IBS spearheads growth of Hella’s sensor range
During the past decade alone, the level of electronics and electronic systems used throughout a typical vehicle has significantly increased, and it is estimated that electronics now account for 30 per cent of a vehicle’s total production cost. Moving forward it’ll be increasingly the job of workshops to ensure all manner of systems function correctly, and as many components are intrinsically integrated into a vehicle’s engine management system, their presence is going to have an enormous impact upon the aftermarket. Hella states it is leveraging its strengths in sensor technology development to ease technicians’ jobs – the company has produced a wide range of original equipment products that includes intelligent battery sensors, vacuum pumps, accelerator pedal sensors, oil level sensors, air quality sensors, knock sensors and map controlled sensors.
Intelligent Battery Sensors
Products featuring Hella’s intelligent battery sensor (IBS) technology are used by a number of vehicle manufacturers worldwide, and the company states that its new aftermarket range, which is adapted to suit individual applications, conforms to exacting OE specifications. The IBS assumes a key role in successful energy management, measuring the current, voltage and temperature directly at the battery. By producing data on the state of charge, state of health and state of function, the IBS enables the engine to reduce CO2 emissions. In addition, the sensor can help reduce the risk of a breakdown caused by a weak battery. Offering flexibility for different cable variants and integration solutions, it is compact and currently supports a number of BMW, Ford and Vauxhall applications.
Traditionally, the vacuum required to operate most power-assisted braking systems was generated through the engine’s air intake. However, with the surge in new engine design, such as those used for hybrid vehicles and so called ‘down-size’ engines, the vacuum produced by the engine has become insufficient and electric vacuum pumps have been introduced to ensure the reliable operation of power-assisted brakes. Hella’s electronic range includes 13 variants of vacuum pump with further growth planned, from compact to high performance pumps, providing a suitable solution for every application. These pumps offer a reduction in energy consumption, due to their on-demand pump, so reducing CO2 emissions. In addition, they are maintenance-free, as they are dry running and self-lubricating, which means there is no requirement for their connection to the oil circuit.
Accelerator Pedal Sensors
In modern vehicles, the accelerator pedal is generally no longer connected mechanically by a cable or throttle linkage; instead a sensor measures the position of the pedal and transfers this data to the electronic control unit (ECU) so that the throttle is adjusted accordingly. Advantages of sensor technology include smooth and precise activation, which contributes to reduced CO2 emissions, and, in concert with the ECU, a reduction of wear on the clutch and drivetrain. As a consequence of the company’s OE work, Hella is a market leader in this area and its range is expanding rapidly, covering a variety of applications, including BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Vauxhall and VW amongst others.
Oil Level Sensors
Oil level sensors are used to determine whether the engine has the correct amount of oil, under all operating conditions. These sensors are able to continuously assess the level of the oil while the vehicle is being driven, which is significantly lower when the engine is running compared to standstill mode, and therefore gives the driver ample warning of any risk to the engine. Moreover, the information they send to the ECU provides accurate temperature measurement, which helps to reduce fuel consumption.
The Hella sensor range includes: air-mass, crankshaft, temperature, camshaft, wheel speed, lambda, throttle position and exhaust emission pressure sensors.