MICO Brake-by-Wire System Offers Versatility, Reliability

Sun October 28, 2007 - National Edition
CEG



MICO Incorporated’s brake-by-wire system combines the control flexibility of electronics and the power of hydraulics. Ideal for on- and off-highway applications, the brake-by-wire system offers numerous advantages to traditional mechanical braking, according to the manufacturer.

The brake-by-wire system replaces the traditional mechanical braking linkage and pressure-modulating valve with an electronic pedal and angle sensor, an electronic control unit and an electrohydraulic modulating valve (EHV).

The angle sensor reads the brake pedal angle and sends an electrical signal to the electronic control unit (ECU).

The ECU, which is programmable to set a vehicle’s braking characteristics, then passes current to the pressure-modulating valve that pressurizes the brakes. The output from the pedal angle sensor also can be shared with electronic engine controllers and/or transmission controllers for improved vehicle performance.

The system offers many advantages, including the capability of removing the modulating valve, with any associated noise, from the cab area and moving it closer to the brakes. This decreases the noise level in the cab, improving the operator’s work environment. It also reduces the amount of hydraulic line needed to power the brakes.

Anti-lock brakes and traction control can be implemented in conjunction with the brake-by-wire system for improved vehicle control. Brake-by-wire technology also allows inching control to be used to electronically control vehicle braking, especially in vehicles with hydrostatic transmissions. In this instance the brake pedal serves two functions. The first function reduces the transmission’s power to the drive train, while the second applies power to the brakes.

Brake-by-wire also can be utilized in manual transmission vehicles. For vehicles stopped on an incline, the brakes can be programmed to hold the vehicle in place until enough throttle is applied to disengage the brakes. This ensures safety by not requiring the operator to depress the brake and clutch simultaneously to shift into gear.

The brake-by wire system also can be used in vehicles controlled by remote or dual operator stations, including wireless stations.

Some existing applications using MICO brake-by-wire technology include aircraft passenger loaders, forestry harvesters, street sweepers, armored personnel carriers and railcar movers. The brake-by-wire system is durable enough to handle any off-highway use, according to the manufacturer.

For more information, call 507/625-6426 or visit www.mico.com.