Two days, 150+ exhibitors, 80+ conference speakers and a fantastic turnout of visitors from across the industry – Industrial Vehicle Technology (iVT) Expo, which was held at the Köln Messe in Germany on June 28 & 29, 2023, was a resounding success. Offering attendees two full days of intense networking, solution sourcing and intelligence, iVT Expo saw companies showcase their latest innovations, product launches, service enhancements and customer case studies.
On the first morning of iVT Conference, Ahcène Nedjimi, global electromobility system architect at Volvo Construction Equipment, revealed the thought process behind the company’s shift to a sustainable future. The Volvo Group has shifted to electromobility throughout its business – from trucks and buses to marine and construction equipment. In his presentation, Nedjimi discussed the journey of Volvo CE in the context of the wide range of electric construction machines it has available on the market. He revealed how Volvo CE is taking concrete action to deliver on its SBTi targets, and how the company boosts its electrification transformation with investment and work in pioneering partnerships. Nedjimi also addressed the challenges of adapting electromobility to the market, and shared insights gained from successful customer trials.
In their presentation, ‘Decarbonization of mobile machine systems’, on the opening day of iVT Conference, VTT’s Sahas Shah, project manager and senior scientist, and Johannes Hyrynen, low carbon and smart machines lead, discussed the developments and consequences of the non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) sector. The presentation highlighted the fact that mobile machines are a significant user of energy and source of emissions and that the operation field and environment are significantly more distributed than those of the road transportation sector. The speakers pointed out that a new ‘one size fits all’ energy solution cannot be foreseen as applicable to the versatile sector of mobile machines. Industrial sites, urban and built environments, agricultural and forestry, mining and warehouses, and ports, they all set their own conditions and requirements for the design and operation of these vehicles. One significant deciding factor is the lifecycle price of the energy carrier.
Sweden-based driver seat manufacturer Be-Ge Seating launched its electrically motorized memory seat for the construction machinery industry at the show. The driver’s seat, designed for easy set up and tailored to the heavy-duty off-road market, can memorize settings for up to three drivers. Because a machine is often shared by several drivers during the day, quickly getting the right settings for the best ergonomics and working environment is of the utmost importance. Be-Ge Seating also displayed its semi-active suspension, which automatically adjusts to the correct damping depending on the surface, as well as a dual damper system developed to withstand extremely harsh conditions.
Bosch Rexroth revealed the model of its entry-level RCU Lite connectivity unit, ahead of its official launch at the end of 2023. The RCU Lite offers basic connectivity based on a microcontroller and corresponding embedded operating system architecture, connection to two controller area network (CAN) busses and Long Term Evolution Category 1 Machine Type Communication (LTE CAT-M machine) mobile radio communication.
With the new GS-Multiline series, Graf-Syteco launched a family of devices combining keypad and display at iVT Expo. Engineered in Germany, the keypad was developed and designed specifically for use in mobile commercial vehicles and work machines. The GS-Multiline combines different symbols, functions and operating modes on a single device. Various operating modes can be controlled via an interface. Depending on the application and use, key combinations and symbols are freely selectable and can be assigned to different levels.
Jungheinrich Powertrain Solutions brought some brand-new, never previously shown powertrain components to the show, including its new modular battery system, its 96V triple inverter in IP69K and its 11kW bidirectional onboard charger. These components have been designed to boost the power, versatility and customer value of electric machines. With their lithium-ion technology, these solutions combine performance, efficiency and robustness. The company also presented tailored advice and robustly engineered powertrain components, from motor and inverter to battery and compatible charger.
Danfoss Power Solutions displayed its updated Plus+1 Autonomous Control Library alongside its new Dextreme systems. The Autonomous Control Library is a software library solution designed to make it simpler to integrate autonomous solutions into off-highway machines. At the show, the company highlighted that autonomy amplifies machine and operator productivity while enabling precision tasks to be performed quickly and reliably. The Danfoss autonomy team works with OEMs to design and build autonomous and semi-autonomous systems for off-highway machines.
Miunske showcased its new multi-sound-module (MSM) with an acoustic vehicle alert system (AVAS). The MSM-AVAS generates driving sounds for electric or hybrid vehicles. With free audio synthesizer software, companies can design individual sounds for their vehicles. In this way, users ensure distinctive acoustics as well as a clear and unambiguous signaling effect of individual vehicles or work machines. The sounds can adapt to the dimension, weight, RPM or speed of the vehicle. With software functions comparable to a synthesizer, every user can create individual vehicle sounds and check AVAS compliance with a mouse click.
