A visit to the Hanover trade fair is always something special and not least because the exhibition area there is the largest in the world. There are 24 halls and pavilions at the location which have a total of over 450,000 square meters. In addition, there is an outdoor area of some 58,000 square meters. I have been lucky enough to visit the exhibition center many times. The last time was at the end of 2017 to visit the Agritechnika trade fair, the most important and largest trade fair for agricultural technology. So when the trade fair takes place in the capital of the German state of Lower Saxony, everything is booked out. I am always fascinated about the things I see at this leading trade fair. And the same is also true when I subsequently visit the IAA trade fair for commercial vehicles at the end of September. But first things first …
For MANN+HUMMEL both trade fairs are a must. After all, we are an important supplier of filtration solutions for fields which have special requirements for their machinery. As a result, visitors to the Agritechnika were fascinated by the new products we exhibited to a large audience for the first time in Hanover. This will also hold true for the IAA commercial vehicles trade fair. However, one particular product attracted special interest – even though the product does not have a filtration function. Its name is Senzit. What is it all about?
Filters are often changed as a precautionary measure
Let me explain. All air filter elements have to be changed at some point. But to find the right time to do this is a real challenge for the operators of agricultural machines, construction machines or trucks because the time has to be adjusted to take difficult operating conditions into account such as with construction site traffic or in certain regions of the world. There may be information on maintenance intervals, service life and recommendations when to change the filter. But, in contrast to private cars, industrial machines operate under many varying application conditions. The drive to the field or transportation via country roads is hardly any work for a filter.
Use in areas with threshing or on dusty large-scale construction sites, however, creates a heavy load for all filters. But who knows exactly how long and where each vehicle has been in operation and how much dust has actually been retained? Therefore, it is usual before the start of an intensive work operation for contractors to remove the filter, check it, and if necessary blow it out or change it completely as a preventive measure to avoid the necessity of having to change it while in the field. This is because that would waste time and money. Naturally there are signs when a filter is full. But this information is not very helpful when you are already in the middle of the harvest. Therefore it would be more helpful to know in advance whether the planned activity can be carried out or not. And with that we come back to Senzit.
Senzit knows exactly when a filter change is required
Senzit is a new digital “filter” product from MANN-FILTER which is designed especially for off‑highway vehicles. More precisely, it is a smart device, i.e. with intelligence, which is installed directly on the service port of the air cleaner housing. A number of intelligent and robust sensors there record the load status of the air filter. This is continuously analyzed in real time. In this process changes to the ambient conditions such as driving on country roads, use at the construction site or weather conditions and temperature swings are taken into account. Using the measurement data, intelligent algorithms continuously and accurately calculate the remaining service life of the air filter.
The results are then transferred using a mobile app or web portal to the user. This enables the user to receive status information which is easy to understand anytime and anywhere. The user can find out the remaining time the filter can be used, which vehicle is currently in operation, and the current location of the vehicle. All in all, for vehicles with networking capability, the maintenance of filter elements and also other machine components can be exactly planned. This removes the need to manually check air filters, reduces machine downtimes, protects the vehicle engine, and prevents an unnecessary changing of the filter.
After Agritechnika now the IAA trade fair for commercial vehicles
Visitors to the Agritechnika trade fair were very interested in Senzit, especially as the product is compatible with numerous air cleaners and can be retrofitted to an even larger number of vehicles. Shortly after Agritechnika the market launch of the system took place. End customers, but also vehicle manufacturers and OEMs were interested in the system. However, the exhibited stand-alone solution was not totally suitable because modern vehicles already have some of the sensors integrated in Senzit installed in other positions.
But MANN+HUMMEL would not be worthy of its name if we couldn’t find a solution to this problem. The corresponding development work is currently ongoing. Now at the IAA for commercial vehicles we will also present Senzit to a wider audience. While Agritechnika primarily addresses the agricultural, forestry, gardening and landscaping sectors, the IAA trade fair for commercial vehicles targets the complete field of commercial vehicles and therefore has a corresponding potential for our company.