October 7, 2020
Following on from our previous article on porch pirates, we look at combatting a growing trend fueled by the problems of our modern world
With the current state of the world, such as social distancing and sheltering-in-place, e-commerce is more relevant than ever.
With the influx of online orders, big brands like Amazon and Walmart are stretching their logistical networks to the extreme to fill a demand typically forecasted during the holiday season.
Of course, with the increase in home deliveries, thieves are taking advantage of the situation to plunder more packages. In fact, in a span of 90 days, porch pirates have stolen packages from 25 million households, according to research conducted from May 17 – May 23, 2020 by Clutch.com.
As a response to this growing trend, state legislators have begun to place more focus on the growing crime rate of package theft.
In one example, Michigan increased fines and jail time for repeat offenders. In another, Tennessee legislators are working to pass a bill, making porch pirating a felony and punishable up to 12 years in prison.
What can you do to prevent your packages from being stolen? Staying proactive with deliveries will reduce the likelihood of your next package being swiped before you get home.
Thieves are wising up when it comes to their sneaky craft. In fact, they are known to track delivery drivers as they make their rounds, then swipe the package minutes after it’s dropped.
When you place an order, it’s always best to be at home to receive the delivery. Otherwise, have a neighbor sign for the package; or leave specific instructions on where to place the package if you are not home. The back porch, storage shed, or other obscure locations will further deter prying eyes.
Out of sight, out of mind. Create a visual obstruction from the road or sidewalk, like a large potted plant, decoration, or outdoor furniture.
Leave specific instructions for the delivery driver to place the packages around or behind them. It’s a quick and unassuming way to protect important packages.
With technology becoming more ubiquitous than ever, there are several ways to invest in technology.
Many options on the market feature home network connections and a live stream of the camera’s footage that can be viewed from a mobile device. One of the most popular items is the doorbell camera. This simple security measure doesn’t require wiring and is easy to install.
Alternatively, dummy cameras make great scarecrows for porch pirates. If a camera is visible from the road or sidewalk, thieves are less likely to approach.
Informed Delivery, service provided by the USPS, allows residential customers to sign up for email alerts to notify the homeowner on the mail items and packages to be delivered that day.
Major online retailers also send out updates whenever a package is in transit and has been delivered, which is advantageous when scheduling deliveries.
A conventional delivery lock box is secured with a code only known to the homeowner and delivery person. When the delivery arrives, the package is placed inside the lock box and locked. Lock boxes are excellent methods to protect items from thieves and weather elements.
As a leading provider of motion solutions, Johnson Electric has technology capable of supplying a solenoid to fit any locking system. Our new B7 solenoid can be a quick drop-in replacement without the need for added tools to install. Also, with its forward-thrusting nail head plunger design, it can eliminate the need for extra attachment hardware.
For more information, please visit us at www.johnsonelectric.com.
September 2, 2020
There is a feeling of uncertainty in the manufacturing world right now. Both the intermediate and long-term future of the sector will revolve around one thing: the manufacturing trends happening in 2020. With that in mind, manufacturers need to pinpoint the kind of developments to look forward to this year.
Manufacturers we work with share that enhancing their operational efficiency is most critical during this time.
We look at the top manufacturing trends to keep track of in 2020. We will also cover expected challenges, and how you can run your manufacturing business in the most agile way possible.
2020 is the year that we are likely to see the full rollout of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 5G technology is going to happen on a much larger scale and will have a substantial impact on Smart Technology. Manufacturers will be able to boost speeds and reduce latency in massive proportions allowing their technologies to interact in real-time.
Smart factories are becoming popular in the manufacturing field. They depend on connected devices to support technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence. Typically, intelligent gadgets are also capable of sensing the environment. As specialized factories continue to emerge, manufacturers must be able to adapt the networks that interconnect them effectively.
Based on a recent article from AT&T, 5G provides manufacturers with an opportunity to create regular streams of income. The industry will also benefit from cost-effective energy and utility. As pinpointed in a study by Ericsson, “the projected market value in 2026 will be $113 Billion”. That alone depicts an impressive 7% revenue growth from the current figures.
Manufacturing is quite a complex industry. Changes take a lot of time to incorporate. However, the use of analytics, AI, and machine learning will reach new heights in the coming months.
