STW from Kaufbeuren is expanding its portfolio of communication modules. The newly developed TCG-4lite offers comprehensive performance and connectivity options with great economics.
Networking from machine to machine or machine to infrastructure is one of the central aspects of automated digital processes. Applications in agricultural, municipal or forestry technology as well as in construction and special machinery bring with them harsh environmental conditions. In these circumstances, a communication module needs to be protected against environmental influences such as dust, extreme temperatures, vibration and aggressive media such as fertilizers. STW from Kaufbeuren, Germany, is a leading manufacturer of automation and digitization components for these machines. Based on the successful TCG-4 communication and telemetry module, STW has developed the TCG-4lite. It offers an economical alternative for machines and applications that do not require the full range of interfaces of the TCG-4.
While not as extensive as the TCG-4, the TCG-4lite still offers a wide range of connectivity options. Mobile connectivity to cloud services is provided through the LTE modem in 2G/3G/4G networks. For satellite navigation and location determination, the TCG-4lite supports the GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and Beidou systems. Connection to the machine is achieved with two CAN interfaces or with BroadR-Reach. For data processing and storage, a 700 MHz single-core Freescale i.MX6 processor is onboard, along with 8GB of Flash and 512 MB of RAM memory. The operating temperature range of the module with IP67K protection is between -40 and + 85 °C.
Typical use cases of the TCG-4lite are location monitoring and geofencing of machines. This can be extended with warranty monitoring and verification in the event of faults and damage. With this communication module, onboard machines can be integrated into any cloud or fleet management solution. On-demand billing models and feature activation are also possible. Remote monitoring and diagnostics can of course also be realized with the TCG-4lite. From reading the fault memory, real-time debugging, software and firmware updates through to display mirroring: All these functions are available remotely, over-the-air.
With the powerful processor and memory of the TCG-4lite, pre-processing of machine data can take place on the machine and processed signals and measured values can be fed into cloud and further telematics services. The Linux operating and development ecosystem with its extensive libraries enables rapid development of vendor independent applications. Regular software and security updates ensure a high level of security. The open Linux system offers customers and developers a user-friendly environment to realize their application and innovations.