CAN systems in rescue operation

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Miunske’s CAN System for Emergency Services Vehicles

In emergency rescue, every minute counts. Every move has to be executed perfectly; and the technology in the emergency vehicle not only has to work properly, but must be easy to operate, too. CAN bus keyboards and modules provide an excellent solution for controlling the complex functions on board. The Berlin-based company B.A.U.S. AT, with its manufacturing base in the Polish town of Torun, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ambulances and emergency services vehicles. Its new operator control concept for emergency services vehicles uses miunske CAN systems. Talking to ‘By Wire’, Uwe Baus, the head of engineering, describes the advantages of this technology and the company’s cooperation with its new supplier.

By Wire: What kind of vehicles does B.A.U.S. AT produce?

Uwe Baus: The portfolio ranges from patient transport ambulances (PTA) and emergency doctor’s cars to ambulances. Most ambulances are developed to meet the special needs of the
customer. This also applies to the functions on board and their control.

By Wire: So, what are the features of the new operator control concept?

Uwe Baus: In the vehicles, we use PLCs with an integrated CAN-bus communication interface to control the functions. It controls all additional electrical loads, such as the fl ashing blue light, siren, interior lighting, ventilation, worklamp. Even complex customized solutions can be implemented easily with the CAN system, and the wiring is reduced considerably. A large number of convenient functions can also be integrated for the customer.

By Wire: And what role do CAN keyboards play?

Uwe Baus: Particularly in emergency services vehicles, more and more customers are asking for membrane keyboards instead of switches. The keyboards are user-friendly and with their smooth surface they are easy to clean and disinfect. This is an important aspect in ambulances. Moreover, they give active feedback on the functions switched, anytime. Failure control, e.g. of the fl ashing blue light, can also be implemented. The symbol can the, for example, flash or light up in a different colour.

By Wire: Are there other advantages that are not immediately apparent?

Uwe Baus: Thanks to the modular design and programmability, complex controls and links can be implemented reliably and easily. Even troubleshooting is easier. Some functions and switches are displayed in several places in order to reach them quickly. After all, we install up to six keyboards in an emergency services vehicle – two in the cockpit, one on the right and one at the back entrance and two in the roof console.

By Wire: How did the contact with miunske come about?

Uwe Baus: That was pretty simple: by searching on the internet. In search of a German supplier of CAN systems, I came across ‘miunske’. We hit it off straight away and there were no hitches whatsoever. That was more than two years ago. In the meantime, personal contact and good support has enabled us to establish a good working relationship based on trust.

By Wire: What do you especially appreciate?

Uwe Baus: Above all, of course the products. The tactility, layout, illumination, features – miunske keyboards are the best that I know of on the market. The layout is individually adjusted to our specifi cations. We purchase all our CAN systems for the German-speaking world from miunske. One advantage of the modules is that, because of their open system, we can program them ourselves to our own requirements. Another advantage is the excellent workmanship. Compared to their competitors, Miunske is is in another league. Especially for rescue services, quality and safety are the top priority, since human lives are at stake. Availability in accordance with the automotive standard is also important for us.

By Wire: Have you had any feedback from your customers?

Uwe Baus: The keyboards are well received. For the last year or so we have installed them primarily in fi re service vehicles. We are changing our vehicles from classic relay interconnections to CAN systems gradually. This will most certainly involve even closer collaboration with miuske.

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