These technologies are sure to improve manufacturing efficiency and raise revenues. The more complexities your firm faces, the higher the chances to use machine learning and AI technologies to get that competitive advantage you need to be on top.
Manufacturers can also implement such technologies to improve performance in other areas of the business. Whether it is in your customer relations, on your factory floor, or in the supply chain department, they will come in handy.
The sharp rise in the use of IoT (Internet of Things) has paved the way for wearable technology. Manufacturing firms of all sizes and types are exploring- and investing in- wearable gadgets with sensors that can help their workforce optimize production.
Features present in wearable devices enable manufacturers to monitor and raise workplace productivity, efficiency, and safety. Employers will also collect valuable information, offer customized experiences, and track all production stages seamlessly. Headsets with heads-up displays, smartwatches, and other wearables will provide essential data more quickly than ever.
Cybersecurity is a big concern for every sector, and manufacturing is no different. Connected devices will inevitably become the norm. And with this, vulnerability to cyber infiltration will grow.
As this manufacturing trend takes shape, manufacturers must be aware of cyber risks. They should streamline their processes to fit the requirements of today and the future.
The twin concepts of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are finally beginning to make imprints in the world of manufacturing. They are likely to impact the areas of machine maintenance and user training in several ways, including:
Remote support- Augmented Reality will enable maintenance personnel to carry out tasks from a remote location. As a result, firms will make strides towards bridging the skills gaps and boost overall efficiency.
“Hands-On” Training- Both employee training and testing can take place in a VR environment, thus yielding a low-risk process.
Customer support has always been a top priority for most manufacturers. But with the consistent integration of technology, it is set to become even more crucial. As manufacturing tools of industry 4.0 become a standard feature, customers will have direct visibility into the manufacturing process. In the long run, there will be a concerted push for customer quality.
As the new decade kicks in, manufacturers are already anticipating their fair share of challenges. One thing is for sure; industry 4.0 is here and evolving swiftly. While new technologies continue to unlock hidden value in multiple production processes, hurdles along the way are inevitable.
Here’s our pick for the top challenges manufacturers are likely to face.
Deloitte estimates that nearly 4.6 million jobs will become available in this decade because of changing skillsets and retiring ‘baby boomers.’ Close to 2.6 million of those jobs, however, will remain vacant as the gap between job opportunities and the number of capable workers widens.
Even in the era of robotics and service automation, skilled employees are still crucial for their problem-solving knowledge, moreover, they can perform analytics and occupy managerial slots. To bridge the broadening skills gap, manufacturers will have to creatively train existing employees to cultivate a well-rounded workforce.
From cloud computing to robotics, the challenge for many manufacturers is to keep up with the frightening pace of technological growth. Often, there is a gap between understanding the need for device acquisition and the actual implementation. According to a recent Forbes study, 90% of firms understand the vital role that technology plays, yet only 40% feel that they are offering the best tools for success.
In the coming months, supply chain complexities will continue to trouble manufacturers and other stakeholders by creating persistent technical hitches and customer complaints. Human nature will once again become a top issue. There will be a lack of trust among key players, which will frustrate technology deployments and collaboration efforts even more. While experts continue to explore the reasons behind mistrust throughout the supply cycle, issues of pricing, data monetization, and data ownership will reign supreme.
Johnson Electric can help you achieve business agility in manufacturing through our top-of-the-line solenoid solutions. On the back of our core values, we endeavor to make our customers successful by providing reliable motion systems. You can expect the highest level of quality and performance. Whether you need microelectronics, relays, pumps, valves, or any other product in this specification, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
August 5, 2020
Johnson Medtech developed a process to allow surface mount components to be applied to the polyester substrate to create a waterproof circuit, which resulted in an extremely thin and conformable product.
When making a medical wearable with a large surface area, printed circuits are the natural choice for three reasons:
Considering all of this, it is not surprising that most medical companies will first try to use a printed electronic circuit; however, there are limitations:
Recently, a customer requested a completely waterproof, high-volume wearable circuit, and Johnson Medtech was ready to accept the challenge.
Because of the advantage of the SIP, we were able to place several circuits on one panel. Then, we applied the dielectric coating and encapsulant over the conductive pads, resulting in a completely waterproof, lightweight, and easily conformable product, along with a happy customer.
