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2020 IBEX Innovation Award Interview with Veratron

LinkUp

The Veratron family of LinkUp single function gateway modules provide an easy method to convert vessel and engine signals, and diesel engine J1939 protocol to NMEA 2000. The LinkUp  gateway configuring process is extremely user friendly via our dedicated “Veratron LinkUp Configurator” App available for Android or iOS mobile devices.

What problem does this product solve?

The LinkUp Gateway and Smartphone app simplifies the task of converting an engine, battery or vessel signal to NMEA2000. One single LinkUp Resistive gateway can be configured to convert 13 different functions for up to 4 instances which helps our customer to reduce inventory by only needing to stock one SKU.

How did you become aware of the problem?

As a long time manufacturer of instrumentation and sensors, we’ve been involved in helping OE engine and vehicle manufacturers migrate from analog to digital and CAN systems. We saw a need to create and offer boatbuilders and aftermarket retrofit customers an easy way to convert those analog signals to NMEA2000, allowing the data to be shared with our devices on the bus.

What challenges did you encounter?

A challenge we experienced with this product was how to make a universal gateway that would support the various international standards and sensor ranges. We came up with the idea to offer a menu that customers could select from depending on the region and preferences.

What was the product development process?

The development, engineering, validation, testing, PCB and final assembly is all completed in-house. The unit meets applicable ISO, UL, CE and other standards as well as being NMEA2000 Certified. The mechanical design is simple, robust and elegant. The gateway uses a patent pending wireless NFC technology to program the module using the free LinkUp Configurator smartphone app. The smartphone app is easy to use and available on IOS and Android devices.

What customizations do you offer?

An important feature is the ability for the user to set alarm thresholds, for example: alarms for engine temperatures and pressure. This creates a customized experience for the boat owner.

Are there other components required for the product to perform or to enhance user experience?

No, the LinkUp is standalone. However, we offer additional kits that include a sensor, such as the Intelligent Battery Sensor.

Was this product manufactured sustainably? Does this product lend itself to being green?

Veratron’s factory in Switzerland meets strict European standards, which in most cases are the same or similar equivalent to US standards, for example CE and UL. We use international standards such as ISO for quality, safety and lab certification. All Veratron products are REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) and RoHs (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliant. Reach certification is related to plant and product safety, and in addition to all of Veratron’s products, the factory is also compliant. RoHs (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) means we are not using lead based or other dangerous substances in electrical or electronics production, such as component soldering or PCB (printed Circuit Board) production.

How has the industry received LinkUp?

The feedback has been very positive from the aftermarket. Boatbuilders are evaluating for next year’s model release. The primary application is to convert tank level signals to NMEA2000 with data displayed on multi-function displays. We also have several boatbuilders evaluating the LinkUp Intelligent Battery Sensor.

For more information about the 2020 IBEX Innovation Award winners, click here.

Veratron

About

The Veratron team has been responsible for the development, production and sales of all VDO Marine products since Continental Automotive sold the brand in 2018. With over 20 years of marine industry experience, Veratron’s management and team have a solid foundation which has allowed us to continue to develop world-leading instrumentation, electronic modules and sensors. Our expertise, alongside a passionate and experienced team, ensures outstanding quality in all areas.

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2020 Innovation Award Winner

Category: OEM Electronics

“Veratron’s LinkUp solves the challenge of configuring NMEA 2000 sensors, even when they are not yet installed,” said Ben Stein.

Links

Website

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Intelligent Battery Monitoring System
Link Up Gateway Resistive Type

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