Advances in technology are opening up all manner of opportunities for the off-highway vehicles industry. Here we explore four key topics that are driving forward the transformation of mobile machines and making off-highway vehicles fit for a more sustainable future. And we share some of our new developments in these four important areas.
The benefits of electrification for off-highway vehicles
As the need to protect our environment becomes ever more urgent, demand is growing for sustainable solutions that help address the issue of climate change. Emission legislation and standards are becoming increasingly stringent in many countries, and in some environments in which off-highway vehicles operate, such as mines and airports, emissions regulations are even stricter. The electrification and hybridization of mobile machines reduces emissions and helps manufacturers meet these standards, so it’s not surprising that this is ¹ behind off-highway electrification.
Noise levels are also an important factor, particularly for off-highway vehicles like sweepers and municipal vehicles that operate in areas where noise regulations apply. Electrification significantly reduces noise levels and, in some instances, enables mobile machines to operate at a time of day that previously wouldn’t have been deemed acceptable.
The requirement for greater efficiency and productivity affects all sectors, from agriculture to construction to municipal. As developments in electrification have advanced, new electrification solutions can often meet the same levels as previously used ones, and in some instances they can even improve the efficiency, productivity and reliability of off-highway vehicles.
With electrification demonstrating so many transformative benefits for the mobile machines industry, there is clearly huge growth potential in this market. In fact, ² estimates that the global market for electrified components in off-highway vehicles was approximately $10 billion in 2020 and will rise to $25 billion by 2030.
What’s new in Bosch Rexroth’s electrification range?
Our eLION portfolio for the electrification of off-highway vehicles offers efficient, powerful and quiet electric motors, generators, inverters and hydraulics combined with modular software modules. Sustainability is one of our business’s strategic focus areas – and eLION is an important development in our range of sustainable products for mobile machines. New to our eLION range is the EMP series of precisely controllable motors with higher power density. With high torques in the lower speed range, the new series has everything needed for particularly compact and high-performance machines.
The benefits of digitalization for off-highway vehicles
Digitalization is the process of using digital technologies to transform the way off-highway vehicles operate, communicate, and perform. By connecting mobile machines to the Internet of Things, data can be exchanged, monitored and analyzed, enabling performance and productivity to be enhanced.
As well as optimizing the performance of a vehicle, or even a fleet of vehicles, digital systems can also improve energy consumption and help to reduce costs. Meanwhile, software solutions can reduce the complexity of mechanical components.
Increased sustainability is another benefit of digitalization. Whether optimizing travel routes to save fuel, assisting precision farming to reduce waste, or enabling remote access and condition monitoring to reduce site visits, technology is paving the way for more sustainable solutions for off-highway vehicles.
At Bosch Rexroth, we see digital transformation as a vital part of the drive to create the next generation of mobile machines. In fact, digitalization is a strategic focus area for our business.
What’s new in Bosch Rexroth’s digitalization range?
BODAS is our portfolio of IoT telematics solutions, software and electronic hardware for the off-highway market. We’ve now enhanced our myBODAS digital collaboration platform with support and community features to help make software development quicker and easier. Registered members can download validated BODAS application software from some product lines free of charge, then test and modify the software as part of our new Try It First approach. Licensing costs only have to be paid when it’s used in series production, so manufacturers can try out the software first, without any financial risk.
The benefits of automation for off-highway vehicles
Automating mobile machines is a game-changer for the industry, as it will significantly advance the capabilities of off-highway vehicles and provide a multitude of tangible business benefits. Automation technology can increase efficiency and productivity, while also reducing fuel consumption – which is beneficial in terms of sustainability as well as costs.
Safety is an important criteria for many industries that use off-highway vehicles. Automation and assistance functions can make mobile machines considerably safer, for example by helping to detect and avoid hazards. This is particularly beneficial in environments such as construction sites, where almost a third of accidents are caused by bad visibility.
What’s new in Bosch Rexroth’s automation range?
We believe that the future of off-highway vehicles will range from powerful assistance functions up to fully autonomous operations. But we also understand that this is a complex and challenging area for OEMs. So it’s important to minimize the development outlay, as well as the technological, economic and legal risks. This is why our automation solutions for off-highway vehicles are based on our proven technologies and enable manufacturers to gradually expand from assistance functions all the way through to full autonomy.
Our new radar-based collision warning system is a modular, easy-to-integrate automation solution that improves off-highway safety, reduces development work and, thanks to the CAN interface, is compatible with travel drives from various manufacturers. The system helps to prevent accidents and meets the functional safety standards of ISO 21815.
Another new product in our automation range, the RCU Lite Connectivity Unit offers manufacturers a cost-effective introduction to customized telematics for off-highway vehicles. The entry-level hardware enables powerful, scalable and secure IoT applications to be set up, with a range of connectivity options for collecting and transmitting data – for example, for service or fleet management.
The benefits of smart hydraulics for off-highway vehicles
As the market leader for hydraulics in mobile applications, we’re very familiar with the technology and benefits of hydraulic solutions – such as robustness, efficiency and high power density.
But with the new generation of smart hydraulics, a host of extra benefits come into play. Off-highway vehicles become more flexible and easy-to-use. Productivity can be increased and additional functions can be realized.
What’s new in Bosch Rexroth’s smart hydraulics range?
Our new AgDrive travel drive solution combines state-of-the-art hydrostatic travel drive components and BODAS Software in a complete package. This enables customizable travel drives for self-propelled, multi-motor agricultural machines to be developed particularly economically.
The electronic closed loop control of hydraulic pumps in open circuits with our eOC – electronic Open Circuit – opens up new possibilities for the implementation of hydraulics in mobile machines. With the new A10VO series 60 axial piston variable pump, we’re now expanding our range of eOC-capable pumps to cover medium pressure applications with nominal pressure of up to 280 bar. The integrated pre-compression volume reduces the pressure pulsation by up to 50 percent and thus the noise level in the operator's cab.