responses courtesy of Grant Eisenhut, OEM Sales Manager, HBM Inc., hbm.com/oemsensors
The Internet of Things & Connectivity
How do you see the Internet of Things shaping the direction of the heavy-duty vehicle markets?
There have been major advancements in this area for heavy-duty vehicles across several markets. We are seeing an increasing number of sensors and data being applied to just about every industry in the quest to provide enhanced machine or vehicle control, increased engine efficiency, productivity, and load monitoring. The push into autonomous vehicles will only serve to drive towards a greater use of sensors and data allowing an on-board computer greater awareness of the environment around it and how to properly react.
Automation Advancements & Smart Systems
How does your company contribute to autonomous systems development and success?
HBM is able to provide highly engineered custom force, pressure, and torque sensors, which will allow these vehicles to know how they are interacting with the driving surface whether it is on or off road. From vehicle weight distribution to wheel torque, the vehicle will be able to make on-the-fly adjustments with the data set the sensors provide.
Challenges & Opportunities
What new challenges have arisen that effect the way you design or manufacture your product? How you do business? How you go to market? How you differentiate yourself from the competition?
We really have seen the growth of custom designed force, pressure, strain, and torque sensors. HBM has been at the forefront of this move which has allowed OEMs to more easily integrate a custom sensor into their design, versus choosing a standard catalog sensor and being forced to design their equipment around a sensor. We are able to specifically design a sensor for each OEM application using 3D computer models, and FEA analysis to ensure the product is rugged and reliable.
The Global Landscape
Are there any new industries or applications you are exploring?
We are seeing an increased push for on- and off-highway vehicle weight sensors. In the near future, we will be seeing a large number of semi-trucks and trailers that will know their weight/load and have it available on board before they leave the dock or work site. We are also excited about the work being done with off-highway vehicles and torque sensors. The vehicles will soon have the ability to measure torque along the drivetrain, to the wheels, and implements. This will have an impact in agriculture, construction, and military, where the road and field conditions can vary to such a large degree.