Firestone Industrial Products unveils integrated intelligent air spring sensor

Sept. 27, 2018
The sensors have predictive maintenance capabilities allowing fleets to monitor total vehicle health.

Firestone Industrial Products Company unveiled a fully integrated intelligent air spring sensor in collaboration with Knorr-Bremse at the 67th Bi-Annual Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) Commercial Vehicles Conference in Hanover, Germany, Sept. 20 to 27. 

“Intelligent air spring sensors will take the guesswork out of predictive analytics for commercial trailer drivers and fleet owners and will become a key element for the connected vehicle of the future,” said Craig Schneider, president, FSIP. “The first-ever intelligent air spring sensor to fully integrate into the electronic leveling system is just the latest example of our industry leadership, which dates back to the 1930s, when FSIP patented the first pneumatic suspension device.”

The air suspension and leveling system is one of the most valuable components on commercial trailers, so almost all European trailers are equipped with leveling control systems that are mounted between the trailer axle and the trailer chassis, the company says.This setup is exposed to environmental factors and susceptible to wear effects, misalignment and faulty installation, which can lead to undetectable wear, incorrect vehicle height settings and, ultimately, suboptimal vehicle operation.  

FSIP’s new intelligent air spring sensor is the key enabler for electric height control and, will make an impact on electric vehicles of the future, the company says. When compared to mechanical height control, electronic height control reduces air compressor run times by up to eighty percent, according to the company. Intelligent air springs sensors are also integrated into the air spring, removing the possibility of environmental wear. The air spring sensor is also designed to require a simplified installation.

The sensors have smart capabilities including load detection, pressure sensing and predictive maintenance to provide fleet owners with as much information as possible. This allows owners to accurately monitor total vehicle health in real time and improve the safety of their drivers and cargo.

The FSIP intelligent air spring sensor technology earned third place in the Components category of the 2019 Trailer Innovation Awards, an award established in 2002 to recognize groundbreaking advancements in the trailer industry. FSIP earned the runner-up recognition from the 2017 Trailer Innovation Awards for its advancements in air damping technology. 

FSIP is part of Bridgestone, and benefits from its automotive expertise and research and development efforts. The company offers a full range of air springs for the global commercial vehicle market with its two product brands, Firestone Airide and Airogear, and is a preferred partner of top global vehicle manufacturers. FSIP will be showcasing its solutions at IAA alongside Bridgestone.

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