The Volvo Group is taking part in EU research project which involves replacing the cables in trucks with wireless sensors. This would result in reduction in the amount of copper and plastic used. The project will come to an end in 2017.
The cables, in trucks, are made of plastic and copper and are used, for example, to supply electricity and data to supply power and data to various sensors which ensure that components of the truck function properly, including the gearbox, the lights, the switches and the air conditioning system, informed the automaker.
“The savings could amount to a large number of hours, sometimes even days. In the factory, the cables are awkward to handle and time-consuming to fit in the right place. The wireless sensors are much simpler to install. The cables are also sensitive to dirt and rust and prone to faults. By replacing the cables with wireless sensors, it is possible to prevent all the potential cabling faults. When trucks come into the workshop for repairs, identifying faults in long cables that are difficult to access is very time-consuming,” says Jonas Hagerskans, a development engineer at the Volvo Group.
The new system may also bring benefits for both the development and assembly of trucks in factories. Design engineers and assembly line operators will not need to take into account where all the cables run. Instead, they can put the wireless sensors in new locations that would not have been possible otherwise.