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First joint project

Edge computer for mobile intralogistics

Congatec and Etteplan (both Germany) join forces to digitalize “smart” mobility in rugged environments. The first project is the Rugged Evaluation Platform for logistics vehicles and forklifts. For connectivity towards the vehicle communication networks, it offers CAN besides others.

Diethard Fent, Manager Sales Partner Emea Congatec, and Jaakko Ala-Paavola, Director Digital Solutions, Etteplan are looking forward to joint smart mobility projects (from left) (Source: Congatec/Etteplan)

Congatec, vendor of embedded and edge computing technology and Etteplan, a technology service company specializing in software and embedded solutions for manufacturing industry teamed up. The goal is to digitalize “smart” mobility and robotic applications in rugged environments such as industrial machinery and agriculture. The partnership combines Congatec’s capabilities in designing and building edge computing ready computer-on-modules (COM) for rugged applications and Etteplan’s knowledge in embedded software and rugged system platform engineering. The partnership aims to provide mobility OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and system integrators with application-ready solutions designed for the digitalization of mobility in rugged environments. Typical targets include fleets of intralogistics vehicles in factories, warehouses and distribution hubs, heavy construction machinery, and agricultural machinery for farmers and cooperatives. According to the companies, the digitalization of mobility in rugged environments can enable business models such as pay-per-use and agile subscriptions with configurable features and agile services.

Edge computer for mobile intralogistics

The Etteplan Rugged Evaluation Platform for logistics vehicles and forklifts is the first project where both companies have joined their forces. The platform provides a positioning solution by integrating an RTK-enabled GNSS unit with accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer to one rugged industrial device, that is powered by Congatec’s COM. The device is capable of providing a positioning solution with an accuracy of +/- 10 cm. The COM offers options for edge computing along with industrial networking capabilities. This enables OEMs to develop and productize their ideas, services, and products with the platform, explained the companies.

Designed for harsh environments and automotive voltage ranges up to 36 V, the Intel Atom processor based platform comes with an operating temperature range of -40 °C to +85 °C and IP65/67 protection. For connectivity towards the vehicle communication networks, it offers extension options for CAN, Ethernet, EIA-232, and EIA-485. Further edge connectivity options include Wifi and Bluetooth as well as LTE/5G. Ambient pressure, humidity, and temperature sensors are also featured. The platform is already available as prototype and can be ordered for solution engineering purposes. Customization is possible on a project basis for larger quantities. The series production of the standard system platform is scheduled for the second half of 2022.

“We want to serve this market with best in class solutions for excellent user experiences. Collaborating in this context with the world leading vendor of computer-on-modules is a strategic lever that enables us to move forward faster with tailwind from Congatec’s strong engineering team,” said Jaakko Ala-Paavola, Director Digital Solutions at Etteplan.

“Through our strategic partnership with Etteplan we will be able to add more value for our customers. In addition to offering computer-on-modules designed to meet the harshest rugged mobility requirements, now together with Etteplan, we will also develop customer specific application ready system platforms and cloud connectivity solutions. And our strong sales presence all over the world will give a good platform for future success,” said Diethard Fent, Sales Partner Manager at Congatec.


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Kvaser Sontheim