Technological solutions designed by Blink prove perfect for the challenging industrial concrete environment.
Coime Concrete Equipment srl, based in Pregnana Milanese, Italy, is a longstanding Italian concrete machine company that designs and builds innovative equipment for interesting niche markets, and recently inaugurated its new 28-meter concrete mixer. This is a truly important machine, divided into three sections mounted on three axes, and even weighs 1,000 kilograms less than the preceding, 27-meter model. Boasting a 9-square-meter drum, the machine is embellished with keypads created by Blink Marine. Relying on extensive experience in the marine sector, Blink Marine has developed versatile products that are easy to integrate with onboard commands, and intelligent from every point of view. We were given a chance to see them in action on the 28-meter Coime concrete mixer, a machine for which the company didn’t hesitate to employ high-resistance steel.
Weldox700 was used to realize all the arm sections, as well as the core structure of the machine, while the designers opted for high-quality Fe52 for the drum, utilized in order to achieve extended endurance. The pump group is a closed, high-pressure structure that includes 200 mm tubes that provide considerable drive, perfect for the particularly hard materials that often characterize concrete currently employed in various environments.
The machine does not have any electric panel, and is totally set in CAN bus, allowing it to save considerable added weight and guaranteeing a increase in reliability. “It’s a perfect machine for the Italian market,” explains Stefano Baiardo, Coime’s Technical Director. “It’s ideal for clients who have to deal with complex work areas, generally in mountainous regions, or in coastal zones like Liguria, where the passage to a four-axes equipment can prove particularly complicated. The machine is designed for those who want a differentiated machine fleet, in which the three-axes equipment resolves all the most difficult situations from the point of view of spaces within the work site.”
Onboard, the machine boasts two Blink Marine keypads, one for each side. The smaller keypad presents essential functions, governing elements like the horn, the vibrator and lights. The second, more complex keypad is used to command the concrete mixer (substituting radio commands) and the pump, regulating engine RPMs and the mixer. “Our need to build command keypads for the driver was problematic, and furthermore it struck me as pointless to put inefficient key commands on machines of this quality,” continues Baiardo. “Instrumentation like these are often exposed to water infiltration and the keys often break. Traditional keypads require wiring, are clumsy and difficult to integrate within the machine structure. But Blink Marine’s solution, which is already in CAN bus and was originally created for the marine sector, is optimal. From an IP point of view it doesn’t create any difficulty, and makes it possible to operate in any conditions. In fact we use Blink Marine products for our tunnel machinery too, as well as those working in saline environments. Best of all, these keypads are easy to connect and relatively inexpensive.”
Today Coime uses Blink Marine keypads on their entire production line made up of concrete mixers, concrete pumps, tunnel pumps and machinery. “For our kind of production,” explains Baiardo, “we need continuous support from our suppliers. We always need to augment keypads with additional keys in order to enable new functions. As a consequence, we have to make sure we’re dealing with a flexible company, one that can respond quickly to our requests. That’s a perfect description of Blink Marine. Furthermore, their keypads have the advantage of making it possible to manage keypads at the level of software. Blink provides us a basic software as the remote element, a CANopen® that interfaces with the main circuit, then lets us decide how we want to integrate it in complete autonomy and freedom.”
Blink provides a series of keypads that are intelligent, interchangeable and easy to integrate into all kinds of vehicles.
PowerKey PRO is the only CAN keypad on the market that boasts interchangeable icons for each key. The substitution system for the inserts makes working on the user interface as simple and economic as possible. It can be implemented in a separate manner for each key, reprogramming the bus at a later date without any need for challenging hardware interventions. The use of open protocols like CANopen® and J1939 makes keypads in the PRO series easy to integrate with the onboard systems present on worksite machinery, including earth-moving and earth-lifting machinery. Designed to guarantee extended life even under the most extreme conditions, the PRO series boasts IP67 classification for resistance to water and dust. All the models are resistant to sunlight exposure and operate at temperatures between -40° C (-40° F) and +85° C (185° F).
Blink Marine keypads are easy to read and use in any given circumstance, thanks in part to smart management of the light signals produced by their incorporated LED lighting.
Blink Marine’s PowerKey PRO keypads are available in four different versions.
PowerKey PRO 2200 and 2400 (respectively four and eight keys) provide spacious (24mm) keys for quick and easy recognition, as well as clear, distinct finger pressure even when using heavy gloves and operating the keypad outside the cockpit.
PowerKey PRO 2300 and 2600 (respectively six and twelve keys) are high-density keypads with 15mm keys. Compact and rational, they guarantee operators maximum control within a minimal space.