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.
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.
Another year has come and gone and many eventful happenings took place in the history of DISTek. We may look back at 2015 as a turning point due to the substantial changes we made in all aspects of our business. Those end-of-the-year cards you get in the mail always seem to be bragging a little too much, but that is just what I am going to do because I think the year DISTek had is worth bragging about.
Designing an HiL test system, need to modernize your laboratory, or do you just dabble in LabVIEW in your spare time? Meet DISTek’s system designers and LabVIEW architects at NI Days Chicago October 15. DISTek engineers will be at booth 19 to answer any questions you may have, maybe even that tough engineering question that has been eluding you. Put them to the challenge and see what they can do for you.