy Parthasarathy, a development engineer at the Volvo Group said that they believe that wireless sensors have a great potential in the future and one of the important consideration is that they may no longer need to use large amount of copper and plastic, which is good for the environment.
Based on the size of the trucks the reduction in the cable length will be between 40 to 70 meters and been initially been identified. As the annual production for trucks is in the range of 100,000, this will total to 5000 km of cabling and 18 tonnes in copper and 33 tonnes of plastic in terms of weight. Also, the wireless technology will benefit in the production department and service workshops particularly in terms of what they can save.
Jonas Hagerskans, a development engineer at the Volvo Group said that the savings can be large amount of time and sometimes even days for the production facility. In the factory, the cables are awkward to handle and time-consuming to fit it in the right place, while the wireless sensors are much simpler to install. The cables also rust and prone to faults and dirt.
He further added that when trucks come to the workshop, identifying faults in long cables is time consuming and difficult to access. In the future, customers could get their trucks back from the service workshops much faster.
Also, the new system can bring benefits for both the development and assembly of trucks in factories. Design engineers and assembly lines operators will no longer need to take into account where all the cables run. Instead, engineers can put the wireless sensors in new locations that would not have been possible.
Dhasarathy Parthasarathy said that they really believe in this technology and they will go on developing it. In this project, they are focusing on replacing smaller parts of large amount of cables in the truck. And in the future they will look to replace more such cables.