Author Archives: Patrick Schreiber

Everything from one Source

Turnkey Competence at FEV: From Planning to Implementation

10. April 2017 | Software & Testing Solutions

Turnkey Competence at FEV: From Planning to Implementation

Today, the development of drive systems for vehicles, mobile and stationary machines, and applications is characterized by an extremely wide range of requirement profiles. In addition to the world’s highly-differentiated user and customer requirements, widely differing laws, additional strict environmental regulations and resource limitations, all have a lasting influence on today’s development work. In the future, the complexity of the situation is likely to only increase.

Classical approaches to drivetrain or vehicle development — for example, elaborate summer and winter test drives — will no longer be feasible in the same form they have been conducted in the past. Instead of such classical development methodologies, combinations of intelligently-connected processes consisting of simulation and experimental testing technology will be increasingly used – for example, the real-time coupling of individual, specialized test rigs with subsystem tests into one complete system. This type of “virtual shaft” connection was recently realized by FEV in the “Center for Mobile Propulsion” (CMP) at the Institute for Combustion Engines of RWTH Aachen University (VKA).

As a leading development service provider with more than 240 of our own test cells and more than 400 experts in our Software and Testing Solutions Business Unit, FEV has extensive expertise related to the requirements and operation of a modern test center. In this area, FEV offers, among other services, turnkey test field planning from a single source, which is extended, as needed, throughout the planning and implementation process and ensure the realization of highly efficient laboratories with maximized user benefits. “In addition to technically equipping test benches and test facilities, the operational organization, the technical and functional infrastructure, and logistics topics are becoming increasingly important to supporting complex test requirements with high efficiency and in a timely and cost-effective manner,” explained, Dr. Ralf Marquard, Executive Vice President and COO of FEV Group
Holding GmbH.

From Concept to Commissioning

The concept, design, equipment, and operational organization of future test fields all impose high demands on planners and test facility operators. Conceptual defects attributed to inadequate specification and conception in the early planning stages can only be corrected later with great difficulty or, in some cases, not at all. “Here, similar to the construction of a home, the general “rule of 10” can be applied – the cost to correct errors increases by a factor of ten with each subsequent phase of construction,” explained Marquard.

Due to the high capital expenditures for buildings, technical facilities, and testing facilities – in addition to the resulting long depreciation periods – test centers must be quickly and easily adaptable to changing testing tasks. Functionally-organized basic structures, modular design, reserves for changing equipment needs as well as an intelligently-structured supply infrastructure are all key factors for efficient test centers.

Task-Specific Process Steps

FEV has established a sequence of task-specific, customized processes to accommodate these challenges and constraints. The conception, planning, and implementation of new testing facilities all build on the foundation of years of FEV experience with test facility installations – both for our own facilities and for those of our customers. These national — and international — projects are handled by multidisciplinary FEV project teams that work in close cooperation with specialized planners including, for example, architects and structural engineers.

Future-Proof Testing Center in China

A recent example of one such turnkey test center project is the construction of the new FEV Test Center in Yanjiao (China). This new test center was first conceived in Germany, then brought into the planning phase in close cooperation with Chinese design planners up to ready-to-build status, and was opened end of June 2016. Already in the first phase of construction, it contains all the essential features for future-oriented drive system development and, with its centralized technical facility design, is laid out for flexible, modular expansion in the coming years.


Focus on the entire Test Center

FEVFLEX Test Center Management System boosts the Efficiency of everyday Testing

8. April 2017 | Software & Testing Solutions

FEVFLEX Test Center Management System boosts the Efficiency of everyday Testing

At the start of this millennium, world famous futurologist and author John Naisbitt said, “We are drowning in information, but starved for knowledge.” In light of the explosion of information in testing facilities and the associated challenges faced by knowledge management, John Naisbitt’s statement is more relevant today than ever.

Today, efficient use of data is the key to being ready for the future. This is especially true in the efficient operation of testing facilities. In practice, it is important to do more than analyze and compare individual test series measurements from one test bench; you also need the ability to combine them with information from other test benches, simulations and vehicle measurements. In particular, the different origins of the data and the variety of data formats in which they come are major obstacles to having an efficient management system. It can be demanding and time-consuming to compare measurements from two test rigs, especially when you use different automation systems. In addition to the differing data formats, there are often discrepancies in how the test benches record information such as channel names, units and test objects.

