Standardized power distribution solution in use at Dieci Vehicles

Smart box for a leaner wiring harness

Dieci is a leading European manufacturer of machinery for materials handling in agriculture and construction. The current portfolio comprises 17 product lines with a total of 143 models, which also form the basis for customer-specific solutions. This variety of products requires a high level of standardization of components. For its optimized vehicle power distribution solutions, the company cooperates with Würth Elektronik ICS.

The first products of the company Dieci from Montecchio Emilia in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna were truck mixers in 1962. Today, the broad portfolio of the globally operating company specializes in telehandlers. Dieci was one of the first European manufacturers of these powerful and versatile lifting vehicles in 1983 and is still able to hold it’s own against today’s tough international competition with innovative solutions. Dieci is constantly expanding its range of telehandlers to offer vehicles for every industry and every requirement. Recent additions include the Hercules series with high load-bearing capacity for heavy industry, as well as several series designed for agricultural applications.

The wiring harnesses of the Dieci telehandlers could be significantly streamlined with the help of the REDline Power Box Hybrid from Würth Elektronik ICS.

Safety and functionality

The electrical architecture of Dieci telescopic loaders used to be characterized by a complex wiring harness and multiple fuses and relay boxes. "It was a fully hard-wired solution that took up a lot of space and was difficult to install. That was no longer smart enough for us," recalls Stefano Gabrini from the Electrical Department at Dieci.

In 2014, Würth Elektronik ICS came up with a new platform concept for customer-specific power distribution solutions just at the right time. A standard box with customer-specific printed circuit board in which high-current fuses and relays are integrated? PCB technology combined with copper bus bars for high currents? The proposal by Würth, a specialist in PCB-based system solutions for signal and power distributors, piqued the curiosity of Italian machine manufacturer Dieci. The idea sounded good: main distribution is separated and fused near the batteries. And the consumers close to the batteries benefit from direct switching and fuse protection.

Development in close cooperation

Within a few months, a joint team from Würth Elektronik ICS and Dieci defined the requirements, developed the customer-specific part of the solution called REDline Power Box Hybrid, and produced the first prototypes. "The biggest challenge during development was to fit all components on the PCB and meet the budget Dieci had set for us," project manager Florian Gackel recalls the initial prototype development phase.

Among the quality assurance measures, thermography was particularly important. The tests using this method confirmed that the layout met Dieci's temperature specifications. The box, located close to the batteries in the engine compartment, is robust in terms of ambient temperature. The 237.5 x 205.5 x 58 mm REDline Power Box Hybrid is specified for the temperature range -40 °C to +85 °C.

"Before the start of series production, we carried out some rigorous thermal tests and important field tests," says Stefano Gabrini. "The results were positive and the behavior of the box was absolutely within our predefined limits."

The range for the fuses in the high current range (150 to 250 A) is designed according to protection class IP20. The IP54 sealed housing part contains the circuit board, which can be equipped on an area of approx. 90 x 90 mm with all available ICS sockets such as mini, ATO and maxi fuses and all common relay sockets up to high-current relay sockets.

Dieci uses the REDline Power Box Hybrid from Würth Elektronik ICS in different versions.

New variants are currently going into series production

Würth Elektronik ICS developed three different variants of the box for Dieci. The first one, which has already been in series production for about three years, is additionally equipped with a CAN bus splitter. Two further versions of the REDline Power Box Hybrid for Dieci will go into series production in 2018. One of these features is an integrated Nano ICCS on which individually programmed delay times can be set to control ignition-switched loads.

"Thanks to Würth Elektronik ICS, we have further developed our vehicle electrics into a more innovative version. We have only benefitted from this cooperation," praises Gabrini. "The REDline Power Box Hybrid is used in all new Dieci vehicles and not only reduces the space required for power distribution, but also contributes to cost reductions by significantly reducing installation time."

"Dieci is a demanding customer who is constantly optimizing their product lines against a highly competitive market environment, and thus places the highest demands on us.

The cooperation with Dieci is ideal because our contact partners are always well prepared for all technical questions," reveals Florian Gackel. "Dieci is the perfect reference customer for our REDline Power Boxes because they utilize the full potential of our solution. Robust standard housing units with an individual system solution for power distribution, signal transmission and control of functions in vehicles that continue to function reliably under demanding thermal conditions. They have successfully streamlined the wiring harness and shortened the installation time. What more could you want?"

Author:

Jean-Baptiste Delcroix, Product Manager at Würth Elektronik ICS