As the weigh in motion sector moves into the digital era, Intertraffic asks Kistler’s Business Development Manager Christoph Klauser to drill a little deeper.
Located in Switzerland’s sixth largest city, Winterthur, Kistler have been one of the leading lights of the weigh in motion (WIM) world for several decades and a Kistler stand has been a regular sight at Intertraffic shows. The company was founded in the late 1950s and some of their technological innovations were used on the Apollo manned space missions, and although the link between weigh in motion technology and zero gravity may be somewhat tenuous, the company’s insatiable appetite to innovate cannot be questioned.
As Christoph Klauser suggests, the firm didn’t see the near two-year global pause that we are just starting to emerge from, blinking into the sunlight, as a reason to change the habits of a lifetime.
“The digital era started before the pandemic. All the technology we have now that enables digital services was something that we wanted to bring to the WIM world anyway and take WIM to the next level. The digitalisation of what we do enabled this new type of sensor that has upgraded from analogue signals to digital, which allows for far more accuracy than ever before and offers the benefits that the end customer is looking for.”
The new tech features means that WIM measurements can be more accurate, more reliable and can give the customer more information: “It’s what we’re working towards every day,” he proudly states.
‘You asked how did the last two years change our lives or change our approach? The answer is not at all. We remained busy, had a good amount of great projects to work on and implement and for the new system we had a couple of pilot sites on a number of different continents. During lockdown we pushed for the launch and certification of the new system. It was difficult, of course. Getting service engineers to certain countries during Covid was problematic at times but we have a good product that perfectly fits our customers needs. We just needed to learn how to work remotely and find agreements in video conferences and not personal meetings.”
Klauser, as with every exhibitor we’ve spoken to, is certainly enjoying the return of the human touch.
“Definitely – seeing positive reactions on people’s faces when we show them the new digital solution… we missed that.”
Next gen wim
Kistler is internationally known for its WIM sensors, and the next generation of digital sensors will surely only further enhance the company’s reputation for excellence if its list of benefits is anything to go by.
“With our analogue sensors if one wheel of a truck crosses a sensor we only receive one signal and we have to calculate the weight of the truck. Now we have many different signals from many different sensors that are installed in a strip sensor. It looks quite similar to the analogue version but instead of an analogue cable it has an Ethernet cable with a digital signal containing far more information. We use this information for a variety of things, such as weighing in a free flow area or detecting flat tyres without installing additional sensors. We don’t need induction loops either so that makes the new generational of digital WIM systems much easier to install. So this is why we call it the next era of weigh in motion!”