The orangeSwitch from in-tech automates the validation of stationary air conditioning in electric vehicles for the automobile manufacturer BMW


intech- orangeswitch

Modern vehicle development without prior
simulation would be inconceivable today. That is because numerous electronic
control units operate in today’s cars and their functionality has to be tested
during the development phase. This is where the automobile industry counts on
what are called HiL (hardware in the loop) systems. The engineering company
in-tech has developed the in-house modular orangeHiL system for complex
simulation processes. In combination with the orangeSwitch, it makes highly
automated test procedures possible. “The patent-pending orangeSwitch makes it
possible to automatically switch between control units on the HiL or test
bench. This can improve capacity utilisation on the test bench and decrease
mechanical defects,” explains Managing Director Christian Wagner.

The orangeSwitch is highly scalable and
independent of the HiL system being used. “This means that the orangeSwitch can
be fabricated with many different pin numbers, for example as an 8-pin
combination instrument or also a 280-pin motor controller – the concept is
easily scalable here,” says the Managing Director. A breakout box can be
integrated directly as an option in order to enable access to some or all pins.
Control of actuators or additional monitoring of signals is possible as well.

Extensive test routines for control units – even

If a job is created for a HiL system in which
several hardware variants of the same control unit are to be tested, the user
now has the following option: instead of connecting these variants to the HiL
individually, all of them are connected simultaneously to the orangeSwitch. The
switch is in turn connected to the HiL, precisely at the location where the
currently tested ECU (Engine Control Unit) variant was connected. Then the
orangeSwitch is connected to the test automation PC via Ethernet. The specially
supplied orangeSwitch control plugins can also be integrated into the test
automation software. Test cases for all control unit variants are set up in the
test automation tool, which is configured so that it switches to the next
variant once all tests on an ECU variant have been completed. Then the test
sequence is started and the respective employee can devote himself to other
tasks. Each ECU variant connected to the switch is automatically validated, one
after the other. For each variant, all relevant test cases are run before
switching to the next variant. “When the employee returns to the system, for
example after the weekend, he can evaluate the test results of all variants,”
the Managing Director explains.

Project report: increasing the validation depth at BMW
The system is currently being used by BMW. Huy
Chau, Project Manager Charging and Preconditioning Interior/HV Battery
in the “Networked E-Mobility” department at BMW, explains: “One of our
department’s goals at BMW is to significantly increase the validation depth in
the area of networked functions by introducing new methods and processes. The
fully automated execution of test cases is a significant efficiency measure to
achieve a greater validation depth without added validation effort. In
combination with the orangeSwitch from in-tech, we are now able to
automatically validate the full scope of functionality for stationary air
conditioning in electric vehicles during and especially outside of regular
working hours.” This includes air conditioning of the vehicle interior for a
departure time selected by the customer and the preferred charging of the HV
battery in a certain period of time.

Problem-free integration thanks to the included
software package – BMW draws positive conclusions

The orangeSwitch supports the tool-assisted
control of the affected vehicle components. Integration into the existing
infrastructure at BMW was straightforward due to the included software package.
The system was also put into operation quickly thanks to on-site support
from in-tech. Due to the high flexibility and fast conversion
possibilities of orangeSwitch, expansion to different vehicle configurations is
also possible without great effort. “The system has already proven its worth in
operation. Stability and robustness in particular are great benefits. No manual
intervention from the outside is required, which is a prerequisite for
unattended operation outside of working hours,” concludes Huy Chau.

Source: in-tech