This article is contributed by Delta Systems, a manufacturer of switches, displays and controls for outdoor power equipment (OPE). Based in Streetsboro, OH, the company has been a longtime supplier to top mower manufacturers such as MTD, John Deere, and Husqvarna.
Delta Systems believes in going above and beyond the ordinary, changing the way people interact with mowers. As a supplier of switches, displays and controls, Delta Systems builds its components to not only perform in harsh conditions, but the 47-year-old Ohio-based company also designs elegant and easy-to-use Human Machine Interface (HMI) dashboard solutions that keep drivers in command with a focus on ease and convenience.
“The consumer demand for what is expected with engine-powered outdoor power equipment follows the trends we see in automotive design, albeit with a bit of lag,” said Bill Michaels, senior vice president of sales & marketing for Delta Systems, a firm that has been a longtime supplier to top mower manufacturers such as MTD, John Deere, and Husqvarna. “Operators want simple, intuitive dashboard interfaces that provide at-a-glance information, and they want the equipment to work every time. There’s no tolerance for downtime because that means lost money to landscapers.”
Designing The Inside For What’s Outside
To help keep mowers running smoothly, Delta Systems has developed a deep bench of IP67-rated mower components for various outdoor power equipment (OPE) applications, including walk behinds, stand-on mowers, riding mowers and ZTRs. Built to counter tough environmental conditions, these components range from switches to controllers, displays to connectivity solutions, and are designed to be impervious to contaminants such as water, dirt, oil, and other pollutants that reduce part life and cause inconvenient downtimes.
“We’re seeing a shift in how equipment is being used today and the harsher working conditions upon which they operate,” said Michelle Specht, Delta Systems’ product marketing manager. “Our OEM partners need parts — particularly those that relate to safety functions — that offer the resilience necessary to meet customer expectations.”
This portfolio of IP67-rated solutions offers smart, resilient designs that push the limits of endurance, raising the bar in both performance and equipment operator’s peace of mind. A few of Delta Systems’ newly launched sealed solutions include: a Sealed Universal PTO Switch, an upgrade developed universal application from 10mA to 10Amps; a line of Sealed Plunger Switches, an advancement from the company’s popular plunger switch line, used in various applications such as brakes and safety seat switches; a Push Button Ignition Switch – a sleek, automotive styled upgrade from key-on rotary ignition switches that collect grime and moisture.
“We have a long history with these components that we’re now sealing, and through extensive field testing, we’ve developed reliable designs that help lower warranties while increasing reliability,” Michaels said. “Our customers are coming to us for this technology, which lowers their total part costs over time.”
Delta Systems’ decades of OPE switch design has been a tremendous benefit to developing these new sealed parts, according to Michaels. “It is very difficult to design these sealed products, and our expertise in in-house design engineering has made it possible to transition our customers to this new, much-needed design.”
The company is also currently developing a handy, cost-effective push button ignition switch for the walk behind and other various markets, ranging from snow throwers to brush mowers, Specht said. Offering a simple operator interface that eliminates manual starting, the new prototype is expected to be ready for production in 2019 and offers OEMs a clear-cut, one-piece assembly, making production of the finished mowers easier and more streamlined.
Designed For Ease In Operator Experience
Along with designing parts that are IP67 rated for durability, Delta Systems is focused on bringing sleeker designs to the mower dashboard, particularly for stand-on and ZTR mowers.
“It’s not only about making components that look nice, but it’s about simplifying the experience,” Michaels said. “Consumer expectations are based on everyday electronics that we use in our homes and in our cars. We want to mirror that experience so that there’s no learning curve involved. Mower operators have all of the machine information they need at their fingertips in their line of sight.”
Delta Systems has designed a full range of intuitive and durable, IP67-rated interfaces that provide tailored data that’s specific to mower operator needs, from straightforward hour meters to designs that provide complete CAN-bus diagnostics.
“Part of what makes Delta the leader in OPE switches and interfaces is our ability to work with our customers to customize their specific essentials and dash space and aesthetics,” Specht said. “With a team of in-house designers, we’re primed to help bring to life the perfect solution to fit each mower design and operator need.”
From 2-inch dash gauges that feature capacitive touch buttons to 4.3-inch, color, advanced touch screen displays with full CAN-bus diagnostics, Delta Systems offers unparalleled data access to mower malfunctions, safety interlock status, and maintenance reminders.
The latest in its line of interfaces, Delta Systems’ new CAN-bus capable 7” Advanced Touch Screen Display provides an operator-focused dashboard that keeps drivers in command with the efficiency, technology and sophistication expected of today’s modern equipment. This next generation Human Machine Interface (HMI) marks the future of machine maintenance and operator interface, providing at-a-glance notifications and simple operator interactivity. The new CAN-bus capable 7-inch Advanced Touch Screen Display provides operators with a full-view of machine functionality in a seamless and intuitive user interface, making equipment monitoring and safeguarding a breeze.
“We even offer wireless connectivity solutions using Bluetooth Low Energy Technology, connecting smart devices directly to any piece of equipment that uses our Delta Blue™ modules and controllers,” Michaels said. “Our goal is to be part of the vast system of next level communications, providing easy data access and storage.”