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IFM Partners with Scarab Sweepers.
Thursday, Oct 20, 2011 3:56 pm
IFM Partners with Scarab Sweepers.

Building Road Sweepers for over 30 years and with customers all round the world they pride themselves on not only their products but also a first class support team.

When choosing a new control system partner, it was key to not only have first class products but also a company with an in-depth knowledge of the municipal industry. Scarab chose ifm electronic.As with any municipal vehicle uptime is crucial, so it was vital to have components specifically designed for the tough environment but also an intelligent diagnostic system to allow operators to pinpoint any issues and resolve them quickly.

Scarab's design is centered around a CAN master controller with common slave controllers. Customised tactile push buttons and joystick are connected locally to CANOpen nodes housed in the cab.

The availability of CAN-based chassis meant it was possible to eliminate much of the hard wiring between the sweeper body and truck chassis. Scarab decided to introduce the CAN bus interface as standard on all production vehicles, utilising ifm's knowledge and close working relationship with the chassis manufacturers: MAN, Mercedes, Scania, Volvo, Renault, Iveco and DAF.
The SAE J1939 standard documents all the data and information that is available to body-builders from the truck chassis. This standard allowed Scarab to have common platform across the large range of chassis requested by their customers.

IFM was able to offer a complete control solution with position sensors for both the hopper down detection and pneumatic cylinders.

Fundamental to the decision process was the ability for Scarab to not only create their own software but also the ability to maintain and develop it, thus being in control of their own destiny. Using the open source CoDeSys 2.3 software (IEC 61131 compliant) allowed Scarab's engineering team to create everything from the custom graphics on the operator display to the unique hydrostatic drive control software.


The icon-based display was important in selling to Scarab's multi-national customer base, however utilising the flexible file system of the ifm display permitted multi-language text to be used.

Scarab commented as follows on the reasons for using a CAN control system:

"Simplicity is the keynote here, by using just two wires and micro-controller based modules (the control nodes) it is possible to eliminate most of the complex wiring looms necessary to control sweeper functions. The bus connects to the nodes which are located adjacent to the various valve blocks, pumps or motors as necessary, requiring only short cable runs to the components in question. The benefits to sweeper design and operation are unquestionable and it will be no suprise to those who understand good design, that Scarab have fully embraced CANbus, incorporating it into our latest models."

More details at

ISO 9001


Scarab Sweepers Limited
Pattenden Lane - Marden
Tonbridge - Kent
United Kingdom
TN12 9QD

Tel: +44 (0)1622 831006
Fax: +44 (0)1622 832417

Scarab Road Sweepers