Wearable medical devices are becoming increasingly popular, even assisting the public in monitoring their health status and fitness level. Electrocardiograms (ECGs) are among the most common diagnostic tools in healthcare; these provide real-time data on the performance and function of the heart and other vital signs.
The revolution of wearable technology provides the necessary data to clinicians for more reliable diagnoses and to make informed decisions on treatment.
Through the continuous addition of technology, many of our customers were unsatisfied with bulky results and crucial challenges in functionality.
Johnson Medtech accepted the challenge to assist customers in manufacturing thinner and more conformable wearable patches, increasing the functionality of the most current technologies available.
The two main challenges were presented with the development of ECG electrodes:
Whether a single- or multi-use product, electrodes must not interfere with the defibrillation energy; nor may they prevent the doctor from shocking the patient. Since that amount of energy is generally large, the resistors used to limit this energy are also large, resulting in bulky devices and reduced functionality.
Ideally, the resistors would be situated adjacent to the electrodes, which are then attached to the skin.
If not, the creepage and clearance must be maintained throughout the circuit until the resistor is in place. Again, this causes devices to be bulkier in design.
Because of the concern of size, weight, and bulk, many previous solutions with battery mounts made the wearable medical device less conformable and thicker.
Johnson Electric considered attaching a battery holder to the device; but because lithium-ion batteries have a temperature threshold, this solution did not work. Additionally, the size and weight of the device were still too large.
To combat both of these challenges, Johnson Medtech created special conductive adhesives; these allowed mounting the batteries to the substrate at a temperature that did not damage the cells.
Additionally, Medtech engineers developed the ability to screen print a carbon resistor next to the electrode, allowing a sleek and compact sensor.
As more surgical handles and wearable medical devices become single-use, it’s incredibly important to be able to control the costs.
Even though Johnson Electric has a proven history of producing cost-effective drive systems, optimizing cost is not done just by assembling inexpensive components, but by maximizing the performance of the product.
Recently, we had the opportunity to provide the motor gearbox along with the circuitry and software to control the device.
This provided us with the opportunity to integrate smart features into the device. During development, an essential smart feature is an ability for a device to be able to measure its own performance.
The data was provided to the engineering team, enabling them to understand the limits of the device and the balance between the mechanical weak points and the limits of the electromechanical performance.
Providing these smart features allowed optimization of the product that was not possible through testing the products with external test equipment. Also, the smart features can be integrated for production units as well for troubleshooting, and further device optimization.
Johnson Medtech has a deep background in providing drive systems for biologic dosing devices. As these devices move toward single-use wearables, cost and quality assurance have become a significant consideration for our customers and their patients.
Consider how in the automotive industry, the fit, form, and finish of a car provides that sense of high quality or luxury. The same could be said for the motor tone of a medical device.
Through countless development cycles and data analysis, our engineers perfected a quality motor tone using unique gear profiles and precise distance tolerances.
Because of our finite element analysis capabilities, our team presented quality assurance data in weeks instead of months; this proved the products and materials used during the manufacturing process are safe, even in the most challenging circumstances.
With these capabilities, we can provide compelling cost advantages through automation, efficiency, and innovative design.
For more information, please contact us.
June 24, 2020
From securing hotel room locks to controlling airflow in medical devices, solenoids are found in almost every product we use daily. As technology evolved over the years, medical devices designed with solenoids became increasingly popular. Without this crucial design element, the functionality of medical and diagnostic equipment would be haphazard at best.
Below is a look at the factors driving the increase in these products and the key factors for device manufacturers to keep in mind when designing lifesaving equipment.
Many of the critical lifesaving devices used to diagnose and treat patients include solenoids in their design. They are essential devices found in most hospital intensive care units.
Additionally, solenoids are also used within larger imaging devices, such as MRI machines.
Hospitals and medical centers are under growing pressure to keep up with the latest technology while remaining within budget. With their durable design, efficient operation, and affordable price tag, solenoid devices are an attractive option to help hospitals achieve both goals.
As automation-hungry healthcare organizations fill their diagnostic areas and intensive care units with solenoid-driven medical equipment, manufacturers are following suit.
Because solenoids are incredibly reliable, medical device manufacturers find that the number of device failures is minimized. As proven repeatedly, using a solenoid is the simplest way to implement quick, linear motion with a substantial amount of force over a small distance.
