As a result of the increasing levels of plant and equipment theft in Europe, Case have decided to develop their own anti-theft protection system based on a coded electronic valve.
The first machines to benefit from the installation of the theft-prevention system — the 88-series hydraulic excavators — are all manufactured at the Crépy en Valois plant where the system was designed and developed. They include three wheeled versions and two crawler versions of the 788, two wheeled version and three crawler versions of the 988 and three wheeled versions and two crawler versions of the 1188. The theft-prevention system will also be installed on certain backhoe loader models manufactured at the Crépy plant and initially destined for the French market.
Conventional electronic theft-prevention systems cut the electric circuits on petrol or gas engines but are not effective on diesel engines. As they operate at high compression ratios, diesel engines do not require an external ignition system to activate them and so can be started even though a number of electronic or electrical circuits have been cut. The only way to protect a machine with a diesel engine is to use a system that inhibits fuel injection. Case therefore chose to develop a system of this type but with a greater guarantee of efficiency.
The Case immobilizer system, with its coded electronic valve, acts in two ways:
- by preventing the in-feed of fuel to the engine at the level of the injection pump
- by cutting the electronic circuits at several locations in the machine.
The system is tamper-proof and foolproof as the code verification system is placed in an undetectable sealed housing and, even if the code valve were to be reached, tampering with it would automatically incur the destruction of the engine part to which it is connected. The system is deactivated using a coded electronic key specific to each machine. This is initialized as soon as the machine rolls out. As soon as the operator stops the engine the immobilizer system is automatically tripped. When the operator wishes to deactivate the system, all he/she needs to do is insert the coded electronic key into its socket and then withdraw it before starting the engine normally with the ignition key. The operator has 30s after the insertion of the coded electronic key to carry out the entire operation. If the engine has not been started within that time, the security system is automatically tripped once again.
A light diode on the dashboard allows the operator to check the steps in deactivating the system. When the diode flashes slowly, the system is turned on. It switches to a steadying state when the coded key is inserted, indicating that the code has been recognized. The diode goes out when the coded key has been withdrawn and the engine has been started.