Simple Integration

FEVFLEX now combines information from a wide range of sources. A key advantage is its freedom from file formats and descriptive information. FEVFLEX is integrated into the test center’s administration system as a central component, requiring minimal changes to existing systems. That makes integration into established testing facilities extremely cost-effective and simple.
FEVFLEX allows measurements to be processed in a highly user-friendly and efficient manner. Its primary benefit is its easy-to-use design with functions so intuitive that operators can work productively after only a 30-minute introduction. A full-text search capability provides users with the information they are looking for quickly and with no prior knowledge required.

Automated Import and Export

FEVFLEX allows the export of information and data to other databases or data systems to be completely automated. The system also automates time-consuming import tasks, such as converting data formats and units, standardizing channel names, and conducting plausibility checks and transport processes.
“Our durability testing center (DLP) in Brehna has more than 40 test rigs, currently producing around 75 gigabytes of data on a daily basis. Now, thanks to FEVFLEX, that information is stored in our own and external customer databases, fully and automatically”, says Kurt Zimmer, who is responsible for the test center management at FEV’s DLP. “We have succeeded in meeting the goal of storing measurement data in the customer’s database half an hour after it was produced.”

Open System with Multiple Interfaces

Thanks to the open system used by FEVFLEX, customers can specify and automate their own tasks. FEVFLEX works independently of any hardware and runs on virtual machines in central, existing IT resources. FEVFLEX makes extremely efficient use of those IT resources through its auto-balancing methods. In combination with the FEVALYS data evaluation tool, the system can also perform fully-automated calculations and generate visual reports from a centralized location. Summarizing the benefits, Zimmer says, “Forcing an engineer to wait at his computer until all the data has been evaluated locally and a report is written is now a thing of the past.” What’s more: FEVFLEX can link up with external business intelligence solutions like ERP or MES software. There, it serves as an interpreter of measurement data in order to supply billing-related information to ERP systems, for example.

>> FEVFLEX allows the export and import of information and data to be completely automated

Waben Grafik


Different Sources, One Goal

CO-Simulation and CO-Validation Platform for highly efficient Powertrain Development

5. April 2017 | Software & Testing Solutions

CO-Simulation and CO-Validation Platform for highly efficient Powertrain Development

Powertrain systems are becoming increasingly complex and, at the same time, efficiency and the demands for testing accuracy are also increasing. This can be seen in the new regulations, such as Euro 7, and in the new standard cycles, such as WLTP and RDE. A number of different tools from various suppliers are typically used during powertrain development – each of them covering a very specific part of the powertrain development cycle. To increase the efficiency of a development cycle and to make evaluation of concepts possible even before they physically exist, an integration, co-simulation and co-validation platform has been realized in which different models from various sources can interoperate.

Powerful Co-simulation Platform

This platform can be applied throughout the entire development process. In the initial development phases, it enables collaboration between various professional disciplines; in the subsequent physical powertrain and ECU validation phases, it facilitates the use of models on the test bed, which were developed without any loss in quality, during the design phase.
The models from third-party tools can also be incorporated in the form of a file, which means that there is no longer a need for the presence of real third-party tools to simulate the system as a whole. However, it is also possible to keep the third-party models in the original software during integration.
What is the benefit?: It is now possible to validate a new hybrid powertrain concept or scale the air circuit of a new engine, its turbo, and its EGR system by evaluating pollution emissions and fuel consumption long before the physical existence of the parts or the system.

Powerful Co-validation Platform

Models are becoming more complex and contain highly detailed information. The idea of executing such complex models in real-time with real-components is attractive. However, due to the complexity of the models, a process of simplification is normally applied, allowing the potential to execute those simplified models in real-time. As a result of this simplification, the tests become less representative.
More specifically, this means that an engine tested on the test bed may, for example, display satisfactory results, yet generate quite opposite results during driving cycles on the road. During the validation phases, such as Hardware-in-the-Loop and Engine-in-the-Loop, the different physical components begin to appear. These elements must be connected to the components which are still in the modelling phase.
“Without executing complex models in real time, it is impossible to obtain a high level of precision on the HiL or engine test beds; quick prototyping on the HiL test bed or calibrating the ECU on the engine test bed is no longer possible”, explains Dr. Hassen Hadj Amor, Product Group Leader at FEV Software and Testing Solutions.
FEV has realized a platform that enables real-time connection of hardware and models without compromising the quality and representativeness of tests since the precision of the model is retained and can be reproduced directly in real-time and in a deterministic way on the test bed. To assure this, unique features have been incorporated, that allow multi-solver and multi-core execution with advanced algorithms for data prediction.