Since 1959, Johnson Electric has provided a wide range of customized solenoids ranging from soft shift linear DC solenoids for medical fluid analyzers to smaller open frame linear solenoids for blood pressure monitors.
Contact Johnson Medtech to discover why medical device manufacturers across the globe turn to us for the highest quality solenoids. Whether you specialize in ventilators, patient monitors, or another type of diagnostic equipment, we have an extensive array of solenoids to fit your application. We look forward to becoming your long-term solenoid provider!
June 19, 2020
Electromechanical solutions are revolutionizing emergency healthcare these days, which is especially relevant given the current crisis. Here’s some information about electromechanical medical equipment, including a few ways that Johnson Electric’s solutions are making a huge difference.
What is DME? The ‘”DME” term refers to any kind of equipment that can be used to increase health or quality of life. This term is relevant to insurance such as Medicare, since insurance may pay for an electromechanical item that can help with care, including insulin pumps, for example.
The term is most often used to describe equipment that is needed regularly to preserve life. The “durable” part refers to how the machine needs to be able to handle use daily without breaking down. So, in the case of a ventilator, which is highly relevant for the current COVID-19 crisis, it needs to be durable enough to continually provide oxygen directly into a patient over a long period of time without suffering any kind of failure over a significant duration.
These terms have some overlap, however. Both refer to similar pieces of equipment such as infusion pumps, oxygen concentrators, and nebulizers.
Infusion pumps deliver fluids directly to a patient’s body, this could include nutrients and medications, for example. These electromechanical devices are crucial to health care because they offer a lot of control regarding the rate and duration of infusion, making it so that they work in a large variety of situations based on the type of pump.
Insulin pumps are another type of device that has revolutionized the way people live. Diabetes used to be a much more difficult condition to live with than it is now. These pumps allow patients to keep their blood sugar within the safe range. Staying in this range means that patients feel better, but it also helps them avoid long-term complications which can severely reduce their quality of life, such as heart disease, kidney failure, or even something like blindness. The equipment makes use of a computer chip to deliver the insulin when it’s needed.
Nebulizers are pieces of medical equipment which allow professionals to deliver medication right into someone’s lungs. It uses liquid medicine to create a fine mist that someone can then inhale through a mouthpiece of a face mask. Again, these are critical for COVID-19 patients since this malady involves an infection of the lung, which is precisely where medicine needs to be delivered. These devices save many people’s lives during crises like this one.
Ventilators, also known as oxygen concentrators, move oxygen into a patient’s lungs when they aren’t able to breathe by themselves. Generally, modern ventilators use a computer chip as well, to deliver oxygen when a patient isn’t breathing on their own. Instead, the lungs are inflated by this machine at the proper rate. These machines are the sole reason why COVID hasn’t been much worse than it has.
They are so critical to survival during maladies which affect the lungs that there is currently a massive shortage of them in many areas across the world, including, at various times through this crisis, New York City.
This designation is also going to overlap a bit with other terms, because it refers to equipment which can deliver medication to the body through different means, including through the mouth, under the skin, intravenously, through the inhalation of vaporized liquid, and other means as well.
At Johnson Medtech, we have several different pieces of medical equipment that help with this. In particular, we have auto-injectors that are part of an overall auto-injector system where medication can be delivered automatically. In fact, our auto-injector systems can be completely customized according to whatever the relevant specifications may be.
We also make pumps and valves for inhalation systems, as well as needle insertion and retraction systems.
Given the durability, flexibility, and powerful life-saving abilities of these types of emergency medical equipment, it’s of particular importance that you find a company that makes the highest quality for each.
For more information about how Johnson Medtech can help you with your emergency medical equipment needs today, please don’t hesitate to go ahead and contact us now. The faster you contact us, the faster we can help you.
June 10, 2020
Modern retail spaces and work environments are becoming increasingly dependent on smart technologies to help them stay organized and operate efficiently. One such innovation is the implementation of intelligent locker systems for the secure and convenient storage of packages and personal items. Solenoid locks are an essential element of many smart locker solutions as they allow for the electronically-controlled locking and unlocking of doors. Here, we will discuss the many benefits associated with upgrading from traditional lockers to smart lockers.
While smart locks are a relatively recent technology, most people are familiar with the various forms of traditional locks. These locks are fairly straightforward in design and require manual engagement to activate or disengage the locking mechanism. Operating these locks typically involves turning a key or merely pressing a button.
