Better together5 May 2021
Automotive supply chains provide trailer-builders with a diversity of vehicle components across the globe at a variety of different price points. Today, there are multiple supply options for every major part, a wealth of choice that helps keep prices down and parts moving. However, while that diversity of supply is a dream for manufacturers, it can prove to be a nightmare for end users’ technical staff, who are responsible for maintenance. It is particularly a problem in a mixed-brand vehicle fleet. Workshop managers must make sure that they have all of the workshop equipment required – and on modern vehicles that might include any number of different digital interfaces.
That’s why since 2016 Haldex has been offering its diagnostic tool on the WABCOWürth W.EASY multi-brand diagnostics system platform. The W.EASY console can run a full version of the Haldex DIAG+ software, identical to the manufacturer one. This integration makes it possible for W.EASY customers the ability to interrogate Haldex ABS and EBS brake ECU (electronic control unit). For example, users can read the distance travelled, fault codes, maintenance intervals, tractor-trailer connection issues and even monitor driver braking behaviour.
This cooperation means that operators of trailers fitted with Haldex ABS and EBS braking systems need not purchase the dedicated diagnostics hardware provided by Haldex (part number 950800909).
Instead, W.EASY customers can access the same functionality from a one-size-fits-all system -- the W.EASY offers connectivity for all of the main truck and bus vehicle and driveline OEMs, including of course braking systems supplier competitor WABCO. That is not all; WABCO Würth also supplies air conditioning service units, and the Würth group runs a worldwide hardware distribution operation. From another point of view, the cooperation between Haldex and WABCO Würth makes Haldex brake maintenance more accessible. Tying into such a popular diagnostics tool makes it easier for operators to maintain trailers themselves and avoid the expense of sending trailers back to the trailer-builder for service. The WABCO Würth W.EASY system is the only multi-brand diagnostics supplier to cooperate with Haldex in this way. That means that other systems, for example, offered by suppliers Bosch and TEXA, do not offer the same level of functionality as WABCO Würth’s product. That is, other systems may be able to read data from Haldex ECU (electronic control units), but they cannot make changes to them. Such updates are mandatory if technicians alter the brake system by adding a valve or a connector, for example.
The W.EASY tool connects to the Haldex ECU in two ways: first is a Haldex four-pin connector that plugs directly into the Haldex EBS or ABS diagnostic port. Second is a wireless CAN-Bus data reader, sometimes known as a ‘bone’, that clips over the transmission cable and reads the signals transmitted within in. Either way, data is transferred to a service laptop using a battery-powered wireless transmitter via Bluetooth or WLAN, or a wired USB. Technical training is also included with the sale of every new W.EASY box (like the Haldex tool). This aspect is essential to operational safety, warns sales manager Nico Hermann, as access to the system could allow an incompetent technician to modify or disable the braking system entirely the braking system.
The two-day basic training covers safety rules, an overview of the system and common activities. Participants also learn that technicians are required to sign their name against any ECU changes – and woe betide them if that leads to an accident. Technicians that successfully complete the course are given a certificate.