GIMAEX International, specializing in the production of emergency vehicles, has chosen straton to continue the innovative development of its products.
The Gimaex International group, after several mergers between national and international companies, has today a widened experience that began in the 20th century. Over time, the group has become enriched with a unique know-how that can be found in each of its vehicles.
Today, the company continues to innovate, moving to a solution that allows the preservation of important and indispensable features of its products while optimizing their performance and handling: Customization. A simple and effective concept that allows each user to have a specific and adapted interface. Once the model is chosen, the customer can request customization of the different elements their screen: change colors, space, direction, etc. “In our industry, it is imperative to have good quality products. Rescue teams must be reactive and their success depends mainly on the material used. So we decided to propose to our users that we customize their vehicles to make them as intuitive as possible” said Marcel Dumas, Head of Electrical and Automation Department at Gimaex.
However, up to now, customization was only dedicated to external components of the vehicle. Gimaex decided to offer its customers customization to all key elements, not only on the outside, but also the electronic components, specifically the monitors.
The concept is based on an essential need: vehicles have a lot of services, but during an incident it is unacceptable to lose time searching for commands. The Gimaex team solves this by placing indicators and pictograms where they seem most obvious to each user.
To achieve this aim, it was necessary to find a solution that allowed the creation of graphical tools to show information and / or commands on the screen, while adapting to the specific needs of each customer.
To meet the requirement, Gimaex chose the straton Embedded HMI solution from COPA-DATA, associated with screens and boards from ADISON.
Ideal HMI solution
The straton Embedded HMI solution attracted Gimaex for its ability to adapt to every device and its intuitiveness. Straton supports a wide list of communication protocols and is easy to integrate.
The process is very simple: the straton embedded HMI allows the creation of graphic windows. The user simply has to choose each element that should appear on the screen (the information, its position on the screen, how it will be represented, etc.). In parallel, a straton soft PLC is integrated in the screen of the vehicle. It constantly communicates with the vehicle systems, using the CAN protocol, to collect real time information. “What led us to choose the straton software is the diversity of options that exactly match our business model.”Added Marcel Dumas.
Thanks to its partnership with COPA-DATA and ADISON, Gimaex is now able to customize not only the outside elements (bumpers, structures, etc.) of its vehicles, but every electronic component (screens and the information they provide).
The Gimaex equipment
In the system developed by Gimaex, the fire vehicle may have a screen (5.7”) and a control pump screen (12.1”). Other screens can be added to multiple cockpits (left, right, platform, etc.).
These screens are composed of basic elements through which it is possible to add all the required information for operational use.
During operational use, these screens are running through a single display to avoid having to navigate between different menus and risk being temporarily without essential information.
The front screen contains various specific commands (beacons, 2 tones, lights, etc.) but also the levels of tanks, reversing camera and detected alerts.
The rear screen (with day / night mode) consists of five blocks:
- The left dial contains the display tank levels in bar graph and percentage.
- The central dial is dedicated to the pump suction pressure and discharge, pump water temperature, setpoint control and pump safety.
- The dial on the right contains all the information about the motor: speed, water temperature, oil pres-sure, fuel level, PMT, etc.
- An area with various warning lights allows to the driver to visualize defects before he returns to the cabin (open curtain, mat deployed, hose carts, ladder rack, etc.).
- An area containing all the features of the metering system (flow, pressure, choice of dosage, etc.)
- An additional page for the maintenance system provides the status information and the output from each sensor in order to aid diagnosis. In addition, a RJ45 connection is used to connect the vehicle to the Internet for a diagnosis or a change in the software.
For users, this innovation represents a real revolution. Screens are more intuitive, modern, and offer excellent visibility, allowing the user to obtain at any time an overview of the important points.
Thanks to this innovation, Gimaex customers can adapt their vehicles to their specific needs for an optimal working environment.
“Choosing straton has been crucial for this step of our evolution, and the development opportunities it offers encourage us to continue our innovation.” Marcel Dumas, Head of Electrical and Automation Department at Gimaex.