How dynamic powertrain signalling greatly improves your yellowboard test coverage | add2

How dynamic powertrain signalling greatly improves your yellowboard test coverage

Published on 19th December 2017

Posted in in Automotive, Production testing

For years, much electronic automotive testing has been carried out on lab cars or yellowboards. Traditional automotive test boards consist of a metal framework, often taking the rough shape of a vehicle, onto which production intent components are placed and connected together to be tested.

Whilst this setup has been sufficient for simple automotive electrical testing in the past, the scope of verification it can support is getting narrower due to the increasing complexity of engine control modules.

These control units, or ECUs, rely upon signalling they receive from moving parts in order to function properly; signalling that traditionally has not existed in this environment.

add2’s DTB (Dynamic Test Board) can be introduced into a yellowboard setup to provide many of the signals that a real vehicle would during motion, such as from the crankshaft, the transmission, the wheel speed sensors, the fuel rail and from the injection system.


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The system enables more testing to take place at an earlier stage by simulating enough inputs to convince a system that a powertrain is present and operational.

This then allows testing of controllers that are dependent on dynamic signals to take place in a laboratory environment. In turn, a greater number of tests can be performed earlier, and in a fashion that is significantly more accurate, cost-effective and safe.

DTB InstallationThe DTB allows engineers to expose components to conditions not previously possible in the lab. It also allows for the automation and replication of test scenarios that would be either impossible or highly inconvenient to conduct under real-world conditions.

This allows for savings in terms of either the development and deployment of a complete test system or prototype, or longwinded, laborious, real-world testing performed on prototype vehicles.

Thanks to its highly accessible development toolset, the DTB increases the use of test boards and yellowboards for integration or functionality testing, resulting in greater test board value in terms of cost and time efficiency, and ultimately, less need to build and run prototypes.

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More information on the DTB is available here.

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