The new AXR Remote Display, developed in conjunction with the AXS SmartOBM, embodies Airtec’s aim to modernise and bring the latest technology to fleets.
The smarter and faster OBM solution was recently launched to market.
Replacing the discontinued AXMRC In Cab Display, AXR offers operators a plethora of new features within hands reach such as improved performance, speed and Bluetooth capabilities.
Completely Australian-designed and manufactured, AXR now allows Airtec users to scroll through weights in both directions via plus and minus buttons. Based on customer feedback, it also has a new ability to set a display time-out for those wanting to turn off the display after a certain period of time.
The unit itself reflects the AXS Series’ sleek, circular design, and being single cab required , it only needs 12V of power without being hardwired like the old remote.
Though, the AXR’s biggest difference compared to AXMRC , says Airtec Senior Electronic Engineer, David Morton, is its wireless transition.
“The biggest change was going wireless to have that connection and reduce installation costs,” he says.
“We’ve been able to incorporate improved speed and responsiveness of our data, going through our Bluetooth network. What you will experience with the new in-cab remote is a faster update of your data, with less lag from the point of which the payload changes to the update on the screen in the cab.”
During the AXR’s development, this idea evolved to incorporate wireless capabilities into the product’s in-cab remote as well. To do this, Airtec’s engineering team utilised the same technology from the AXS’s wireless communications and incorporated it into AXR.
The benefits this brings, David says, goes back to the reason why Airtec started the project in the first place.
“The installation cost just to run that six-metre cable in through the cab, particularly in European trucks, it’s very difficult,” he says.
“There’s not a lot of space to run those cables out to the side of the truck, and talking to our installers, they were saying that it could easily be $600 in labour time just to run that cable. So, that was the motivation to push on and develop a wireless solution so that we could remove that added cost to the customer when they go to install a unit.”
Now the unit just needs power, which users can easily tap into with anything that is locally available within the dashboard of their trucks.
The pairing process to connect the in-cab remote to the OBM gauge on the truck is even simpler — all you have to do is hold down the program button on the AXR, press scan, and it will automatically pick up the closest gauge to the remote.
Airtec’s new AXR also comes with a new magnetic mounting option to give customers more flexible choices in this area.
The traditional standard mounting bracket method is still available, but the new magnetic availability means truck drivers can purchase any off-the-shelf magnetic mounting bracket for their AXR Remote Display.
“What we found with our previous products is they weren’t always getting installed in a way that we would necessarily recommend, and that would often be the cause for gauges to be broken or wear quicker than we would ideally like,” David says.
“What we decided to do with the new equipment is offer mounting solutions to help our products be installed in a way that would improve the lifetime of the product and also protect it from working environments.”
Airtec’s Bluetooth capabilities have been carried over into the AXR, and by being incorporated, it makes gauge weight readings available remotely.
Additionally, thanks to the Bluetooth Mesh technology within the AXS units and upgrades available for existing systems, signal strength and data collection speeds have reduced.
“This was the most challenging thing we came across in developing the product,” David says.
“It’s a relatively new technology and there’s no other OBM systems that we know of that uses Bluetooth Mesh. So, a lot of it was about how we can get the data through the network as seamlessly and quickly as we can to give the user the best experience, as well as maximising the range of communication so that we minimise any dropouts and make sure that we are maintaining our good, reliable connectivity across a range of different combinations of trucks.”
With AXR now ready, Airtec’s entire OBM solution, David says, gives operators a cost-effective and high-performing solution in the OBM market.
“We feel like we’ve targeted this price point for this new series at a really attractive price for new customers getting involved in OBM,” he says.
“I think the whole solution is at a very competitive price but also very high-quality and easy to install.”
The other key focus for David and his team was being able to do over-the-air updates on firmware and configurations.
“We also provide an Airtec iOS and Android application, free of charge, that goes with our product,” he says.
“What happens is, with a lot of hardware, once it gets shipped out, whatever firmware and configuration is on it is basically what you get. But with our products, as we develop the firmware, make improvements, change things for certifications or improve the performance, we can push that firmware out through the application to our customers. So, our customers have access to the latest firmware and the best performance.
“When it comes to support for the product, we can get the customers to connect to the unit and we can pull the data through and see it and offer a much better support process. Because we can see what’s going on with the product, we can identify faults or issues with calibration and offer a much better support process than what we could have otherwise.”