Squeaky clean cars with iX HMI

For do-it-yourself washing, car owners can count on self-service car washes from Ehrle. Ehrle, a leading European manufacturer of high-pressure cleaning equipment, offers both mobile and stationary cleaning units as well as complete self-service car washes. To update these self-service car wash systems and to support the operating companies with additional functionality, Ehrle relied on the iX HMI solution from Beijer Electronics.

User-driven development
In order to develop an intuitive and user-friendly solution, Ehrle intensively studied car wash usage patterns and operation habits as well as suggestions for improvement from their customers, who operate the car washes. The study showed that operators needed a convenient, centralized condition monitoring of their entire car wash station. Ehrle also needed to be able to offer operators remote maintenance and remote services quickly and easily.

Compact and accessible remotely
The existing operator interface in Ehrle’s car wash system offered only limited network capability and also could not fully meet Ehrle’s requirements regarding resolution and graphics. So, Ehrle was looking for a network capable and also compact operator interface with outstanding resolution and graphics. Furthermore, it was absolutely necessary to find a panel which could be easily integrated in the existing environment of up to eight networked controllers, and which was able to communicate with all wash bays of the car wash via LAN.

In the iX T7A touch panel from Beijer Electronics, Ehrle gained a network capable and compact operation solution in one 7-inch panel. Additionally, Ehrle gained the flexibility to offer car wash operators the larger iX T12B panel when an even more detailed overview of all parameters is requested. Due to the multiple controller functionality of the entire iX HMI panel series, both panels harmonize perfectly with the existing controllers and hardware components, and easily manage up to eight controllers at the same time.

Ehrle was especially impressed by the resolution of the iX HMI panels, which results in a razor-sharp readability of the technical data on the screen, and the configuration software which made it possible to create operator screens that match exactly what they imagined. Beijer Electronics assisted with project help to achieve the desired cockpit-inspired rounded instruments which, together with a customized front foil, ensure that the operator interfaces fit seamlessly into the corporate design of Ehrle.

Convenient system condition monitoring
At the car wash, the operator panel is located in a space-saving mechanical room positioned between the different wash bays and provides the operator a complete overview of the entire car wash. On the TFT display crucial information such as turnover, operating hours, chemical dosing volumes, error records and technical service information is accessible – making it considerably easier for the car wash operator to keep track of financial and technical parameters. The scheduling feature in the iX HMI solution enables the car wash operator to predefine regular and happy-hour price differentiation to best suit his customer flow.

Access around the clock - worldwide
The iX HMI panel series from Beijer Electronics provides secure access to all data via a web browser from anywhere in the world; even using a smartphone or tablet PC is no problem. A simple ISDN / DSL connection with fixed IP address at the car wash is sufficient to access the panel display remotely. In order to support the car wash operators in running their business smoothly, Ehrle can access the system and data via VPN tunnel, resolving technical issues in a fast and customer oriented way. Also, software updates can be loaded automatically without any effort for either the car wash operator or Ehrle. This convenient remote access customer service is especially helpful as the Ehrle car washes are in action around the world.