When it comes to product design testing, a specification is needed for determining proper performance, function, and more. This specification will detail how the product should operate and often how it should be tested. It is often difficult to depict real world scenarios in a repeatable fashion which is needed for product testing.
PRECO Electronics® has been designing and manufacturing short range radar sensors since 2001. Extensive testing of these sensors is required to validate operation. Older versions of the PreView® Radar sensors had a short detection range (<10 meters) and the PRECO engineering team has been able to do much of the performance testing on an indoor test range. The latest generation of PreView® sensors, such as the Sentry™, have a much longer detection range of 30 meters, necessitating a different testing area.
Buy once, cry once.
You get what you pay for.
These adages are often used to describe not only the price of an item but also the quality. Consumers often have to decide between a low-priced product that probably will not last long term and a higher-priced option that, odds are, will last for a long period of time. Much like consumers, industrial buyers must decide between the cheap safety solution and the more expensive safety solution.
When creating or designing a product, engineers spend an awful lot of time sitting at their desk working on a computer. The focus of this work is using computer aided design (CAD), to speed up the planning process and to minimize errors. CAD technology allows us to bring a product to market faster.
The purpose behind testing a product is to verify that what you are shipping to the customer performs according to the product’s specifications. PRECO has a long list of customers, who have specific ideas about how they want their radar sensors to operate. Some customers want a narrow-beam radar, some want wide beam; some want long-range, some short range radar. We like to joke that we’re kind of like Burger King of radars: “Have it your way!”—hold the fries and the shake.
Currently, PRECO is able to calibrate and build custom units because we have a large test range that can verify the product functions according the customer’s specifications.
Picture this: You are flying 36,000 feet in the air, on your way to a family getaway at Disney World, and suddenly the plane experiences a critical system failure. Thanks to the multiple duplicate components and systems on the plane, a new system seamlessly takes over operation of the aircraft, and you and your family safely reach your destination, none the wiser.
The duplication of systems in this scenario is called redundancy, and it’s one of the most common fail-safe methods around. Merriam-Webster defines fail-safe as “incorporating some feature for automatically counteracting the effect of an anticipated possible source of failure.” Fail-safe is further described as “a device or practice that, in the event of a specific type of failure, responds or results in a way that will cause no harm, or at least minimize harm, to other devices or to personnel.”
Every piece of heavy-duty equipment is different. Designed for specific, and usually logistically complicated tasks, no one-size-fits-all safety package works for every equipment type. By accounting for all of the unique variables associated with a wide range of heavy equipment, object detection systems can fill in the gaps and blind spots in safety practices over a wide range of industries. By integrating radar with other active and passive technologies, the ultimate collision mitigation safety solution comes into focus.
How does it work? PRECO's Tom Loutzenheiser recently gave a forward-thinking explanation to that question in the Idaho Business Review:
“If you look at any of the autonomous vehicles, whether cars or mining trucks, they all have lots of different sensors. There’s this concept called sensor fusion, where you work together to make a smarter vehicle. The human analogy is you have a sense of touch, a sense of smell, eyesight and ears, they all contribute to you being a safe navigator of the world. There’s the same analogy in autonomy. There are multiple sensors coming into play.”
A technological development is sometimes a matter of life and death. That’s especially true of radar. One of the first practical uses of radar technology—using reflected radio waves to detect the range, angle, or velocity of objects—took off in the early 20th century as a simple device to help ships avoid collisions in fog. However, it wasn’t until the pressure cooker of the WWII era that entire countries began taking radar seriously as a matter of national security—secretly investing heavily in the development of it—that the technology really took off in spades.
Working closely with OEMs and customers across numerous heavy duty industries, PRECO has developed PreView VideoLink II as a flexible solution that supports all popular camera and monitor systems. Our support of industry standards allows us to engage with manufactures and after-market installers to provide operators with a single point of focus for their blind spot needs. VideoLink superimposes the in-cab monitor with visual alerts that show the proximity of the object to the vehicle