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Steering Units for Steer-by-Wire Modules

Steering Units for Steer-by-Wire Modules

By-wire technology offers several advantages to both OEM and end users of industrial and off-road vehicles. When mechanical or hydraulic systems are replaced with by-wire technology, vehicle efficiency and performance can be improved thanks to, for example, programmable steering functions and zero maintenance. The absence of hydraulic hoses and the compactness of the unit may lead to ergonomic design improvements made by the OEM and the easy assembly may lead to higher productivity and profitability. SKF was one of the first companies to develop electronic steering units for industrial vehicles.

Requirements put on steering input devices for industrial and off-road vehicles vary. SKF offers two different series of steering units: AHE series and ADD series. Both plug-and-play solutions are safe, reliable, maintenance-free and cost-effective.

These compact solutions are made to survive the harsh conditions of off-road vehicles, including forklift trucks, agricultural, mining, construction and forestry equipment. For additional information about the SKF steering units contact the SKF application engineering service.

AHE steering encoder units - with constant steering friction

The first unit, the AHE series (fig), based on proven sensor-bearing technology, is an excellent solution for forklift trucks. For many other applications this compact unit with constant steering friction and moderate resolution of the steering signals is appropriate.

ADD steering units - with variable steering feel

Other applications may require more sophisticated functions and performance like

  • steering feel dependent on operating conditions
  • tangible end stops
  • programmability.

ADD steering units (fig) are designed to meet these advanced requirements.

Active sensor design SKF steering units combine reliable encoder technology with the simplicity of plug-and-play component packaging. They are based on SKF technologies that have been well-proven over the years in similar applications. They have been designed from the inside-out starting with encoder technology to precisely monitor steering. They incorporate a compact and robust active sensor.

Either non-contact incremental or absolute position sensors are used to track the movement of the steering wheel. These magnetic sensors do not wear, are protected from external influences, and are designed to provide maximum service life. As steering requires a safety sensitive design, redundancy of the output signals is necessary. SKF steering units are made to support the safety architecture of steer-by-wire systems.