Product Availability

This platform has been developed by the well-known public-sector research, innovation and training center “IFP Energies Nouvelles”. Until today, numerous licenses have been installed at customer systems in Europe and Asia under the name xMOD and are delivering a great performance there. During the next year, FEV will offer the co-simulation and co-validation capabilities as standalone software solution and will also integrate it into the MORPHEE suite. Numerous model libraries will complete the offering and enable customers to benefit from FEV’s long-lasting expertise in the field of powertrain development, thus making it a powerful tool for powertrain and ECU development and validation processes.

>> In the CO-simulation and CO-validation environment, different models from various sources operate together
co simu virtual exp


Highly Efficient and Client-Oriented

FEV Software and Testing Solutions: Global Contact Partner for the Planning, Equipment and Operation of Test Benches and Test Centers

26. March 2017 | Software & Testing Solutions

FEV Software and Testing Solutions: Global Contact Partner for the Planning, Equipment and Operation of Test Benches and Test Centers

With the acquisition of the French company D2T in 2015, FEV significantly expanded its expertise and global team of experts for advanced development tools. By now – a year almost to the day after the merger – the international development services and test solutions provider, FEV, is taking account of the progressive integration of D2T: D2T and FEV Test Systems have been combined into the newly-founded “FEV  Software and Testing Solutions” business branch, which employs more than 400 experts at eleven engineering and service locations. “D2T and FEV now have an excellent collaboration, not just within the company, but also within joint development teams,” explains Dr. Ralf Marquard, Executive Vice President and COO of FEV Group Holding GmbH. “Particularly with regard to our clients, we are now able to present ourselves as one company – as a brand with a central contact person and many coordinated products and services. Our three service areas –planning and implementation of test centers and test benches, testing products, and services help our clients achieve highly-efficient test installations and short development cycles.”

From Test Bench to State-of-the-Art Test Center

On the basis of best practice solutions and years of experience, FEV plans tests benches and entire test centers. On one hand, this is done at the request of the client; on the other, it enables FEV to expand its own testing capacities. This is how, in automotive centers across the globe, engine, transmission, full powertrain, battery, and end-of-line test benches are being created in various configurations. These test benches allow efficient development work in accordance with existing and upcoming legal requirements. “Whether the Center for Mobile Propulsion at the RWTH Aachen or the FEV Endurance Test Center in Brehna: some of the most advanced test centers in the world have been created by FEV and implemented by our multi-disciplinary project teams in collaboration with the respective local experts,” explains Marquard.
The heart of a successful project is the Consulting, where the specification is created and the layout of the test center is determined. Thanks to a tightly-knit network of experts, FEV cover all typical phases of a project and offers to perform partial projects as well as full turnkey implementation projects, depending on the customer’s needs. FEV has successfully completed more than 300 such projects worldwide over the past decades.

Efficient Products

The product range from FEV Software and Testing Solutions includes robust and highly precise conditioning and measurement systems and a wide range of synchronous and asynchronous machines. Furthermore, FEV offers a variety of special test benches for targeted optimizations on combustion engines. These special test benches are used by FEV for the development process as well as the end-of-line tests, precisely adjusted to the requirements of the client, and are finally delivered as turnkey end products.
In order to guarantee efficient operation of the different systems, FEV has developed a series of software solutions. While advanced automation systems increase the efficiency of the test cycles, the data management and assessment tools such as FEVFLEX and FEVALYS achieve a central connection of the different test benches within a test center, or even across several test centers. The calibration software TOPEXPERT also makes it possible to shift significant parts of the development work from the test bench to the desk.

