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30 years of STW

On July 1, Sensor-Technik Wiedemann (STW) celebrated its 30-year anniversary. The company has been a member of CAN in Automation since 1998. We take a look at its history, recent company collaborations, products, and more.

(Photo: STW)

“SUCCES IS A MATTER OF ADJUSTING one’s abilities to a service currently in demand by others.” This quote from Henry Ford fits the Kaufbeuren-based company STW perfectly, said Stefan Bosse, mayor of Kaufbeuren, Germany at the anniversary celebration. “Since their foundation 30 years ago, the group of Wiedemann companies have been characterized by their ability to read the signs of the times, to train good employees and to earn their loyalty. This is a team which can perform exactly what is needed, and which develops and offers what is currently in demand in accordance with the market.”

Everything began within an area of only 100 m². Today, approximately 450 employees work for the company. Four subsidiaries, approximately 20 system integrators in 12 countries across the globe, and business relationships in all corners of the earth – including Australia – represent a broad range. STW has developed into one of the leading companies worldwide in the field of sensors.

From left to right: Wolfgang Wiedemann, Sonja Wiedemann, Katharina Wiedemann, and Dr. Michael P. Schmitt (Photo: STW)

Historical facts

Wolfgang and Katharina Wiedemann founded STW back in 1985, on July 1. In rented premises, a highly accurate pressure measurement system was developed and manufactured. In 1989, the development and manufacture of electronic controllers for mobile work machines started. The company Fendt, located in Marktoberdorf, acts as a partner for these controllers. 1996, the first CAN-capable generic electronic control unit (ESX) was launched onto the market. 1999 and 2000, the development of battery management systems and teleservice hardware for mobile machines began. In the next years, the SIL-2 approval for the electronic control unit ESX, the product extension with the CAN-connectable 32-bit control unit ESX, the introduction of Linux based systems, in particular for teleservice applications, and the production of the first safety-related pressure sensor series with a performance level e (PLe) followed.

Company management

As an internationally-active company, STW provides support for its customers, the manufacturers of mobile machines, agricultural machines, special purpose machines, and their users in the utilization of new technical possibilities available through automation, networking, and electrification.

A range of products from the fields of measurement and control technology, telemetry, and the electrification of the drive line and the working functions are developed, produced, and sold. In addition, STW provides software solutions for protocols, control functions, and the commissioning, monitoring, and maintenance of the products and it supports its customers in system design and implementation.

In 2013, management was reinforced with Sonja Wiedemann and Dr. Michael P. Schmitt. Together with the two founders, they help to drive the further expansion of the company with solutions for mobile machines. Wolfgang Wiedemann is still the managing shareholder and owner of STW. Katharina Wiedemann has managed the staff and finance divisions since the company’s foundation. Sonja Wiedemann is responsible for the sales and marketing divisions as well as for material planning and production. Dr. Schmitt has been entrusted with the responsibility for the systems, solutions, and products divisions and with their development and project implementation, as well as with the quality management.

From left to right: Wolfgang Wiedemann, Sonja Wiedemann, Katharina Wiedemann, and Dr. Michael P. Schmitt (Photo: STW)

Recent company collaborations

The telematics, data management, and gateway module TC3G by STW now supports the cloud-based M2M (machine-to-machine) application platform belonging to the company Cumulocity (Germany). Customers can design an “Internet of Things” (IoT) solution adapted to their requirements. Cumulocity’s cloud-based and horizontal M2M solution provides an integrated IoT platform in order to optimize the costs of the connection of M2M-linked sensors and devices and to realize them within the shortest possible time.

The machine data is recorded and consolidated via the on-board module TC3G. The parameterization of the signals to be recorded takes place in an HTML-based configuration interface. This is provided directly by the on-board module via a web server. The access can take place locally at any time through a Wifi network or via remote access using a mobile phone connection via web browser. The data subsequently recorded can be put into interim storage in the 1-GiB data memories of the Linux-based STW teleservices unit, and sent to the Cumulocity cloud once the data connection is secured. The TC3G provides numerous wired and wireless communication possibilities including several CAN interfaces, Ethernet, EIA-232, USB, and Bluetooth 4.0.

From left to right: Wolfgang Wiedemann, Sonja Wiedemann, Katharina Wiedemann, and Dr. Michael P. Schmitt (Photo: STW)

Another collaboration is the partnership between Erni and STW in the application of power boards. Power boards – also known as central electrical units (ECU) – are responsible for the distribution, the switching, and the control of the electrical power in a vehicle. Here, lights and lamps are primarily controlled, but also air conditioning units and heating systems. In collaboration with Erni, STW provides solutions for the mobile machines and automotive applications market. Power boards act as decentralized control units in the CAN network of a vehicle.

Teleservice generation for mobile machines

With over 15 years of experience in the field of telematics, STW now provides a new generation of hardware and software components to complement its portfolio of solutions from the fields of control units, power electrification, and sensors. These additions permit the recording of machine data, a local wired or wireless connection, and remote diagnosis and control. The integrated teleservice solution for mobile machines can either be adapted to the respective requirements by STW or by the customers themselves.

From left to right: Wolfgang Wiedemann, Sonja Wiedemann, Katharina Wiedemann, and Dr. Michael P. Schmitt (Photo: STW)

The basis for this is the TC3G again, the latest telemetry on-board unit developed and manufactured by STW, which is able to collect and assess vehicle and user data itself via a CAN connection. The software VDS – the vehicle data system for which a server package VDS-R ("R" for "remote") is available for remote access – ensures the access, diagnosis, and storage of data. There are numerous possibilities for communicating with the TC3G. In case of local access, the TC3G becomes a hotspot. In any case, it is a web browser-based representation with diverse configuration possibilities.

At the press conference of the anniversary celebration, Dr. Michael P. Schmitt explained that STW supports its customers in the planning and implementation of systems with VDS(-R), the TC3G and appropriate system components such as controls, sensors, and power electronics. In addition, training courses are offered, which are aligned especially to the respective applications.

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