Tech Talk

Hardwired for reliability

Developed right here in Australia, the Knorr-Bremse iMass system has been rigorously tested to ensure its performance and accuracy measures up.

In order to achieve the required Transport Certification Australia (TCA) mass accuracy of 98 per cent, the system was engineered, designed, developed and tested for compliance by the Knorr-Bremse engineering and sales team at the Keysborough branch in Victoria. 

Many of the company’s customers, who run high productivity freight vehicles, require a solution that can deliver an accurate mass management system.

Local Knorr-Bremse engineers committed themselves to the task, and performed countless weight measurements, even working in shifts to gather the data for the weight measurements to ensure the Knorr-Bremse iMass system truly met the stringent requirements for TCA Category B Smart OBM Systems.

For any fleet or transport operator, accuracy and convenience are both critical. From its inception back in 2018, Knorr-Bremse Australia committed to providing a highly consistent and accurate on-board mass management system that was integrated into existing infrastructure. 

Doing so resulted in cost savings and ease of installation and coupling, particularly across multiple units and mixed combinations.

The Knorr-Bremse iMass (OBM) system is the only approved Smart OBM system utilising the Trailer Electronic Braking System (TEBS).

It is designed to measure the pressure in the air suspension of the vehicle and relate this to a vehicle mass estimation

The main components of this system on a truck comprise of a driver interface unit (DIU), an electronic control unit (ECU), a pressure sensor and deflection or level sensor.

On the trailers, the Knorr-Bremse iMass OBM system utilises the current generation Knorr-Bremse G2.2 TEBS, coupled with Knorr-Bremse iLevel Suspension Control plus the iLevel Sensor.

The electronic levelling control on the truck and the TEBS on the trailer  both receive electronic signals from the pressure sensor which is interpreted as a mass value. These mass values are transmitted via the CAN signal for the trailer or the CAN bus for the truck.

The driver interface unit is connected to the CAN bus to obtain the truck data, and uses a CAN reader to obtain the trailer data.

All relevant information is then conveniently displayed on a hardwired colour screen that shows the mass across each axle. The information is made available to an in-vehicle/telematics unit.

“Right now the system is compliant with Kenworth, Volvo and Mercedes Benz 6×4, but we’re already working on expanding the range of trucks that iMass is complied with,” said Rob Bonnefin, Knorr Bremse product and marketing manager. 

“It’s all hardwired. Fleets have told us they want a hardwired solution to ensure connectivity is easily maintained and reliable. 

“We’ve also gone to a lot of trouble to ensure a support network in the marketplace by training key installers to support the release of iMass. We have already trained a number of our TruckServices service partners both locally and interstate in the installation, calibration and service of iMass. Once installed across the truck, trailers and dolly, the system is calibrated and once certified with Knorr-Bremse, a compliance certificate is then provided.”

Knorr-Bremse lead engineer for iMass, Rachel Michaud, added, “Connectivity between truck and trailers is a no worry event for the driver with no additional cables or air lines required. Tapping into the existing TEBS power socket via the ISO 7638 universal connection solves the issue neatly, powering both and allowing communications with the already fitted TEBS Module. 

“On this, the Knorr-Bremse iMass system is rated for up to seven trailers; with many years of experience in Australia in mining applications where all trailers including the dollies are fitted with Knorr-bremse TEBS and all powered and operational in the harshest of conditions.”

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