Danfoss Editron
Ellen, an electric-powered ferry, recently achieved a world record for traveling 92 km on a single battery charge.

This Week in Power & Motion: Danfoss Powered Electric Ferry Achieves World Record

June 24, 2022
A fully electric ferry powered by Danfoss Editron technology traveled the furthest distance to date on a single battery charge, a new partnership looks to improve machine vision and more news you may have missed.

There is much going on in the world of fluid power and motion control from technology introductions and industry advancements to new trends and industry leaders. To keep our readers as informed as possible, the Power & Motion team has collected some of the latest industry news. 

Once again, electrification and automation related news was among the most prominent this week further indicating the rapid development being undertaken in these areas. Battery and other electric drive technologies are becoming increasingly more prevalent as manufacturers and their customers look to cut carbon emissions and utilize more efficient technologies. 

Automation of all types is increasing to improve efficiency as well. This week's news dealt most with partnerships in which technologies are being brought together to help improve automation related technology. Doing so helps to more quickly advance technology and bring solutions to market which can not only make various operations more productive but also safer. 

Many in the fluid power industry were also saddened this week by the news of Tom Wanke, CFPE, from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE)—a long-time member and proponent for the industry—passing away. Wanke was an active and enthusiastic member of the industry who was always striving to help educate and build partnerships. He will be truly missed by all who knew him.

Keep an eye out for a new edition each week to ensure you stay up to date on what's happening in the world of fluid power and motion control.

Husco Receives Largest Contract in Company History

Husco recently announced the awarding of a $113 million per year contract from a major global automotive manufacturer. The company will be tasked with developing and producing a new engine management system for the OEM. 

Covering several years, Husco said in its press release announcing the contract that it is the largest single new program award in the company's history. Husco stated in the press release that it was the only supplier capable of meeting the customer's technical requirements with a commercially feasible design. 

Known as TruCrank, the solution is designed to significantly improve fuel efficiency of the vehicles into which it will be integrated. This will simultaneously aid in emissions reductions from the vehicle by maximizing power output with the lowest possible fuel consumption stated Husco. 

The company plans to invest $15 million in new capital equipment to support development and production efforts for this project. Husco expects to being production in 2025 and hire over 50 new engineering, manufacturing and business positions. 

Todd Zakreski, president of Husco Automotive, said in the press release that Husco will be able to increase its content per vehicle by more than 10 times and further grow its business in the internal combustion engine (ICE) space. Though electrification is growing in all industries, and as a business area for Husco, ICE will remain a necessary power source for some time and thus necessitate new technologies to help it be even more efficient and environmentally friendly. 

"Throughout our 76-year history, Husco has been a leader in the development of hydraulic and electromechanical control systems that enable gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles," said Austin Ramirez, chief executive officer of Husco, in the company's press release. "While our business is becoming increasingly tied to the electric vehicle market, internal combustion engine applications will remain a critical component of the global automotive market for the foreseeable future. Through smart innovation and intelligent risk taking, we continue to support our partners in our shared goal of making engines cleaner and more efficient. In fact, the fuel savings generated by Husco components produced in 2022 will be greater than the total fuel that will be saved by every electric vehicle produced in the US in 2022."

Inventus Power Receives Safety Certification for Batteries

Battery developer Inventus Power has received ECE R100 (Rev 3) certification for its 48V PROTRXion lithium-ion battery module, known as the M-48V60-TRX. As the company stated in its press release announcing receipt of the certification,  it can be assured the battery meets "safety requirements with respect to the Rechargeable Electrical Energy Storage System (REESS) of road vehicles of categories M and N equipped with an electric powertrain" in conjunction with the ECE Regulation No 100.03. 

ECE Regulation No 100.03 is a global standard which sets out a number of tests manufacturers need to conduct to ensure the safety and reliability of their rechargeable battery systems. 

"Achieving ECE R100 certification is a significant milestone for our business. It is not only a testament to our advanced battery design and manufacturing capabilities, but also enables us to expand our presence in the European market for street-legal low-speed electric vehicles," said Oliver Bald, Sr. Business Development Manager EMEA at Inventus Power, in the company's press release.

Inventus Power's battery technology is designed for use in a variety of applications including material handling, aerial work platforms, robotics and other low-speed electric vehicles. The company is also working to expand its battery line to support electric vehicles with higher power requirements. 

The newly certified M-48V60-TRX battery module is a high-performing battery for heavy-duty mobile applications the company says; it is scalable up to 31 kWh. 

Danfoss Looks to Achieve Guinness World Record 

Ellen, considered to be the longest ranging fully electric ferry in the world, recently set a world record for traveling the longest distance to date on a single battery charge. The ferry is equipped with electric drivetrain and propulsion motor technology from Danfoss Editron, the electrification division of Danfoss Power Solutions. 

On June 9, the ferry sailed 50 nautical miles (92 km) in Southern Denmark on a return trip from the International Energy Agency's (IEA) 7th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency. Daily trips for the ferry are typically in the range of 22 nautical miles (40 km). The event provided an opportunity for company's like Danfoss to showcase solutions aimed at reducing global emissions. 

