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Wireless tire monitoring takes shape

Wireless tire monitoring takes shape

TAMPA, FL. Dana Corp.’s Commercial Vehicle Systems group and partner SmarTire Systems are rolling out a new wireless tire monitoring system that can be adapted to monitor trailer tire pressure for Class 8 tractors.

The new SmartWave tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is the first of several wireless systems for tires and other components that Dana plans to develop following its recent partnership deal with SmarTire, said Steve Slesinski, director of product planning for Dana.

“We hope to use the wireless channel we’ve developed to enhance vehicle diagnostic and prognostic maintenance capability,” he said here during a news conference at the Technology & Maintenance Council’s annual meeting. “Not only can we record tire pressure and temperature, but by adding other sensors, we could monitor wheel end temperature and vibration, axle temperatures, lubricant temperature, when you need to change lubricants, even monitor brake wear, etc.”

The SmartWave TPMS system provides real-time tire pressure monitoring via radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, as opposed to sporadic data transmission when passing through a stationary gate-reader or when someone is using a hand-held device, he said.

It sends RFID signals from sensors attached to each wheel via metal bands to a wireless gateway receiver. The sensors records and stores that data, as well as transmits it to an in-dash display for the driver to see. The data can also be uploaded and sent back to the fleet’s maintenance department if the truck has a communication pathway, Slesinski said, such as an onboard satellite system.

Slesinski added that the system’s temperature monitoring automatically compensates for operating temperature fluctuations, ensuring proper inflation regardless of tire temperature. “This feature will take on greater importance as new 2007 exhaust treatment systems are expected to add significant heat discharge under the vehicle,” he said. “These new opportunities, combined with those provided by current and future systems, should lead to additional capabilities down the road, particularly in maximizing the benefits of wireless framework technology.”

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