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Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s Industrial division, with regional support from Italian distributor Leane International, has supplied Penny Giles joystick controllers and rotary position sensors to Brescia Antincendi International for use on the company’s second-generation tunnel fire fighting and rescue vehicle, which has been designed for use in the thousands of kilometres of tunnels found in Italy and especially by the French/Italian Mont Blanc tunnel Fire Brigade.

FIRE-FIGHTING AND RESCUE VEHICLES

Following the devastating fire that ripped through the Mont Blanc tunnel in 1999, BAI researched and developed a vehicle that could quickly and easily access and retreat from tunnels. The result was the company’s first-generation Janus 4000 Bifronte, a dual-faced, double-direction fire and rescue vehicle which, thanks to its all-wheel-drive transmission and automatic gearbox, was capable of driving in either direction at speeds in excess of 120km/h. Additional all-wheel counter steering capabilities meant the Janus 4000 was also able to turn in very limited spaces when the rear wheels were turned in the opposite direction to those on the front and even move in an almost sideways ‘crab-like’ manner when they were turned in the same direction.

For Curtiss-Wright, the project started when BAI was looking for a friction-hold joystick to control the fire-fighting equipment installed on its second-generation fire-fighting and rescue vehicle, the VSAT 13000 S, which has been specifically designed for high-temperature fire fighting operations in isolated and low visibility tunnel environments.

The new VSAT 13000 S features updated fire-fighting equipment including roof- and bumper-mounted fire monitors (water canons), each operated by its own Penny Giles JC1500 friction hold joystick controller installed within the vehicle’s command cabin. The up/down function of each water canon is operated using the joystick’s X axis, with the rotational function being provided by a Penny Giles NRH280DP rotary position sensor fitted to the bottom of each joystick. For both roof- and bumper-mounted water canon applications, the JC1500s are also used to operate water spray or jet functions, lighting, reach and direction.

To ensure that the water canons can be operated under all conditions, even if the cabin is overcome with smoke, the position of each canon can be easily identified by looking at the position of the joystick on the command cabin’s control panel.

Curtiss-Wright Industrial Group

The Curtiss-Wright Industrial Group is formed from a number established specialist companies who are experts in the design, testing and manufacture of a range of components and systems for the safe and reliable operation and control of mobile and static machinery – especially off-highway vehicles, heavy trucks, buses, military vehicles and motorsport. Within the business are four market leading brands — Penny & Giles Controls, PG Drives Technology, William Controls, and Arens Controls.

The Curtiss-Wright Industrial Group is formed from a number established specialist companies who are experts in the design, testing and manufacture of a range of components and systems for the safe and reliable operation and control of mobile and static machinery – especially off-highway vehicles, heavy trucks, buses, military vehicles and motorsport. Within the business are four market leading brands — Penny & Giles Controls, PG Drives Technology, William Controls, and Arens Controls.

Penny & Giles Controls
Delivers rugged component level solutions using the latest non-contact sensing technologies, and specialises in rotary, linear and tilt position sensors; joysticks; solenoid actuators and associated electronic signal conditioning. The business was first established in 1956 and pioneered aerospace sensing and data recording technologies with a reputation for quality, performance and reliability. The aerospace business continues today within other Curtiss-Wright business units. The company joined Curtiss-Wright in 2002.

PG Drives Technology
Delivers rugged subsystem solutions including programmable controllers and drives used in a wide variety of advanced electric-powered vehicles such as forklifts, pallet loaders, mobility scooters and wheelchairs, serving the industrial and medical markets. These products deliver precise variable power from batteries to electric drive motors, and are fully programmable to suit various motor profiles, voltages and power levels. The business was first established in 1976 and was originally part of the Penny & Giles group of companies. The company joined Curtiss-Wright in 2012.

Williams Controls
Delivers rugged component level solutions and is a leading designer and manufacturer of highly-engineered electronic sensors and electronic throttle controls for off-road equipment, heavy trucks, and military vehicles. The business was first established in 1937 and pioneered the development of the first electronic throttle control for large diesel engines, quickly becoming the world leader in the design and manufacture of electronic throttle controls for trucks and buses. The company joined Curtiss-Wright in 2012.

Arens Controls
Delivers rugged component level and subsystem solutions and is a leading designer and manufacturer of highly engineered electronic shift controls for automatic transmissions used on heavy trucks and buses. The company also designs and manufactures power management and traction systems for the emerging Hybrid Electronic Vehicle (HEV) market. The business was first established in 1939 and pioneered the development of “by-wire” vehicle control technology, and more recently power electronic drivetrain components and systems for the HEV market. The company joined Curtiss-Wright in 2013.

Curtiss-Wright Industrial Group has manufacturing sites in the US, Europe, India and China. Total customer service and support is assured via a global sales network with CWIG offices in the US, UK, Germany, India, Taiwan and China, as well as a network of distributors and agents covering other regions.

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