Conventional lockers rely on traditional locking mechanisms, typically in the form of combination locks, padlocks, or keys. These storage solutions are often attractive due to their relatively low upfront costs when compared with smart lockers. However, they lack many of the benefits that come with more technologically-advanced options and might actually become a more expensive investment in the long run.
Some of the main drawbacks of conventional locker systems include:
In contrast to conventional lockers, smart lockers employ locking mechanisms that can be engaged electronically or remotely rather than manually. The electronically-controlled locks on smart lockers are engineered to lock or unlock upon receiving instructions from a keycard, barcode, or device such as a smartphone. One example of an electronic lock used in smart lockers is a solenoid lock, which relies on electromagnetism to perform the locking/unlocking function.
Smart locker systems offer the following advantages:
In the retail environment, smart lockers provide countless benefits for both customers and retailers by automating the package notification and distribution process involved with “buy online, pickup in store” (BOPIS) services. After a package is delivered to a smart locker, the consumer receives an automatic notification of package availability along with access instructions. The consumer can then retrieve the item at their own convenience by simply scanning or entering the provided access code. In addition to increased convenience, the use of in-store smart lockers for package delivery also offers an element of security for the consumer. As doorstep package theft becomes more prevalent, smart lockers are viewed as a more secure way to have items delivered.
As BOPIS services continue to expand in popularity, the ability to use self-service smart lockers becomes increasingly important to the retailer as well. Smart locker systems streamline delivery logistics and also provide valuable real-time analytics regarding the final stages of order fulfillment. Furthermore, since smart lockers are self-service, less staffing and planning are required to facilitate store pickup. This reduces operating expenses for the retailer and makes the overall BOPIS experience much more efficient and convenient.
In offices and other workplace environments, managing traditional locker systems can be a significant challenge for administrators. Smart locker systems simplify the management process by allowing locker access in the form of electronic “keys”, eliminating the hassles associated with physical key maintenance and replacement. Having a secure, easy-to-manage locker system also provides a sense of comfort to the employee as they can be assured that any security issues will be quickly resolved.
The digital management enabled by smart lockers also provides employers with easy-to-access information showing which lockers are in use, how frequently they are used, and who is using them. An administrator can use this information to remotely assign and manage lockers among employees. This simplified allocation strategy is especially important for companies with frequent staffing changes.
The enhanced security and efficiency provided by electronically-controlled smart locker solutions make them well worth their initial investment. Solenoid-driven smart lockers, in particular, are revolutionizing the way secured storage units are managed in both retail and workspaces. In the retail world, the convenience of smart locker systems benefits both the vendor and the consumer by simplifying the in-store pickup process. In the workplace, they simplify office management and provide a safe, secure place for employees to store their belongings.
At Johnson Electric, we supply a wide range of rotary and linear solenoids for use in smart lockers as well as custom locking assemblies to fit your specifications. With our diverse portfolio of unique, high-quality solenoid options, our engineering team can work with you to find the perfect solution for your specific application. To learn more about our standard and custom-engineered solenoid solutions for smart lockers and other high-precision applications, please contact us today.
May 18, 2020
With the extenuating circumstances of the most recent outbreak, there is an even bigger demand for at-home healthcare and screening in attempt to limit in-person interactions between patients, doctors, and staff members.
Remote diagnostics, or at-home screening, allows doctors to monitor the patients’ temperature, heartbeat, ECG, blood pressure, and more from a remote location.
The same technology could also be useful to patients who are immobile, have difficulty traveling, and live in rural areas.
Additionally, this technology would free up necessary medical supplies, like hospital beds for critical patients, personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as reduce hospital bills for patients.
Recently, a company in India developed an extremely accurate ECG instrument that is the size of a keychain. This provides a viable alternative to buying a large and costly machine that isn’t needed.
Entities like Care Hub are already pushing to release kits to those who are self-isolating or can’t go into the doctor’s office. These kits come with all the technology necessary for at home monitoring.
Many hospital networks are now pushing Telehealth visits, virtual video chat appointments with patients and doctors, versus in person screenings that increase risk for doctors and other patients.
