SAGINAW, Michigan, Feb. 20, 2014 -- Wineman Technology today announced its selection by Hilite International, a global supplier of leading automotive system solutions, to design and build state-of-the-art variable valve timing (VVT) test systems for Hilite’s new North American R&D Center in Orion, Michigan. Hilite chose Wineman Technology for the company’s decades of experience and knowledge in building custom automotive test equipment using the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) INERTIA™ real-time test software and National Instruments (NI) products.
“Wineman Technology delivered a complete, high-performance VVT test stand that maximized our NI products and impressed our headquarters in Germany,” said Dave Fiddes, product engineer at Hilite International. “Their engineers’ expertise in automotive test systems allowed them to listen to our concept, implement an even better design, and provide excellent support to guarantee our success. The resulting system exceeds our original vision and is flexible enough to meet our needs for the foreseeable future.”
Creating a Flexible Variable Valve Timing Test Stand
Hilite recently built its latest R&D Center in Michigan to help North American automotive OEMs develop and test new technology, such as internal combustion engines with VVT. Valve timing has gained popularity as a way to improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and increase performance by optimizing the engine’s flow of intake and exhaust gases at different engine speeds.
To meet Hilite’s needs for testing a wide range of VVT prototypes, Wineman Technology created a flexible, highly configurable spin test stand based on readily available COTS tools. The compact cold engine tester includes three main components:
- Data acquisition and control system based on an NI CompactRIO controller
- Drivetrain panel that runs the engine without fuel
- Hydraulics power unit that acts as the engine oil pump or recirculates oil in the oil pan
To save development time, Wineman Technology used the ready-made NI Combustion Analysis System (NI-CAS) software plug-in to read specialized engine sensors and run complex engine algorithms. The software environment was built on NI VeriStand and INERTIA test software, allowing operators to easily configure the system, program tests, and make changes on the fly without the help of a programmer. In addition, by directly mounting two NI 9144 EtherCAT real-time distributed I/O chassis to the drive and hydraulics units, Wineman Technology greatly simplified wiring, decreasing the overall system size while leaving room for future expansion.
"Hilite has a mission to create a premier R&D site in the heart of the North American automotive industry, and our new VVT test stand enhances their offerings with cutting-edge test capabilities," said Matt Eurich, president of Wineman Technology. "With our unique experience building COTS-based test equipment, we can help automotive OEMs develop next-generation components with faster deployment and greater flexibility, all while ensuring the system architecture provides a viable platform for expansion and updates as technology races ahead."
One group of VVT test stands will be used in Michigan, and the others will be delivered to China. As a global provider of automotive components, Hilite sought to standardize on COTS technology to guarantee support for its systems around the world.
For more information on the company’s variable valve test systems, readers can visit
About Hilite International
Hilite International is a global supplier of leading automotive system solutions. Its innovative and well-engineered engine, transmission and emission control products are used to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Headquartered in Marktheidenfeld, Germany, Hilite has more than 1,400 employees at eight locations in Europe, North America and Asia and generated revenues of around € 387 million in 2012. Around the globe, Hilite is a reliable and close partner to its customers which include the leading international car and truck manufacturers. Its product segments are Variable Valve Timing (VVT), Double Clutch Transmissions (DCT) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). For more information, please visit hilite.com.
About Wineman Technology
Established in 1991, Wineman Technology, Inc. specializes in providing technical solutions for a wide range of test applications, such as dynamometer systems, servo-hydraulics, data acquisition systems, real time controllers, hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems, and custom testing machines. Unlike other companies where test plays a partial role, Wineman Technology's singular focus is the design and development of test equipment for advanced research and development, functional test labs, and manufacturing production. Wineman Technology's focus on test systems with a diverse range of capabilities enables them to deliver superior system reliability, serviceability, and support. To learn more about Wineman Technology, readers can visit winemantech.com.
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