Introduction to CAN bus
Ford Commercial salespersons should continue to broaden their horizons as they strive to provide the most productive and efficient solutions for their customers. Mechanics Trucks, designed to service heavy off road equipment, all types of agricultural equipment, major construction companies, irrigation companies and numerous other industries continue to grow in size, investment and complexity. To effectively share all the solutions these complex products bring to your customers, a number of issues of the Ford Pros Magazine would be required.
In this issue covering Technology in the Trades, we’ll focus on one very important area required by each Mechanics Truck performing in all types of environments. Let’s explore the Knapheide (KMT) Mechanics Trucks state of the art CAN bus control system. Maintaining continuous uptime and performance requires the monitoring of all of the systems operated by the technician on any given service call. Most of the vehicles we operate today utilize an OBD2 control system to monitor and report any deficiency in your vehicle’s operation. As a safeguard, OBD2 systems will shut the system down on your vehicle when a function is out of compliance with normal operating parameters.
Knapheide has adapted automotive technology similar to the OBD2 systems utilized in the automotive industry on our mechanics trucks to control and monitor the various operating systems. With the CAN bus system, technicians control the crane, compressor, lighting and numerous other options as required. Feel free to check out the YouTube video for a brief introduction to the Knapheide CAN bus Mechanics Truck Control System. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDTUGkSiQeA
Knapheide’s CAN bus system utilizes a Powercell, a Logic Controller and a Control Panelto handle all of these functions.
The Powercell, a solid state power unit with no moving parts with a capacity of 120A DC with a continuous working load of 115 amps. During operation, if the system spikes above 115 amps, an automatic shutdown is initiated to protect the entire system from overloading itself. Any anomaly or system spike is outlined on the screen advising the technician of the concern.
The Logic Controller provides up to eight inputs and eight outputs. We easily adapt additional inputs and outputs to meet the specific informational requirements of the technician, equipment service management or the owner / fleet management company. The controller uses a logic based system and minimizes the need for relays and reduces the number of electrical connections through the use of the latest technology in wire loom design.
The Control Panels are backlit with a four or eight button configuration. The standard location for the eight button panel is in the rear curb-side vertical compartment. Multiple four button control panels are available in various locations including the truck cab and other body compartments. Many operators prefer the cab option so the work lights and strobe lights may be turned on from the safety of the cab before entering a work area or backing up.
Standard control panel operations include strobe lights, compartment lights, compressor, and crane, along with street and curb side work lights. Two additional auxiliary circuits are available for technicians to power specific lighting functions.
Optional Control Panels include the backlit control screen status display of the various operational functions. Crane operating hours, Compressor operating hours, System power usage in watts and amps along with the system supply voltage. The four button key pad is used to control the strobe and work lights only. The Control Panel indicators advise the technician when a system condition is not operating within the correct parameters. The buttons will change to different colors indicating an out of compliance condition.
Where did CAN bus come from?
The CAN protocol, originally developed and launched by Robert Bosch in 1986, essential to many applications including cars, trucks, equipment and industrial robots continues to be upgraded and improved. Today, the CAN protocol is standard in practically all vehicles as well as ships, planes, EV batteries, industrial machinery and mechanics trucks. CAN, the Controller Area Network (CAN) is used in vehicles for communication between ECUs (Electronic Control Units), sensors and actuators. The Controller Area Network (CAN bus) is a vehicle bus standard designed to allow micro controllers and devices to communicate with each other in applications without a host computer. Check out how the CAN bus protocol works on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHaxv-cGZFI