Other companies like Masimo are creating single use monitoring devices that connect to an app which guides patients through a series of questions regarding their symptoms. These devices are sent out in a multi-day supply. After completion, the results are sent to clinicians to help coordinate the patient’s needs.
Johnson Medtech creates custom printed circuits that are used in single use vital sign monitoring devices.
Our technology has been adapted to be waterproof, extremely thin, and comfortable to wear. With a global footprint we have the economy of scale for any order and can deliver it using our logistic network.
For more information please contact us.
May 15, 2020
Even though solenoids are found in many household items such as washing machines, dishwashers, doorbells, sprinkler systems, they are most known for the roles they play in allowing automobiles to run smoothly. Many car enthusiasts know of all the different solenoids found in cars and trucks, but how about in semi-trucks? Semis are much larger than standard vehicles and therefore house a greater number of solenoids than traditional vehicles.
It takes many components to make trucks operate properly, decrease emissions, and increase efficiency. Solenoids are an important component of semis. Let’s take a different look at the different kinds of solenoids and their functions.
Solenoids are a simple concept; in that they work by converting electrical energy into mechanical energy. This happens by creating a magnetic field which then produces the desired motion. Solenoids operate either a push or pull operation and some can actually do both. Simply put, solenoids signal for valves to open or close as well as to tell certain components to come on or shut off.
In some cases, such as in the transmission, there are multiple solenoids that work together to execute a function.
The starter solenoid is the most recognized solenoid and is used to initiate the engine. This type of solenoid installs in either one of two ways. The first and most common involves attaching it directly to the starter. The second includes detaching it from the starter. In a detached starter solenoid, it instead attaches under the fender well or on the firewall. This solenoid sends a powerful electrical current through the starter motor, which prompts the engine to turnover. This allows the motor to start under its own power.
This type of solenoid is a valve that is used to control the flow of transmission fluid throughout the engine. This, in turn, allows the truck to shift gears. The transmission solenoid typically installs in the transmission valve body, control unit, or control module. It is important to understand that trucks do not have just one transmission solenoid. There are several solenoids in the transmission for each gear that allows for shifting. The truck’s engine control unit or transmission control unit senses the speed of the truck and sends a signal to the appropriate shift solenoid in the truck to allow upshifting or downshifting of gears as needed.
Four-wheel drive solenoids are responsible for engaging and disengaging the four-wheel-drive feature of the semi. The size of the truck will depend on the number of solenoids required to initiate the four-wheel drive. You will find an even number of solenoids on each side of the truck in the housing. A failure in any one solenoid will cause the four-wheel-drive feature to either work improperly or not at all. A point of interest is that solenoids are not found in trucks that you have to engage and disengage the four-wheel-drive feature manually.
Door solenoids are powerful enough to open even the toughest doors and hoods of semi-trucks. The number of solenoids per door or hood will depend on the size of each component. Solenoids allow for easy opening of each component by either the push of a button or the flip of a switch. There are solenoids available that are anti-rust and will last much longer than cheaper quality solenoids that are subject to rust, cracks, and leaks.
Manual windows will not have solenoids, but semis that have automatic windows will have solenoids. The function of the solenoids is to signal the windows to move up and down. This can either be by a remote, button, or a switch.
The bottom line is that your semi will not run if the engine is not receiving fuel. The fuel injection solenoid’s function is to tell the injectors when to release fuel to the engine. There are different types of fuel injection solenoids available that are able to reduce emissions and increase the efficiency of the vehicle.
A diesel fuel shut-off solenoid is responsible for the regulation of fuel to the engine. It contains an inlet pipe, which then transports the diesel fuel from the fuel line to the solenoid valve. This type of solenoid is typically installed as part of the main electrical system. This means that abnormal temperatures or malfunctions will be monitored and if something goes wrong, the electrical current to the solenoid is shut off. The valve then closes and prevents fuel from reaching the engine.
Many vehicle accessories are powered by solenoids, and semis are no exception. Unlike traditional vehicles, semis must have the ability to perform unique functions. For instance, dump trailers must have the ability to lift and lower the bed. This is accomplished with the use of solenoids. In fact, solenoids are used to power many special features of semi-trucks.
There is not a one size fits all answer to this question. The fact of the matter is that the number of solenoids will depend on what size semi you have and what features are on it. For example, is it a four-wheel drive? Does it have power or manual windows and doors? What kind of special functions are installed on the semi? The answer to all of these questions will impact the number of solenoids on your truck.
