Automation Solutions for Extreme Cold

Using connectivity solutions by Turck, Certified Power creates deicing systems that clear snow and ice from roads and lessen the environmental impact of sodium chloride

Certified Power develops and produces deicing system for new snowplows or to those that are already in service. In order to connect valve banks, sensors and controls reliably, the company, based in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, decided to apply Turck's junction boxes and cordsets, which are withstanding water, ice, salt, hydraulic fluid and other materials.

  • The junction boxes and cordsests from Turck are well prepared for the tough winter conditions

  • Cirus customers can reduce cost of materials by 30 to 80 percent

As the people in Minnesota know, winters can be cruel. Residents there are all too familiar with subzero temperatures that leave ice and snow covered roadways for months on end. Snowplows that clear the road and spread the ice-melting products that make traveling less treacherous are a necessity for people living in many northern climates. Even so, most drivers don’t think about what happens to the deicing material – usually sodium chloride (salt) – until they are washing it off of their vehicles.
Certified Power in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota have been working to design control systems used on the snowplows to regulate the amount of salt being applied to roadways since 2001.

How much is enough?

Where traditional systems rely on user expertise, electronic control systems are used to measure system features that help regulate salt usage.
In Certified Power's electronic control systems, a valve bank is mounted onto the truck frame and is connected to the controllers in the cab of the snowplow. Finding a cable supplier with connectors that can hold up in the cold, wet and abrasive conditions found on a snowplow led Certified Power to Turck.

Depending upon the configuration, Certified Power uses Turck 4 and 8 port junction boxes with either M8, M12, M23 or 1-1/8 inch molded connectors to connect the devices in the valve bank. Turck’s connector’s large size makes it easier for operators to connect the devices in the field, and integrated LEDs improves field diagnostics by allowing the user to visually see if the connection is operational.

Since Certified Power makes custom valve banks per their customer’s requests, another benefit of using Turck connectors is the company’s ability to customize terminated valve connections for specific valve manufacturers. In this way, Certified Power customers are ensured the right connection for the valve back system they’ve chosen to use.

Less salt equals less expense

Using Certified Power has numerous benefits to the user aside from the environmental impact, including having to purchase less salt. A Certified Power customer that retrofitted 25 snowplow systems was able to save over 30 percent in material costs for a full season by using the control system. Even more savings can be experienced when using a closed loop system, where event and performance data is recorded and downloaded to provide performance feedback to operators.

Among other features, this data allows users to see exactly where the salt has been applied via a GPS system so that cities are better able to manage the deicing process. According to Mortell, users that move to a closed loop system can experience a savings of up to 80 percent. In an example of true partnership, a city and a watershed district authority partnered to purchase and install this equipment and to share the deicing performance data, as well as the data regarding the amount of chloride going into the watershed surrounding the city, to accurately gauge the outcome.

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