June 2011
STW Technic, LP Newsletter
In This Issue
Controller Reliability
SIL2 Certification
2012 Mobiltron
Other News
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STW Technic is the premier manufacturer of mobile electronics for off-highway work vehicles. The STW ESX line of freely programmable controllers and I/O modules combines German Engineering and American software ingenuity to bring you the most cost effective and capable controller solutions on the market today.
STW provides:
  • Freely programmable controllers and I/O modules for off-highway vehicles
  • Freely programmable, mobile rated displays
  • Freely programmable telematics controllers
  • Robust sensors for pressure and force measurement

STW Controllers - Robustness, Reliability and QA Testing


Making electronic controllers for mobile equipment is no simple task.  The typical mobile machine operates in an excruciatingly demanding environment.  The vehicle often vibrates, shudders and moves with large G forces in abrupt and dramatic maneuvers.  It is exposed to extreme temperatures, temperature swings and humidity.  It experiences the indignities of mud, rain, snow, ice, salt spray, pressure washing and a host of other environmental challenges.


It takes years of experience to understand and incorporate the design subtleties and manufacturing and assembly techniques necessary to ensure that mobile electronics can operate reliably over years of service in even the harshest environments.  And then it takes years of testing and fine-tuning to perfect processes to achieve the reliability and robustness that characterizes STW controllers.


STW engineers have been thoroughly enmeshed in this design process for over 20 years.  As one of the pioneering companies in this industry, STW has a host of design engineers who are experts in this field with combined experience of hundreds of years.  They continue to refine their techniques with each new product.  They also gain new understanding from repairs of components returned from the field.  This is one of the reasons why STW repairs its controllers and only replaces them if the damage is too severe to repair.


A big part of creating robust and reliable controllers is the QA process.  STW has been an innovator in this field as well.  Our three phases of quality assurance constitute a rigorous and complete testing of every single controller that we build.  First comes our automated optical inspection (AOI) system, which checks each component and its placement on the PCB and looks for any anomalies.  Then an in-circuit test is performed on every electrical connection in the controller.  The third and final step is a 3-stage burn-in of the controller in a temperature (climate) chamber.  The controller is loaded with test software and all functions are fully tested after equilibrium is reached at the low extreme (-40C), the high extreme (+85C) and at room temperature.



STW Controllers are SIL2 Certified 


Internationally the standard for the "Functional safety of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related systems" is IEC 61508. This standard contains, among many other points, the assessment of risks (safety integrity levels) and the corresponding control measures.


The term Safety Integrity Level (SIL) is defined as a relative level of risk-reduction provided by a safety function, or to specify a target level of risk reduction.


In the field of mobile equipment, personal protection and safeguarding must be given the highest priority in the planning, developing, operating, and maintaining of mobile equipment. Before equipment is put into service, it should be subjected to a hazard and risk analysis to define the safety requirements. Such a risk assessment can be accomplished thru a risk assessment chart.


The following main risk parameters are used as basic definitions for such an assessment.




Consequence (C)

C1 Minor injury

C2 Serious permanent injuries to one or more persons, death to one person

C3 Death to several people

C4 Very many people killed


Frequency of and exposure time in hazardous zone (F)

F1 Rare to more often

F2 Frequent to permanent


Possibility of avoiding the hazardous event (P)

P1 Possible under certain conditions

P2 Almost impossible


Probability of the unwanted occurrence (W)

W1 Very slight probability and only a few unwanted occurrences

W2 Slight probability and few unwanted occurrences

W3 Relatively high probability and frequent, unwanted         occurrences


An example of a SIL2 requirement could be C2+F2+P2+W1 as shown in the risk graph above.


STW has several controllers in the "ESX" family that offer SIL2 hardware/software solutions.  While many applications do not require SIL2 controllers STW is proud to be able to offer a solution to those that do require SIL2.  Please inquire with STW if your application requires a SIL2 controller.


Mobiltron USA in Early 2012 - Mobile Applications of Hybrid Electric Drives


STW Technic will host a Mobiltron (Mobile Electronics) conference early in 2012.  The conference will be focused on the emerging technologies and application of mobile hybrid electric drive units.


The Mobiltron conference will consist of presentations and panel discussions.  The talks will not be sales-oriented, but rather attempt to advance the state of the art in this field and allow all of the participants to share technology insights, challenges, successes and their vision for the future.   A variety of participants -  academicians and researchers, OEM executives and engineers, system integrators and electronic component manufacturers - will be invited to ensure that a full spectrum of knowledge and perspective is present.


Here are some of the questions that we expect will be addressed:


  • What is the current state of hybrid electric drives in the mobile, off-highway world?
  • What are the unique technical challenges and requirements?
  • What kind of standards are emerging?
  • What is the current state of battery technology?
  • What kind of efficiency gains and machine performance optimization can be expected from hybrid electric drive implementation?
  • What are the economics of using this technology?
  • Is the market ready or is it still in R&D mode?
  • What are the best applications for this technology?
  • What are the safety implications?


The conference will be held in the Atlanta area over a two day/two night period.  The hotel and conference space will be co-located.  The nominal registration fee will cover meals and activities.


If you believe that you and/or your colleagues would be interested in attending this conference, please contact us at





New Faces at STW Technic!!



We are happy to announce the addition of two new employees to STW Technic - Janessa Sutton, who joined us in February, and Andres Rojas, who came on board in April.




Janessa has joined our Sales Department as a Sales Administrative Assistant.  She is actively involved in many of the processes that make up a successful sales order and its timely fulfillment.  She is also supervising part of our RMA and repair process.  Janessa is finishing up her B.A. in Business Administration in the evening.  She has worked in a variety of administrative positions and brings a lot of great skills to STW.




Andres Rojas joins us as an Application Engineer.  Andres is originally from Columbia (not South Carolina, but rather the country!)   His family moved to the U.S. when he was a high school student and he managed to master English and pile up enough credentials to gain acceptance to Georgia Tech .  He is a recent graduate with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.  He has already executed several projects using both controllers and displays.


STW Technic is Expanding!  (and therefore we have to move . . .)   

STW Technic has been fortunate enough to grow very quickly over the last two years and we have outgrown our current space.  We will be moving into more spacious accommodations in the near future, so look for a new address from us sometime in late summer or early autumn.



Upcoming Tradeshows:


IDGA Military Vehicle Conference - Detroit, Michigan, August 9-11


ICUEE - Louisville, Kentucky, October 4-6


Dale Albee
STW Technic, LP