Johnson Electric is the premier expert in solenoids for semi-trucks. Our specialists can walk you through all your options and help you decide on the best option to fit your needs. If you aren’t quite sure what you need, we are more than happy to give you professional advice on what might work best for your needs. Contact us for more information on our line of high-quality solenoid products.
April 27, 2020
People everywhere in the U.S. are enjoying the great outdoors. As a result, the number of consumers buying ATVs, snowmobiles, and personal watercrafts continue to grow. The demand for powersports vehicles is projected to expand from $11 billion in 2018 to $14.5 billion in 2025. With the prospect of so many buyers taking to the trail and the lake with their vehicles in the next several years, powersports vehicle manufacturers have good reason to rejoice.
The reliability of these vehicles is key to customer satisfaction, so a robust electric starting system is important. Most powersports vehicles are powered by internal combustion engines, and are operated through the use of handlebars and a push-button starter.
Because of the way a powersports vehicle is designed, a critical component of an electric starting system is a starter solenoid. It is essential because, if it goes bad, the vehicle will be difficult to start or it won’t start at all. While the principles of how a starter solenoid functions are fairly straightforward, it requires troubleshooting to figure out why it has failed.
Here is a basic overview of what a starter solenoid is, how it works, and how one can go bad.
A vehicle’s electric starting system requires a large amount of current to create the torque needed to turn over the engine. The conductors needed to carry the current must be large enough so that there is no drop in voltage. Wiring these large conductors to the vehicle’s ignition switch directly wouldn’t be practical, so an electromagnetic switch is used to control the current instead.
This large magnetic switch is the starter solenoid and it is mounted on the starter motor that it controls. Starter solenoids come in several shapes and sizes, but they almost always are designed as either linear solenoids or rotary solenoids.
A basic linear solenoid has an electrical coil wound around a cylindrical tube with a plunger that moves in and out of the body of the coil.
The other type of starter solenoid is a rotary solenoid. In contrast to the back and forth motion of the linear solenoid, the rotary solenoid produces a circular or angular motion, in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction (or sometimes both). This type of starter solenoid also has an electrical coil, but it has a steel frame with a magnetic disk attached to an output shaft positioned above the coil.
Both linear and rotary solenoids are available as either a holding type that is continuously energized or a latching type that has an ON-OFF pulse.
The starter that turns over the motor of a powersports vehicle has two separate circuits: one for low currents and one for high currents. Both are connected to the battery. The starter solenoid acts as a switch to take high current from the battery to the high current load at the starter. It uses a low voltage circuit that makes a contact point between the start button on the vehicle’s handlebars and the battery when the button is pressed.
The starter solenoid also uses the electromagnetic force created when current flows through its windings to produce a mechanical movement. The movement pushes the pinion, engaging it to the ring gear of the engine’s flywheel. When the starter solenoid is triggered, it starts the starter motor of the internal combustion engine.
A starter solenoid goes bad when there isn’t enough current being sent to the starter after the start button is pushed. The solenoid may behave in certain ways before failing completely or after it has gone bad. Here are the most common signs of a struggling starter solenoid.
If you’ve worked through the troubleshooting for a bad solenoid but have not found any of the symptoms listed in the previous section, it’s time to look at the symptoms of failing starter. Here are the most common symptoms of a starter that isn’t working properly.
The problems associated with a failing starter solenoid or a faulty starter highlights just how much is riding on the electrical circuits of these components. Customers expect dependable performance from their powersports vehicles under the toughest conditions, which means they need to start every time.
Johnson Electric offers robust starter solenoid solutions for manufacturers of jet skis, ATVs, snowmobiles, and other powersports vehicles. These solutions include STA Tubular solenoids, Tough Seal rocker switches, and PowerPod™ starters. All of the solutions are designed to resist vibration and corrosion, greatly reducing the chance of loose, dirty or corroded connections. Lightweight and compact, these solutions provide a lot of power and utility for their size.
What’s more, Johnson Electric has tailored these solutions specifically for each kind of powersports vehicle.
Whether your company manufactures snowmobiles, ATVs, jet skis or other powersport vehicles, Johnson Electric has starter solenoid solutions that will help them start strong every time. Your success in bringing a quality product to your customers is also our success, and we value the partnership we share with you.
