Robust ECU – engine control unit for Volvo construction equipment

In 2008, Develco and GPV established collaboration on developing a new Engine Control Unit for Volvo Construction Equipment (V-ECU). Develco was responsible for development of electronics, while GPV was responsible for the mechanic integration and production.

Immense Technical Demands

Develco has great expertise within development of electronics for the automotive industry, but this was a special challenge due to the immense technical demands. The V-ECU is the central control unit in Volvo CE’s off-road Articulated Haulers and potentially in Wheel Loaders and Excavators etc., which in use are exposed to harsh environments, heavy vibrations, dirt, temperature fluctuations, damp etc. This implies huge requirements regarding electrical, as well as mechanical robustness.

High Accuracy

The complete V-ECU is a complex unit with both analogue and digital technology, over 2400 components, and high component density.  The many I/O with OBD (On Board Diagnostics), both analogue with high accuracy (0.02%) and digital outputs with up to 3 Amps output power, represented a great challenge for both electrical and thermal design. The safety requirements demanded OBD on all I/O to ensure that the unit is able to determine whether a given output functions properly or perhaps is shorted, interrupted or for some other reason, does not work. To enhance safety margins, the V-ECU was designed to comply with significantly tightened EMC requirements in relation to the applicable regulatory requirements. The V-ECU is designed to be consistent with the requirements for an IEC 61508 SIL2 classification. (Safety Integrity Level 2).

Long lifetime value

The product is designed to have a life expectancy of 30 years, tested with 20grms in 32 hours, HALT tested to 50grms and IP65. Thus, the client received a high quality product and a guarantee of a long lifetime value, as well as assurance that the product meets all the technical and safety requirements.