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Patent granted to NDSU faculty member

Omid Beik
North Dakota State University
The eDrive-Phi

Omid Beik has developed an electrified landing gear system for semi-trucks.

An engineering professor at North Dakota State University has been granted a patent by the European Patent Office for a device that may pave the way for electrification of accessory components in heavy-duty industry.

Omid Beik (beak) is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at NDSU. He’s invented an electric-powered landing gear system for semi-trucks. When semi-trailers are detached from the trucks, the trailers stand on separate legs that have to be lowered by man-powered hand cranks. Beik says truck drivers can become injured while operating these cranks. With the electric landing gear system he’s developed, the legs can be lowered and raised in less than 20 seconds with the push of a button.

"In the trailer, there is a 12 volt, and some trailers have 24 volts - power line, for lights, brakes and other reasons. So we use that power from the trailer and send it to our device. It's an electric motor using rare earth, permanent magnet materials, and it has a sensorless digital controller, as well as a chain and a sprocket function all packaged into one device that attaches to landing gear, and with the touch of a button - you can raise and lower these landing gears."

Beik calls the device eDrive-Phi.

He says the patent has been approved in Europe, and patents for similar devices have been filed in the US and Canada as well. He says he expects those to come through this summer.

Beik says for a region like North Dakota, a device like this can be game changers for operators and manufacturers alike.

"The benefits this will have in North Dakota, is that - we are home to two of the largest heavy duty manufacturers, John Deere and Bobcat, and they are moving towards electrification of their systems and products. I think the electrified landing gear will go a long way for farmers, and heavy machinery operators in North Dakota. I think this will benefit the state."