For more details about a starter solenoid solution that is custom-engineered for your powersports product, contact us today.
March 6, 2020
Solenoids may be the most important part of a semi-truck you’ve never heard of before. Even those with decades of experience in the trucking and manufacturing industries may not know the important role a solenoid plays in the daily life of a truck driver. Any driver who has been out on the road for long, though, will be very familiar with the solenoid and the role it plays in getting them and their cargo from Point A to Point B.
Understanding and overcoming those frustrations can lead to happier drivers as well as more efficient deliveries. Here are five common frustrations with semi-truck solenoids and how Johnson Electric can solve them.
Solenoids aren’t known for their reliability in very hot, very cold, or very wet weather. In hot weather, the coil can’t dissipate the heat created, and the resistance of the coil increases. That means the solenoid can’t close and the coil that’s inside will burn out. You may experience something similar in extremely cold weather. If you’ve ever tried to start your car or semi-truck only to hear it click but not turn over, that could be because the solenoid is simply too cold to engage. This will happen more often if the solenoid is getting old and needs replacing.
It’s not just hot and cold weather that can stop a solenoid from working. Wet weather is another concern. Too much moisture can lead to corrosion, which can have a major impact on the solenoid’s functionality.
To avoid unnecessary maintenance issues for customers, automotive solenoids from Johnson Electric undergo a 12-hour salt spray test to check for corrosion. Each solenoid is closely inspected by our engineers at the end of the test.
This is one of the frustrations that’s particularly strong for drivers working with a company vehicle instead of their own semi-truck. Solenoids, like most moving parts on a vehicle, will eventually need replacing. How often you replace a solenoid will depend on many factors, including:
If the solenoid is being used constantly in tough conditions, most manufacturers will tell you that you’ll get about 500,000 actuations. This example is specific to applications for out tubulars for tractors.
Good maintenance can net you ten times as many uses. The problem is that drivers operating company-owned trucks have very little control over the maintenance schedule. That means they can get caught out waiting for a solenoid replacement while trying to meet strict delivery deadlines.
Is it the solenoid or the starter? That’s the timeless question a trucker will ask themselves when their rig fails to turnover. Because these systems work together and depend on each other to start the engine, if one fails then neither will work. It can be tough to know which element is causing the issue, though. If the solenoid has gone bad, then you’ll still be able to start the engine if you can pass the electrical current through the starter. If you’ve ever seen someone start their vehicle with a screwdriver, that’s what they were doing. The metal of the screwdriver acts as a connection between the two points, bypassing the solenoid and allowing the engine to turn over.
Fortunately, solenoids are easy to replace. If you misdiagnose the problem, though, it can mean the costly and time-consuming replacement of the entire starter mechanism. That’s more money and more time down the drain – and more frustrations – for what could have been an easy fix.
Of course, trucking isn’t exactly a clean job. There will be plenty of moisture and debris on the road that can get inside the engine of the semi-truck and create issues. Most manufacturers will build in protection around the solenoid to prevent dirt and debris from getting inside the value. Seals used for this purpose can get old, crack, and wear away, leaving the solenoid exposed and vulnerable. Regular maintenance and replacing solenoids at the first sign of wear and tear can prevent a total breakdown.
Semi-trucks need coolants. They help prevent the truck’s systems from overheating, so coolants aren’t something that a driver wants to go without but keep coolants away from solenoids. That’s because water-based coolants can contain fine metallic pieces. If that liquid (and the metal it contains) comes into contact with the solenoids, it can short them out.
Even if it doesn’t short out the wiring, coolants can cause other issues. Coolants can attract dust, so spillage on or near the solenoid can start to clog up the mechanism. Some coolants are sticky in certain weather conditions, another issue that can prevent solenoids from working correctly. The best method is to keep coolants away from solenoids. If you do experience a spill or a leak, clean up the coolant right away.
You can prevent most of the frustrations caused by performing the proper maintenance and buying quality solenoid parts in the first place. High-quality rotary and linear solenoids will be able to stand up to harsh conditions better and wear out slower. Making sure solenoids are clean, well-lubricated, and replaced at the first sign of wear and tear should help keep your drivers and their trucks running smoothly. Have more questions about getting the right solenoids for your fleet? Get in touch with our team now.