Cleanfix was at the expo to demonstrate its hydronic fan and new multifunctional app for reversible fans. Cleanfix reversible fans for off-highway equipment working in dusty and dirty applications help prevent problems related to engine overheating and inefficiencies. The reversible blades automatically blow dirt out of the radiator at a configurable time interval to keep it clean during machine operation. The new Cleanfix control app makes the reversible fan more convenient for the machine operator. With connection via Bluetooth, the operator always has full control over the fan, regardless of their position. The app supports individual control of cleaning intervals, allowing operators to react better to their environment. Quick switching between manual and automatic modes is enabled at any time, as is intermediate cleaning. In the automatic mode, the cycle times can be easily changed or paused if necessary.
Power specialist Briggs & Stratton displayed its new Vanguard Si1.5 swappable battery, the 400 EFI (electronic fuel injection)/ETC (electronic throttle control) single-cylinder engine and the benefits provided by the OEM Selectable Speed App. The range is designed to maximize all service offerings and overcome challenges that are unique to the industrial vehicle sector. From the development of the 1.5kWh swappable battery to the full range of fixed batteries from 3.5kWh to 10kWh, alongside new technology for internal combustion engines, Briggs & Stratton works with OEMs to ensure that its power-agnostic approach provides an innovative, tailored power solution that caters to each OEM’s specific requirements within the vehicle market.
HydraForce demoed its motion control technologies – designed to enhance the performance and durability of mobile equipment – live at iVT Expo. The new Innercept Digital Proportional Control was created for off-highway precision applications, including autonomous vehicles. The patent-pending, digital proportional control offers plug-and-play simplicity and features a highly compact proportional control valve with integrated linear variable differential transformer (LVDT), delivering exceptional linearity and repeatability. The LVDT has been adapted for application with cartridge valve technology, and when attached to a solenoid-operated proportional valve, forms a flow control that can be combined with a wide range of additional cartridge valves to form a customized hydraulic circuit, resulting in more stable autonomous functions. Four essential components make up the Innercept Digital Proportional Control, the proportional flow control valve, integrated LVDT position sensor, the new ESDR-0201A and an electromagnet actuator.
Liebherr Components presented the new LiXplore range, its latest digital camera-monitor solutions for mobile machines. In addition to the LiXplore Bird’s Eye surround-view system, visitors can experience the company’s environment recognition system, which reliably recognizes people and objects. LiXplore Bird’s Eye offers operators a complete surround view of their machine's working environment. The system merges the images from four mounted cameras into one single bird's-eye view. Calibration is quick and simple. The solution’s digital image processing enables environment recognition and offers the potential for increasing working safety and productivity.
Inter Control exhibited its portfolio of safety controllers for mobile machinery. The Digsy Fusion E is a programmable logic controller (PLC) for basic applications. It has an e-stop safety function according to DIN/EN/ISO 13850, enabling the classical e-stop safety relay to be omitted and the wiring simplified. It meets Performance Level B according to EN ISO 13849-1 for further control functions.
Ewellix presented electric actuators for low- or zero-emission vehicles. Designed specifically for use in mobile applications, from agricultural and construction machinery to aerial work platforms, the new CASM series actuators combine power density with high levels of energy efficiency, position and motion control, and repeatability. The first products will be released later in 2023 and will include actuators with 3 ton and 15 ton lifting capacities up to 17kW peak power.
Hypermotive showcased its intelligent integration systems for hydrogen power and propulsion at the show. H:Control and H:Store are the first products in a new ecosystem of intelligent integration systems for hydrogen power and propulsion. H:Control has been designed to reduce the development time, cost and complexity of integration engineering for hydrogen fuel cell power. It uses advanced automated software tools to define optimized system architecture and specifications, identify potential system suppliers and create bespoke control strategy matched to selected system hardware. This platform has been projected to reduce the engineering effort and time for integration on new hydrogen power systems by up to 80%, accelerating time-to-market and enabling manufacturers to develop niche volume industrial vehicle and power applications with minimal intervention or expertise in hydrogen fuel cell power systems.
DIS Sensors demonstrated its dynamic inclinometer for continuous, clean angle measurement. It runs on an entirely new hardware and software platform with the latest MEMS chip at its core. The DIS dynamic inclinometer has been designed to eliminate the spikes in angle measurement caused by vibrations and shocks arising from normal machine operation. It combines a triaxial accelerometer with a triaxial gyroscope to calculate highly reliable angle values. With a form factor identical to the DIS QG65 range, the new module combines acceleration and gyroscopic angle measurement on three axes simultaneously. The resulting gyro-compensated signal supplied to the control system is clean and free of the influence of spurious accelerations and shocks. The angle data is transferred as a separate CANopen object for each axis. The integrated controller can be customized to process all input and output signals to suit each specific application, based on predefined use profiles and a user-friendly configuration tool.
