HARDWARE IN THE LOOP TEST BENCH ENGINEERING

MODERN METHODS FOR SIMULATION AND VALIDATION OF electronic control units

There are no limits to the simulation and test options available with HiL test bench technology. HiL test benches are quite rightly being used in increasing numbers in modern-day development of control units.

Modern vehicle electronics consist of a highly complex and ever-growing network of electronics components and systems. The core elements are the high performance control units installed in vehicles to analyze, control and regulate, for example, engine controls, infotainment applications, lighting, driver assistance systems, user-comfort functions as well as traffic guidance systems for autonomous driving. The control units themselves are in turn incorporated in a higher-level network of systems consisting of further control units, the so-called onboard network. For communication purposes, a network of systems of this kind requires a variety of interfaces to allow the control units to communicate with one another on common bus systems (for example, CAN, FlexRay, LIN, MOST, BroadR-Reach and so forth). 

The demands placed on safety and error prevention are keeping pace with the increasing demands placed on modern functions in electronic onboard networks. So-called HiL test benches (Hardware in the Loop) are used before vehicle prototypes are utilized or even as an alternative approach to be able to systematically eliminate errors as early as possible during the development phase.

It possible to test both hardware and software components in a safe, realistic environment provided by the specially designed HiL test bench systems. At the same time the tests can be designed to encompass widely varying test options. The test objects on the test benches can be the subsequent target hardware or the entire network of systems as well as firmware components.

All HiL test benches are generally able to generate signal variables either from real components or even have the software simulate the signal variables. A decisive focus of the design concept for HiL test benches is the simulation options for the components to be tested, which in turn depends a great deal on the demands and specifications of the manufacturers or the component suppliers.

Flexibility in the sense of modification and adaptability options represents a further important aspect. The background to this aspect is the frequently changing demands during the development phase of control units. And there is also the technical aspiration to facilitate compatibility with future applications and test objects.

 

HIL-TEST BENCH ENGINEERING AT CANWAY

On the topic of HiL CANWAY differentiates between so-called component, functional, subsystem and end-to-end test benches. Functional test benches serve primarily to visualize individual vehicle functions. For example, it is possible to fully test a brake system including the brake gear, hydraulics and involved control units in a functional test bench. In contrast to the functional test bench a complete network of systems, such as the chassis and suspension including all of the involved control units and components are often tested on subsystem and end-to-end test benches. A component test bench is significantly paired back by comparison, with focus placed squarely on testing individual components.

In addition to individual customer components the core elements of a HiL test bench are, generally speaking, a high performance real-time computer interfaced with the bus system technology, a user PC and additional measuring and control electronics. Depending on customer preferences it is possible to integrate any number of software tool chains, in the sense of simulation software as well as additional analysis tools, into the overall test bench concept. As a consequence, test bench users are able to test specific components and functions while sitting at their own desk. Moreover, it is also possible to fully visualize and validate in-house developed mathematical models (for example, with MATLAB Simulink) on real components.

There are fundamentally no limits to the simulation and test options available with HiL test bench technology. That is the reason why HiL test benches are quite rightly being utilized in increasing numbers in modern-day vehicle development departments. In cooperation with its well-known customers operating in the automotive sector CANWAY has successfully developed test benches to further develop superstructures, rear-end structures, brake systems, seats, doors, body, multimedia, battery management as well as chassis and suspensions – and more. Our customers benefit from this comprehensive breadth and depth of experience, because they are able to take their innovations to series production maturity within the shortest possible time. 

Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions regarding our spectrum of performance in the field of HiL test bench engineering.