ROTZLER Unveils New Control System Platform ROTZLER APEX
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Jun 26, 2024

ROTZLER Unveils New Control System Platform ROTZLER APEX

ROTZLER, a leading manufacturer of winches and winch systems unveils its latest innovation on this year’s Eurosatory in Paris. The new control system platform offers safety and easy operation of highly complex systems. And that’s what counts in action.

The various platforms like trucks, light armored vehicles or tanks require very different integrations of winches, cranes, stabilizers, etc. There  is always the challenge of finding the right balance between weight and performance. As a result, the requirements for modern military winch systems can be highly sophisticated, combining powerful winches, stabilizers, cranes. The requirements to advanced control systems who operate powerful winches, stabilizers, cranes etc. to ensure efficient and safe operation in defence scenarios are demanding.

The negative consequences of an unsafe control of recovery or crane equipment can be severe. Slow or unsafe winching or crane work poses significant risks. Delayed reactions can lead to loss of control over heavy loads, and potential injuries. In defence situations, this can cause mission delays and even endanger personnel. Functional safety is one of the key concerns today. Operators, often with little training, must operate complex systems under high stress. An up-to-date control system must ensure that the operator can fully concentrate on the task and can rely on that the recovery system looks after itself.

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Traditional systems often rely on manual control, which requires significant experience of the operator and lacks the safety features of modern systems, as well as a supporting and guiding user interface. Also, system monitoring or feedback from the recovery system typically is not available for legacy control systems. Where the current system of ROTZLER was CAN Bus only, the new ROZTLER APEX system combines CAN Bus and Ethernet. CAN Bus is superior for real-time performance and its robustness, where Ethernet offers high data throughput, scalability, and advanced features. As a result, the various subsystems, like winches, cranes, hydraulic or electric power systems are connected via CAN Bus. The remote control, where the user interface must be very flexible, and show all kinds of data, is connected via Ethernet. Both worlds are connected by means of a specific control unit. Each sensor, each controller, each piece of software is important and everything together we consider the "brain" of a machine or system.

The remote control interacts with the user. Commands which the user enters the remote control will be sent to the control unit. This device then analyzes if it is safe to perform this action. If so, it will send commands to the controllers of the subsystems involved to perform the action. E.g. for a high performance winch task it will ramp up the hydraulic system automatically and move the winches.

The operator does not have to worry about enough engine RPM to generate the power required for certain tasks. Or no worries to raise a stabilizer by accident when the crane has load attached. The control unit will prevent such dangerous movements.

Ease of use is key for such systems. Take soldiers and fire fighters and think about the stress they might have when they operate systems. Working in a critical situation, dark, rainy, and huge pressure to perform tasks safely and quickly. They must communicate with their teammates, must look extremely carefully at the vehicle or load to be moved and they must consider the entire surrounding area so that no one is put at risk. The new ROTZLER control system platform supports them to an extent that they have a very clear and straightforward user interface. There is no need to worry at all about the machine they operate. The focus must solely be on the task at hand.

The remote control with its advanced user interface will not allow activating any function which is unsafe for the system at this very moment. The control unit will not perform or stop any function which creates foreseeable hazards or will stop movements if things become unsafe. It goes without saying that "the brain" also monitors the machine to avoid overloading or damaging the system in general.

The ROTZLER APEX control system platform consists of various components, from remote controls, ruggedized controllers, our monitoring and maintenance tool Nexus and many other useful components.

Besides the solid hardware, the software packages available provide significant advantages when developing new vehicles. From the first ideas up to the last minutes of developing ROTZLER APEX hardware and software, customization has been a key requirement.

Rotzler does not sell e.g. recovery trucks, but we support OEMs by taking a major part of the development. Bringing in our application know-how and taking responsibility for the control system for such vehicles is one key part of our work.

Developing everything from scratch for each and every vehicle is not an option. Engineering resources and budgets are tight, and schedules demanding. Being in a position having standardized hard- and software, both highly customizable, is a huge advantage for every project.

ROTZLER APEX Control System Platform in brief:
Various vehicles, such as trucks, light armored vehicles, and tanks, require different integrations of winches, cranes, outriggers, and other equipment. Consequently, the requirements for modern military engineering vehicles can be highly sophisticated. Central to their performance and safety in diverse and demanding military scenarios is an advanced control system. This system must seamlessly manage the integration of powerful winches, stabilizers, cranes, underlifts, and other essential equipment and allow an easy and safe operation of such equipment.

Empowering Your Operators:

  • Information at Your Fingertips: The intuitive user interface delivers all the essential data needed to tackle any task with confidence.
  • Minimize Training Time: Operator guidance with a menu structure makes APEX easy to learn and use, maximizing productivity right from the start.

Safety First, Always:

  • Cutting-Edge Functional Safety: APEX prioritizes safety with state-of-the-art features that minimize risk and keep your operators protected.
  • Unwavering Cybersecurity: Rest assured knowing your system is guarded by industry-leading cybersecurity measures, ensuring data integrity and operational security.

Unparalleled Flexibility:

  • Connect with Confidence: Defined communication interfaces ensure seamless integration with various vehicles.
  • Wired or Wireless Freedom: Choose wired remote control for traditional operation or go wireless with integrated Bluetooth for added flexibility.

Unleash the Power of Seamless Integration:

  • Effortless Synergy: APEX seamlessly integrates diverse subsystems like cranes, winches, dozer blades, and more. Imagine a symphony of control, where everything works together in perfect harmony.
  • Built to Endure: Ruggedized hardware – from ECUs to remote controls – ensures reliable performance, even in the most demanding environments.

Tailored for Efficiency:

  • Pre-Configured Power: Out-of-the-box software packages cater to specific subsystems, saving you valuable customization time and resources.
  • The Best of Both Worlds: Experience the combined power of CAN bus (for efficient ECU communication) and Ethernet (for smooth remote control and user interface operation).

The ROTZLER APEX Platform doesn't just offer control – it empowers you to achieve peak performance with unparalleled efficiency, flexibility, and safety.