Extension of the low-cost HiL system to a cluster of mini-computers
The engineers at ServiceXpert Gesellschaft für Service-Informationssysteme mbH support the entire development chain of ECUs, from pre-development to acceptance testing. Since it is often necessary to resort to very expensive test environments for hardware in the loop tests, a solution was sought in order to be able to organise this type of task more cost-efficiently. For this purpose, a "low-cost HiL" was developed as a first step, which is characterised by, amongst other things, high reliability and ease of use.
However, in practice, it quickly became apparent that due to the growing complexity of the ECUs and thus also the increase in the number of connections required, the requirements for the test environment are increasing. The test environment, the "low-cost HiL" needs more hardware pins.
In order to equip the test environment with more connections, concepts for resolving this problem were created and evaluated as part of an internal ESG-Group R & D project. The user interface should be the same for the "clustered low-cost HiL" and the "single-low-cost HiL". Here, several options of the architecture were considered, the most cost-efficient and maintenance-friendly variant was chosen and on this basis, a prototype was developed. The "clustered low-cost HiL" consists of several hardware components, which are connected to each other via a bus system. Thus, it is not important to the user whether the HiL consists of one or five of these hardware components; the number of pins to be selected in the user interface simply increases accordingly.
Due to the clever architecture design and implementation, the "clustered low-cost HiL" can be extended almost without limits with little effort. Another advantage of the "clustered-low-cost HiL", compared to a "single-low-cost HiL", is the faster processing of commands, since this solution concept additionally enables parallel processing. The "clustered low-cost HiL" is often used by the ServiceXpert engineers, in combination with other tools, to carry out tests in a completely automated "remote-controlled" manner and finally to validate the results at any location.
ServiceXpert, an ESG-Group company, employs over 85 staff in Hamburg and Munich. ServiceXpert is a Europe-wide operating system and software house with a focused service portfolio for Lifecycle management of EE information for leading manufacturers of commercial vehicle and their supplier industry.