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Control System

We believe that one of a forestry machine's most important elements is a good control system. A good machine has to feel easy to operate starting from the very first day and be able to adapt as the operator's skills develop. Because of this, we didn't want to leave the control system development to subcontractors as many other machine manufacturers have done. Instead, in 2014 we started to develop our own control system with the goal of creating the best small forestry machine control system in the world. The result was the Usewood RECS control system which is comparable to big forestry machine's control systems in it's features and operator usability but not in price.

Greater precision and ease of use

Electrical control systems were standardized in forestry machines more than 10 years ago. The benefits of an electrical system are soft and shock-free movements. While traditional mechanical controls leave all fine tuning to the operator requiring hundreds of hours of practice, electrical control system makes it easy to carry out even more than four simultaneous movements with ease. The operator doesn't need to focus as much on keeping the crane movements smooth, leaving more time for work planning and making it possible to drive with faster crane speeds. In addition, smooth crane movements extend the lifespan of the crane by reducing the stress on metal parts.

Settings for up to four operators

The Usewood RECS can save parameters for up to four operator's. The operator signs in when starting the machine and the control system automatically fetches the settings saved for him/her. This way all movement speeds, accelerations, button mappings and directions can be set individually for each operator.

Reliability with CAN-bus technology

The Usewood RECS control system is based on industry standard CAN-bus technology which is in it's own class for reliability and safety. The control system consists of multiple controllers which communicate with each other via CAN-bus. Our expertise with the CAN-bus is well known even at the Tampere University of Technology. By dividing the responsibilities for different tasks between multiple controllers, the system's reliability and ease of installation increases. Wire lengths and the amount of connectors, which are the most unreliable electrical components, are decreased. The control system also has a high distributed processing capability, which lowers the requirements for digital electronics. The controllers can be built more robustly to withstand the demanding environments met by mobile machinery. Claims that electronics are not for forestry machines have been proven wrong over many years. We have minimized oxidizing by using only the most reliable golden connectors. A well designed and implemented CAN-bus based distributed control system is not only reliable, but it can also detect problems in itself and inform the operator of them.

Digital fuses

If a fault occurs in the machine the control system is responsible for detecting it. By locating the fault down-time can be minimized. All controllers in Usewood RECS work as intelligent digital fuses. They can measure the electrical current flowing to each peripheral, such as the air conditioner, lights and hydraulics. If for some reason a short circuit happens or a connector gets disconnected, the system protects itself and informs the operator what kind of problem has happened and where. After the fault has been removed, the system returns to normal operation by itself without the need to change burned fuses or acknowledge fault codes. In fact, thanks to the control system we have been able to get rid off separate fuses for different peripherals. There are only a couple of main fuses next to the battery, and the rest is up to the control system. As safety is very important to us, we wanted to prevent all possible fault scenarios. Because of this the digital circuit is duplicated, ensuring that a single malfunction cannot endanger the safety of the operator.

Optimized for small forestry machines

Seamless compatibility between machine modules is possible to achieve only by developing both the machine and the control system by oneself. All of our R&D engineers take part in machine manufacturing and test driving because that is the best way to develop practical solutions to real life problems. In this way we have managed to develop a control system that fits perfectly into the demanding forest environment starting from wires and connectors all the way up to the controllers and user interface. We use only waterproof connectors with gold-plated contacts ensuring good conductivity even after decades of use. Because electronics develop rapidly, we constantly evaluate our parts and systems to keep them updated with cutting-edge technology. Electronics designed 10 years ago are outdated today.