In my work, I build Hardware-In-The-Loop (HIL) test benches. We connect prototype vehicle Electronic Control Units (ECUs) and their software to the HILs. The HILs replicate the various electronic actuators controlled and monitored by ECUs when they are connected to vehicles. We try to use the actual devices that would be used on the equipment, but there are a myriad of different reasons why this is not feasible for testing. A lot of the devices would take up too much space on the HIL. Some can be rather noisy when operating and others require complicated cooling systems to operate for extended periods of time. That is why I often create electronic circuits that will simulate the current feedback characteristics of the actuators.
Somehow we find ourselves at the beginning of September already and for those of us here at DISTek, it means that the annual SAE COMVEC show is just around the corner. This year’s show will once again be held in Rosemont, Illinois at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare September 11th – 13th. DISTek will be involved in several capacities from sales hosting a booth on the exhibit floor to engineering attending the technical sessions and panels to stay up to date on the latest technology. We are also pleased to have one of our own, Daniel Aceituna, featured in an expert panel discussion.
Hardware in the Loop (HiL) systems are used in the development and test of real-time embedded systems often found in Electronic Control Units (ECU) within almost any on- or off-highway vehicle today. HiL systems are comprised of both hardware and software that can simulate the larger entity (i.e. car, tractor, etc.), so that the smaller ECU can be inserted into that larger system to determine whether or not it’s internal real-time embedded system is performing as intended. While this may seem like a mountainous task for vehicle manufacturers in industry today, DISTek has invested in tackling the design and production of an internal HiL solution.
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around the office. We’re moving what feels like a thousand miles a minute as we put the final touches on our presentation for CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017. Yes, you read that right, the DISTek crew is headed to Las Vegas next week for THE international construction industry show. This year’s show is running March 7 – 11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you probably know a lot of about the areas that DISTek works within. Our expertise ranges across the off-highway vehicle industry (including agriculture, construction, and forestry) with engineers that specialize in a variety of disciplines. Out of convenience, we typically group these disciplines into three big areas (“embedded software”, “automation and test”, and “modeling and simulation”), but the reality is that we do all kinds of projects that cross-over between these disciplines.
In recent years Hardware-In-The-Loop (HIL) testing has become a standard part of the embedded software development process. Two trends in the embedded software development world, reduced time to market and an increase in complexity has created the need for better, more dynamic test platforms. HIL platforms provide a way to test the embedded software of a microcontroller in a real time, accurate way prior to integration on the final system.