In this section of the website you will find extended discussion of testing methodologies and concepts. This includes both the manufacturing processes they serve and many of the principles upon which they are dependent.
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Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing is a test methodology that can be used throughout the development of real-time embedded controllers to reduce development time and improve the effectiveness of testing.
As the complexity of electronic control modules (ECMs) increases, the number of combinations of tests required to ensure correct functionality and response increases exponentially. Older testing methodologies tended to wait for the controller design to be completed and integrated into the final system before issues could be identified.
The term ‘software-in-the-loop testing’, or SIL testing, is used to describe a test methodology where executable code such as algorithms (or even an entire controller strategy), usually written for a particular mechatronic system, is tested within a modelling environment that can help prove or test the software.
During these testing stages the use of modelling toolchains (such as MATLAB Simulink®) can greatly improve the ability to integrate software code execution within an overall simulated environment.
Model in the loop (MIL) testing and simulation is a technique used to abstract the behaviour of a system or sub-system in a way that this model can be used to test, simulate and verify that model.
By using a standard toolchain such as Simulink® for model definition you can test and refine that model within a desktop environment, allowing complex control functionality to be proven out as part of an iterative process.
Production testingView application
End-of-line production testing ensures that electronic components contained within vehicle sub-assemblies such as bumpers, spoilers and door modules are correctly manufactured before being passed to later stages in the vehicle manufacturing process.
Common types of end-of-line testing include simple continuity testing (where it is established a component is connected), advanced continuity testing (where it is established the correct type of component is connected) and functional testing (where the component’s functionality is tested prior to later manufacturing stages).
Validation testingView application
A considerable amount of electronic validation and verification testing has been carried out on vehicle test boards for many years. These traditional automotive test boards consist of production-intent control units laid out on a table and connected together.
Due to the increased complexity of control modules, these systems rely upon signalling they receive from moving parts and environmental information in order to function properly. Increasing the representativeness of this test environment is key in moving test processes to earlier development phases, where they can be better controlled and less expensive.
Rapid Control PrototypingView application
Rapid Control Prototyping (RCP) is a test and development methodology used to accelerate the design process by using model-based design to test a control strategy on physical hardware early in the design process.
RCP hardware typically comprises a single, small, portable unit that can be run within the same environment as the final intended controller, with sufficient processing capability to turn the auto-coded model and with all the I/O necessary to interface to the system in which testing is to be performed.
EMC testingView application
As the complexity and number of in-vehicle electronic controllers increases, so does the likelihood of their failure. When failure does occur, the wealth of possible causes makes their investigation a laborious task.
Research indicates that many such issues are caused by battery supply disturbances of various kinds. These disturbances are often caused by a combination of elements including battery charge levels, networked load impendence, poor harness design or incremental damage. Beyond this, the wealth of interactions occurring each second between elements in an electrical system also impacts the delivery of power from a battery to all connected components.
“add2’s main strength is in innovative and appropriate technology for automotive applications. Simply put, this reduces the work required for the OEM customer to achieve desired test cases.”
Kyaw Kyaw Soe, E/E Core Systems & Software Engineering, Ford Motor Company