Neha Roy, innovation leader at Hyster-Yale Group, and Joost Hoogduin, project lead at Hyster-Yale Group, gave the presentation ‘Accelerate – innovation to acceptance’, in which they spoke about the company’s development of the first hydrogen-powered top loader. Attendees learned about the company’s path toward accelerating technology readiness, as well as how maturity levels can help in introducing differentiating technologies. Roy and Hoogduin also spoke about the holistic approach and how using maturity levels and data can help progress products to market readiness.
In his presentation, ‘The evolution of the operator cabin 2.0 – how the needs of the operator shape the control room of the future’, Michael Glunk, head of the driver's workplace program at Continental, got his audience thinking about the functions and needs of the machine operators of the future. He looked not only at the demands that future machine operators will face in their jobs but also at the psychological foundations of the information processing of humans. Importantly, he pointed out what operators now can learn from cutting-edge in-cab technology for passenger cars and what challenges the evolution of mobile machines will add to the current situation.
On the second day of the iVT Conference, Franc Mouwen, program manager for architecture engineering construction at the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) gave a talk on ‘EIC funding for entrepreneurs developing the electric and autonomous construction machines of the future’. In his presentation, Mouwen discussed the European Innovation Council’s grant and equity funding process, which is designed to help innovative ventures bridge the gap between science and market adoption. He highlighted that as one of the largest sectors in the EU, the architecture engineering construction (AEC) sector faces multiple pressing challenges such as decarbonization, productivity growth and digitalization.
The second morning of the conference saw Gabriel Sallah, ADAS/AD lead architect at Microsoft, give the presentation ‘Building an industrial metaverse in the cloud’. Sallah’s talk focused on how Microsoft uses the Azure cloud to build a platform to design, test, simulate and manufacture industrial vehicles. He spoke about how the company is using Azure compute services and AR and VR for computer-aided engineering and design. He also delved into Microsoft’s creation process for its end-to-end testing and validation platform for design verifications and vehicle validation. Alongside this, the executive talked about creating a digital collaboration metaverse platform to reduce the time-to-market for these vehicles.
For more information and videos from this year’s event, click here. Dates have now been announced for next year: Industrial Vehicle Technology (iVT) Expo 2024 will take place in Köln Messe, Germany on June 26-27, 2024.
Matthias Draxler, area sales manager of Willow Technologies, said, “The show is pretty good. I’m just here as a visitor and my colleague is joining the seminars, which he says have been very good so far. I've been walking the show and I've got a list of target customers and existing customers. That has been very interesting to find all these great leads.”
André Kosan, sales area manager for Germany, Benelux and Denmark at Oesse, said, “Generally, I think the show is going very well. We’re finding great contacts. It’s nice and well-organized so we’re very happy to be here.”
Gabriel Sallah, ADAS/AD lead architect at Microsoft, said, “I had a great session at iVT Expo in Cologne as a guest speaker. I shared some insights on how OEMs and Tier 1s in the mobility industry have been using the Microsoft Azure cloud for a number of years now for the testing and validation of autonomous industrial vehicles autonomous operations (AVOps), ADAS and AD at scale. Then I delved into the building blocks (including generative AI for scene and scenarios generation) needed on the Azure Cloud for a robust collaborative digital engineering platform for designing, testing, simulating and validating these vehicles. I loved the interactive nature of the session and the topical, probing questions (safety, homologation, ML models for certification, off-road ADAS/AD use cases) by the audience. Thank you, Tim Sandford [conference director for iVT Conference], for the invitation; I’m looking forward to speaking again at iVT Expo.”
Michael Glunk, head of the driver's workplace program at Continental, said, “I am happy to be here at the iVT Conference one more time and meet experts and have fruitful conversations and exchange of opinions.
Sergii Levitov, product manager at MRS Electronic, said, “The show is going good. I was at the show last year, and this year it feels like there are even more people here. That was just for the first half of the day and it's just getting better and better. Contacts have all been great too.”
Mateusz Trabka, development engineer at Donaldson, said, “The show is really interesting. There is a strong focus on batteries and the exhibitors are showing some very focused technology. My colleague is attending a conference and is loving the different streams too.”