Actia supplies multiplexed electrical systems to UK bus and coach manufacturers and is a global supplier of diagnostic tester and software development tools. CVW finds out more.
Actia (UK) Ltd came into being in 1994 following the phased acquisition of Tekhne Ltd by ACTIA Group. The company steadily increased in size as Actia (UK) achieved business with bus and coach manufacturers for power management products, such as Aladin on Dennis vehicles, as well as instrumentation and dash panels. The introduction of MultiBUS provided the opportunity for bus and coach manufacturers to adopt fully multiplexed electrical systems and today, Actia (UK) supplies Alexander Dennis, Optare and Plaxton with their multiplexing requirements.
Increasing engineering resource equipped the company with the ability to develop custom multiplexed switch panels and related electronics to cut down costs and complexity for bus and coach manufacturers. Over the years, Actia claims to have built up a strong engineering team with hundreds of man years’ experience in the design and development of automotive electronic systems and says its core competencies are in on-board electronic systems, telematics and diagnostics.
Actia says its three core diagnostic tools – Multi-AID, Multi-MUX, and Multi-DIAG – provide complete solutions to meet the many needs and requirements of multimake workshops. By offering two-way communication with the vehicle from an embedded system level, technicians receive a fast diagnosis of performance and faults, including body electronics, engine, transmission, brakes and suspension, thereby providing a thorough maintenance and preventative solution.
With its focus on UK manufactured buses and coaches, Multi-AID offers extensive access to the Multi-BUS Multiplex electrical system to identify stored faults, view and control I/O status, adjust parameters, and download, configure and view network layouts. In addition, optional remote access is available for Actia’s Multi-BUS system through its telematics platform. This way, bus operators can monitor the electrical status of their vehicles, and fix problems from their offices.
Multi-MUX provides similar diagnosis functions by integrating with the next generation Acti-MUX electrical system. Developments to Multi-MUX include the ability to obtain system software updates direct from the OEM via the internet and Cloud-based downloads. When Multi-MUX is connected to the internet, a simple click of the ‘download update’ button on the interface’s home screen scans the Cloud for recent updates and downloads any that are ready for installation when next connected to the appropriate vehicle. This allows the operators to confirm their fleet is running on the latest software during the routine service schedule.
Multi-MUX developments include also the J1939 Scan-Tool, which allows new access to real-time sensor data and diagnostic trouble codes. The Multi-MUX diagnostic tool supports a significant range of vehicles and systems, including Optare and ADL Euro 6 vehicles running the Acti-MUX system, Cummins Engines via Cummins Insight and Voith Transmissions via Voith Diag. Via a single communications interface and a suitable laptop or tablet PC, Multi-MUX links with the vehicle’s major systems and removes the need for several ECU interfaces.
To complement Multi-AID/Multi-MUX, Actia designed Multi-DIAG Bus & Truck, a multimake solution which the company says will allow more time-efficient fault diagnosis of the main vehicle system for all major truck, bus, coach and trailers. It’s claimed that Multi-DIAG Bus & Truck can quickly and efficiently review the status and performance of the injection, ABS, EBS, EDS, gearbox, brakes, suspension, retarder, dashboard, airbag system, Adblue faults.
Key service and repair functions include read/erase faults, actuator testing, parameter reading, ECU configuration, calibration and coding for injectors, and electronic valves. Supported by integrated technical documentation and wiring diagrams, the user is guided through diagnostic operations step-by-step.
The Multi-DIAG bus and truck kit comes complete with a Bluetooth vehicle communications interface with built-in CAN multiplexer, OBD diagnostic cable, pinout kit, USB cable, and a hard-wearing carry case. Actia also provides three DVD updates a year to ensure optimum levels of diagnostic functionality and performance, regular Multi-DIAG news and technical helpdesk support.