Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE: CW) has announced that its Industrial division is supplying Penny + Giles JC8000 joystick controllers to Netherlands-based VDL Containersystemen, a designer and manufacturer of container handling systems including hooklifts, skiploaders and cable systems.
VDL Containersystemen’s ‘Classic’ control system for the hooklifts uses cabin-based air controls to operate the hydraulic main valve that drives the hydraulic cylinders. This allows the driver to operate multiple (but not simultaneous) functions, including the hooklift’s sliding arm or sliding/tilting arm.
With useable space within truck cabins becoming smaller, recent installations have been mounted to the other side of the driver’s seat, away from the door, which then required rear view windows to be specified to enable the operator to monitor what was happening during the lifting procedure.
Fortunately the change in layout did have advantages as VDL’s Ruud Paridaans explains: "VDL’s hooklifts feature either a sliding arm or sliding/tilting arm and, particularly for sliding/tilting arm applications, a higher level of functionality is usually demanded with operators wanting to control two or three functions proportionally and simultaneously."
The solution was found in VDL’s new ControllerPlus hooklift control system and the multifunction electronic joystick. ControllerPlus is VDL’s optional dedicated hooklift control system, which has evolved from a mechanical air-controlled system to a future-proofed, electronically-controlled version with a graphical user interface (GUI) on the cabin control system.
As VDL Containersystemen continued to develop ControllerPlus, the system’s parameters changed and a robust joystick was required and, following consultation between both companies, the heavy-duty Penny + Giles JC8000 multi-axis joystick controller was specified.
Engineered with a number of high-strength features, the JC8000 joystick controller is ideal for applications in physically demanding working conditions, such as the VDL application, where operators are used to using hydraulic joysticks. Added strength is achieved by increasing body material around the JC8000’s operating lever support; increasing the lever’s diameter; and changing its pivot geometry, which have enabled the joystick to handle increased torque and improved the lever’s bending and applied loads (up to 380Nm overload on the X and Y axes and 2000Nm on the vertical).
With VDL’s CAN-Plus® technology at the heart of ControllerPlus, the heavy-duty JC8000 was specified with seven fully-programmable buttons and one thumbwheel on the joystick as well as a man-present switch and CANbus J1939 output.
For the new ControllerPlus system, the joystick’s specification and functionality meant that multiple air controls and pneumatic switches could be replaced by a single JC8000 to operate the hooklift’s main cylinders, telescopic cylinder, tilting cylinder, container lock device, extendable under-drive protection, boogie blocking and pneumatically-operated safety latch.
Curtiss-Wright’s Industrial division is a recognized leader in the production of critical controls and assemblies for specialty vehicles, including sensors, electronic throttle controls and joysticks.