Danfoss Editron is planning to submit the voyage to Guinness World Records. 

The company said Ellen's use of an electric powertrain eliminates carbon emissions and allows a 24% reduction in operating costs compared to a new diesel powered ferry. 

"Ellen is an excellent example of the future for electric transport. It’s cleaner, greener, and more efficient than her fossil fuel competitors. Electrifying maritime transport is a clear-cut way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And Danfoss has the solutions to build new electric ferries and to retrofit existing ones to electrify them with the potential to reduce carbon emissions all over the world," said Kimmo Rauma, vice president, Danfoss Editron, in the company's press release announcing the feat. 

READ MORE: Hybrid Electric Powertrains Helping Decarbonize Marine and Offshore Applications

MooVita Introduces New ADAS Technology

MooVita Pte Ltd, a developer of autonomous driving technology, has introduced a new version of its MooBox system. MooBox is a complete system solution designed to enable autonomous operation of vehicles. 

It includes Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) such as:

  • Pedestrian and Vehicle Collision Warning and Avoidance, 
  • Lane Keep Warning and Assist,
  • Speed Limit Warning and Control, and
  • Driver Behavior and Attention Monitoring.

The ADAS features work in tandem with the company's Fleet Management System (FMS) interface to create monitoring diagnostics of a vehicle's health in a fan-less and compact design said MooVita in its press release announcing the new technology launch. The company said combining these systems helps to enhance the capabilities of public and private transport vehicles while also assisting with fleet-wide management. 

New to the system is the use of the Hailo-8 edge-AI Processor from artificial intelligence (AI) chip company Hailo to power the MooBox's ADAS features. Per MooVita's press release, the processor features up to 26 tera-operations per second (TOPS) to optimize demanding edge workloads for on-road vision and telematics applications. The Hailo technology provides high processing power and low latency while maintaining efficiency and scalability, stated MooVita, helping to ensure an optimized system capable of quickly detecting objects and driver behavior. 

"By providing telematics data regarding driver behavior, vehicle health, and real-time vehicle geolocation, MooBox can be used to make informed decisions that lead to greater safety, improved driving experience, and better route optimization, as well as reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions. The improved MooBox is the beginning of a new era of incredibly power-efficient, customizable, and highly scalable ADAS that can transform any conventional vehicle into a smart vehicle. It even allows for data on driver behavior, vehicle health, and vehicle usage to be easily retrieved for risk assessment and powerful insights for FMS operations," said Anthony Wong, CTO of MooVita, in the company's press release. 

Innoviz Forms Partnership to Improve Machine Vision Systems

LiDAR sensor and perception software company Innoviz has formed a partnership with Visionary.ai, a developer of software-based image signal processor (ISP) technology, to improve 3D machine vision technology. The companies will combine their respective technologies to help improve the performance of machine vision for various applications such as robotics, drones and more. 

Visionary.ai utilizes AI to enhance the quality of images produced with its True Night Vision technology which will benefit use of machine vision systems in low-light conditions. According to Visionary.ai's press release announcing the partnership, most cameras use a hardware ISP. Visionary.ai, however, uses a software ISP, enabling it to provide cutting-edge image quality in real time. Doing so ensures vision systems are accurately depicting the environment around the vehicle or machine onto which they are integrated. 

Combining Innoviz's LiDAR technology adds 3D image processing capabilities to further enhance captured images. This is particularly beneficial for use of machine vision systems for ADAS or autonomous vehicles as capturing an accurate picture of a vehicle or machine's surroundings ensures the safety of its operations. 

Visionary.ai said in its press release combining the companies' technology will benefit use in challenging imaging conditions including:

  • extreme low light,
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR),
  • heavy rain or fog,
  • high motion, and
  • sudden changes in intensity, such as flashing headlights. 

"Machine vision is easy to achieve in situations of good lighting, but 90% of machine vision failures occur in situations of difficult visibility, specifically, low light and HDR. By improving accuracy in difficult imaging circumstances, we're able to offer game-changing technology, that together with Innoviz's LiDAR technology can improve machine vision applications across many applications," said Oren Debbi, CEO of Visionary.ai, in the company's press release. 

AAM Electric Drive Unit Pairs Mechanical and Electrical Tech for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Car

American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) has announced its its electric driveline solution will help power the new plug-in hybrid electric Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E PERFORMANCE vehicle. 

AAM provides the car's rear drive unit which combines a mechanical all-wheel drive system with a 2-speed electric drive module. According to the company, placing the electric motor on the rear axle optimizes weight distribution while also increasing total torque output compared to transmission-mounted electric motor configurations. 

Features of the drive unit AAM highlights in its press release announcing the use of its technology include an electromechanical actuated two-speed gearbox and electromechanical controlled limited slip differential (eLSD) providing optimized shifting times and traction. The electric drive provides a power and torque output of 150 kW (204 hp) which aids hybrid and zero-emissions operation. 

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Technical Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is technical editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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