According to FMI’s Automotive Electronic Control Unit (ECU) Market Assessment, the global market for ECUs – including engine, brake, suspension, and body control modules – is forecasted to grow at a strong CAGR of 7.1% through the period of 2017-2022. The race to creating smarter, safer, and cleaner cars for the mass market is tighter than ever, and with that comes the pressure to speed up the R&D cycle while still providing comprehensive, bulletproof testing that roots out potential problem areas.
Wineman Technology, Inc., an international test systems integrator, today announced the company has formed a strategic relationship with Viviota, innovator of engineering big data management and deep insight software, to offer comprehensive electromechanical test and data analytics solutions targeted at automotive, medical device, and aerospace markets.
Vehicles are being controlled by progressively more advanced computers called ECUs (Electronic Control Units). Testing the designs for new ECU hardware and firmware on actual cars, trucks, and airplanes is expensive, cumbersome, and sometimes even destructive. To speed development and reduce risk, engineers test their ECU designs "virtually" by using software models to simulate various physical components like engines, wheels, and sensors. However, these "models-in-the-loop" or MILs have limitations. Would you drive a car or fly in an airplane that had been designed based only on software models?
To help engineers develop test systems in the southeast region, Wineman launched the Raleigh, NC office in August of 2011. Since that time, the team has provided surge support to test engineering teams for ongoing design efforts or created one-of-a-kind test systems from the ground up across more than 100 projects.
When engaging our Raleigh group, product designers and test engineers get to work with local Certified LabVIEW Architects with deep knowledge in computer engineering, math, and physics for software development while employing the electrical, mechanical, and build expertise of a Michigan-based test systems design firm familiar with the technical demands of the aerospace and automotive industries.
Technology is evolving faster than ever with more intelligence, more data, more connectivity… more everything. The test industry is no bystander to these effects and must adapt to the challenges of designing, validating, and diagnosing increasingly complex devices. So what’s on the horizon for 2018? Find out what we at Wineman Technology predict will have the biggest impact on test lab managers and system integrators:
Engineers by nature are problem solvers. So when it comes to designing a test machine, the team will dive straight into nailing down the design requirements without really thinking about big picutre questions --
Anytime I travel around the country and let people know what we do at Wineman Technology (WTI), the assumption is made that we must be strongly focused on the automotive market. While it is true that Michigan has an automotive-focused manufacturing sector, we also have thriving manufacturing in other sectors, including aerospace. WTI’s emphasis on “providing insight through electromechanical test” resonates in many industries, and we strive to balance our business volume between automotive, aerospace and other sectors by focusing on a range of applications that benefit from the same underlying technology.
Wineman Technology has partnered with OrangeWire Systems to offer switch, load, and signal conditioning modules for the National Instruments SLSC platform. This product line works seamlessly with the National Instruments platform to provide flexible, COTS-based HIL systems for automotive, aerospace, medical devices, and other industries where real-time HIL simulation is critical for timely system development.
Akebono Brake Corporation is a global supplier of foundation brakes and brake friction materials for automotive OEM customers such as Audi, Chrysler, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, and many more. One of the new technologies they are focused on is electric parking brakes, and they wanted to update their mid-height HIL system for testing ECU brake software.
Using NI LabVIEW and a real-time CompactDAQ (cDAQ) system, we worked with Akebono to deliver an upgraded hybrid HIL tester capableof mechanical brake simulation. We also created a new full-height tester for running 24/7 durability testing on three electric parking brake systems simultaneously.
This post is going to focus on a few of the tools currently available for integrating Python and LabVIEW together in your application. In a follow-up post we will be discussing a tool that WTI has developed internally for use in an application-scripting framework - so stay tuned.
Edit: We've now released TestScript, the free bidirectional Python/LabVIEW Connector
When someone asks what we do at Wineman Technology (WTI) it is often hard to explain. The simplest answer is we build test equipment; although this statement is true, it fails to convey the most valuable service we provide to our customers. Test equipment describes a wide range of machines and hand-held devices performing design validation, quality control, end-of-line testing, and diagnostics. A wide variety of products use these machines and devices. Test equipment ranges from simple to complex and is in R&D labs, factory floors, and local service departments. How can we describe the niche we have carved out in this market and capture the unique value we bring? When I put this question to the engineering managers at WTI, one of them came back with the phrase “we provide insight through electromechanical test”, and when he said it we knew we had defined what is special about WTI.