Forklift Digital Cluster

Overview

In recent years, vehicles and technologies in them have evolved drastically to increase convenience for the users and operators. One of the most key upgrades in automobiles is the inclusion of electronic instrument clusters. The traditional analog ones used in vehicles show estimated readings and were more prone to displaying errored readings. However, digital panels with a digital speedometer are featured in many new vehicles. Such panels show a variety of options regarding the vehicle’s particulars within its display in a digital form. One of our clients needed digital clusters for their forklift trucks. They are an India-headquartered group of companies that have around 15 business lines. They are a highly trusted brand that has operated here for multiple decades. Currently, they handle industrial material needs and are one of India’s largest manufacturers of lift trucks. They needed a solution that could enable automated safety and maintenance checks every day, and also when a forklift operates. Since India has mostly foreign brands specializing in digital panels for vehicles, our client aimed to take on the international competition in a growing market like ours.

Approach

With the help of our team of experts, we at Alpha ICT always emphasize delivering services to encompass all the diverse requirements of our clients. After listening to our client’s demands, we realized that we needed to replace existing traditional analog clusters with digital ones. We felt the need to add sensors and automate its process, along with establishing remote connectivity. This solution needed to be designed with OEM and a digital cluster retrofit add-on, versatile usage in mind.

  • We identified and located the sensors to be added to the forklift
  • Our team designed a module to read sensor data and send data over GPRS using the MQTT protocol
  • We designed a dashboard module with an attractive UI and an intuitive LED indicator that signaled the state of the forklift
  • We also made a rugged electronic digital cluster to work in stringent operating conditions

Results

We successfully helped the client accomplishing the following things –

  • Maintain leadership in the market
  • Keep their product relevant
  • Giving them the ownership of their electronics
  • Facilitated machine connectivity
  • Integrated third-party software
  • Enabled remote monitoring 
  • Conducted fault prevention and analysis

Conclusion

  • Conducting comprehensive checks to ensure the product runs successfully
  • Employing effective strategies for integrated hardware, firmware, and software solutions
  • Using an automotive-grade power supply
  • Facilitating easy mechanisms and conveniently obtaining data for the forklifts 
  • Digital Cluster Retrofit Add-on
  • Machine Connectivity
  • Remote Monitoring 
  • Fault Prevention and Analysis
  • Wireless Connectivity through MQTT
  • Third Party Software Integration
  • Single board module – double-sided PTH
  • Add-on GSM board – double-sided PTH
  • Schematics, BOM, Layouts & Gerbers: PADS from Mentor Graphics
  • Microchip PIC32 series Microcontroller
  • Kyocera 3.5”, 320x3x240 resolution, color, graphics TFT LCD
  • SIM800C GPRS module
  • Automotive grade power supply 
  • Code in C
  • IDE: MPLAB X
  • Graphics Screen Design – MPLAB Harmony Configurator 
  • MQTT broker interface