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Software in the Loop Simulation

We support setup, integration, application and maintenance of your 'Software in the Loop' simulation environment for the development of control software for mechatronic products.

Challenge

Control software governs the behavior of the mechatronic hardware (mechanics, hydraulics, electrics, ...) of mechatronic systems. Experience shows, a tight integration of development and validation is crucial for the efficient development of high-quality control software. With an increasing complexity of module interactions, the importance of early and comprehensive system-level testing increases, because: bugs on system-level are now more likely, more costly to fix, and harder to find. Testing before physical prototypes exist, for both controllers and hardware, is one necessary step towards early system-level testing. Testing based solely on HiL (Hardware in the Loop) and physical prototypes is limited: occurrs relatively late, it is expensive, has slow turn around times, and provides in practice only quite limited coverage.

Idea: Software in the Loop

To provide the control software engineers with the means to easily run versions of the control software on their laptops or PCs using simulated mechatronic hardware. For an overview of how SiL can be embedded in the mechatronic development process, you can have a look at the following presentation (presented at the International VDI Congress Transmissions in Vehicles 2009 in Friedrichshafen, Germany).

Benefit for the design process

While the importance of the HiL (Hardware in the Loop) tests and of the tests based on physical prototypes should not be underestimated, these methods should be complemented by comprehensive MiL and SiL tests at module and at system level. Compared to tests using HiL, SiL tests have the following advantages: Of course, SiL-based testing cannot replace the HiL test completely, but should rather be viewed as a valuable addition to the development process. Low-level processes (such as ECU communication, CAN, signal processing, interrupt handling etc.) are not modeled in detail in a typical SiL environment, and are therefore beyond the scope of SiL-based testing.