Komatsu equips wheel loader with components from Würth Elektronik ICS

More Than Just a Display

In developing its new generation of wheel loaders, Komatsu Germany GmbH integrated a modern and practical display and an intelligent central electrical unit and relay box from Würth Elektronik ICS. Due to this system, Komatsu was able to significantly upgrade the design, user-friendliness, and functionality of its product.

The Hanover-based construction machine developers at Komatsu’s German site had been using a cost-effective and robust panel with an embedded LCD for several generations of machines. However, this solution was increasingly reaching its limits, and was no longer fit for its purpose. “For example, errors that trigger a power reduction in the combustion engine must be displayed as a consequence of the new emission regulations. As well as this, if error codes are displayed in plain text, you can make the machine available again much quicker in many cases, even without external service computers and diagnostic cables,” explains Carlo Struß from Komatsu.

Komatsu Germany has installed a central electrical unit, display and relay box from Würth Elektronik ICS into its WA100M‐8 compact wheel loaders

A convincing offer

Komatsu decided at the end of 2016 that it was time to search for the right solution for a new display as part of the WA100M‐8 compact wheel loader project. At the same time, Würth Elektronik ICS brought its new product, WEcabin Display i7, to the market and presented it to Komatsu. Specially developed for mobile machines and commercial vehicles, the robust display features a wide selection of interfaces. With an ARM Cortex-A8 processor with 512 MB RAM, 4 GB flash drive, and a Linux-based operating system, it is powerful enough for complex controlling tasks and features a sophisticated graphical user interface.

Inclusive design

In the evaluation of the display, alongside technical criteria, the external appearance, and similar reference applications, the issue of software design also came up. The fact that Würth Elektronik ICS offered this as an additional service was decisive for Komatsu’s decision to commission the project. The GUI was adapted to the design requirements, and the user interface is available in 15 languages. There are ten function buttons used to operate the WEcabin Display i7 at Komatsu.

“I presented the display as part of a system solution for power distribution and control. Even though Komatsu didn’t have any problems with its previous wiring harness solution for vehicle electrical systems, the switching to our PCB-based solution was included in the evaluation,” remembers Roland Unverricht, sales representative at Würth Elektronik ICS.

The solution developed by Würth Elektronik ICS is used to control vehicle and comfort functions in mobile machines

System components

At the same time as designing the Komatsu display, the experts at Würth Elektronik ICS also developed a central electrical unit and relay box for the construction equipment manufacturer. The new relay box and central electrical unit replaced the previous hardwired solution throughout the entire system and reduced the assembly time. The relay box is installed in the battery compartment. It contains different fuses and relays that switch and protect the starter, glow plug, and battery, as well as an ICCS PropCAN relay to control the hydraulic cooling fan. A central electrical unit with an ICCS 64P V2 CAN controller manages and protects different functions and establishes the connection to the display. Komatsu was able to downsize the wiring harness significantly thanks to the new solution.

Successful series launch

The new WA100M‐8 compact wheel loader was presented at two specialist trade fairs to great success in September 2018. The system supplier, Würth Elektronik ICS, was pleased with Komatsu’s feedback regarding the compact wheel loader’s first public appearances in particular. Trade show attendees considered the new display in the cabin to be an impressive sign of the new machines’ high quality.