Comprehensive Service Over the Entire Life Cycle

At FEV, projects do not end with the delivery and commissioning of a test bench or a piece of equipment. Only regularly-maintained and calibrated tools guarantee highly accurate function; this also serves to extend their life spans in the long run. FEV offers service contracts suited to the individual products, entire test benches or even test centers. “For many clients, FEV employees are the ones responsible for the smooth operation of the testing process and those who also perform the regular maintenance work. In doing so, they do not restrict themselves to FEV technologies, but monitor all test systems that are used in a test center or test bench. Thanks to this comprehensive service, we achieve highly-efficient testing operations with short down times and set-up times,” explains Marquard.


Flow, Swirl and Tumble

FEV customized Test Bench for Flow Investigation

28. February 2017 | Software & Testing Solutions

FEV customized Test Bench for Flow Investigation

The automotive industry is facing stricter carbon regulations and emission standards. Modern combustion processes place increasing demands on charge motion in the cylinder. For example, requirements differ significantly for a turbo-charged, direct-injection gasoline engine as compared to a naturally-aspirated engine with port-fuel injection. Novel combustion processes with early or late intake valve closing extend the parameter space even further.

A needs-based assessment of the charge motion is made possible with flow test rigs that are developed at FEV, both for the development process as well as for end-of-line testing. “Our flow test benches are the product of over 30 years of research and experience in both engine development and sales of the corresponding testing tools”, explains Bruno Funken, Technical Specialist Custom Test Benches at FEV. “Each test bench is precisely adapted to meet the customer’s requirements and is delivered as a final, turnkey product.”

FEV flow test benches enable the analysis and assessment of cylinder-head flow, tumble, and swirl performance under steady-flow conditions. This represents an indispensable tool for port development and quality assurance. The fundamental concept and detailed solutions are based on many years of experience in FEV’s flow laboratory. When linked to the FEV database, the measured ports can be evaluated in scatter bands and, from this, basic correlations of the combustion behavior can be derived.

The Testing Setup

The test bench consists of four major components:

  • Frame with cylinder head pick-up and automatic valve adjustment
  • Blower unit with flow measurement system
  • Measurement system for determining charge motion (swirl and tumble paddle wheel; swirl and tumble honeycomb)
  • Control box with integrated measurement instrumentation and special measuring software

Various types of paddle wheel and honeycomb measurement devices can be combined for testing, depending upon customer requirements. The measuring tubes feed into a generously-sized expansion tank that ensures defined flow conditions and compensates for flow pulsations. The blower unit is designed to be a stand-alone system and consists of one or two side channel blowers, frequency converters for the automatic regulation of flow rate, and a rotary gas meter to measure the volume flow. The data acquisition card is housed in a separate control cabinet that also contains the controls for the valve actuators and connectors for the frequency inverter and sensors. Combined with the software (LabVIEW), automatic adjustment of the valve lift allows for fully automatic flow measurement.

Precise Measurements

For measurement, the cylinder head is connected to a replaceable cylindrical tube with the same diameter as the bore in the engine. The charge motion (tumble or swirl) is recorded using the rotational velocity of the paddle wheel or the torque of the honeycomb.

The steady-flow test bench facilitates testing of engine-like flow conditions at the inlet and outlet ports under steady-flow conditions and thus allows for the targeted assessment of the flow, tumble, and swirl performance of the cylinder head, which are typically presented as dimensionless numbers. The FEV database is used to design and assess intake and exhaust ports based on scatter bands.

Measurement: Swirl Honeycomb

Measurement: Swirl Honeycomb

Measurement: Tumble Paddle Wheel

Measurement: Tumble Paddle Wheel

Measurement: Swirl Paddle Wheel

Measurement: Swirl Paddle Wheel


Optimized Efficiency

FEV Test Benches in Aachen to receive new Automation

25. February 2017 | Software & Testing Solutions

FEV Test Benches in Aachen to receive new Automation

The FEV test benches in Aachen have undergone extensive modernization. The purpose of these technical updates is to renew the electrical/electronic and measurement equipment, media conditioning equipment, and enhance the automation of a total of 10 engine test benches. 

Through state-of-the-art automation and efficient crosslinking with other systems, the modernization measures make a significant contribution toward increasing the efficiency of the test benches in Aachen. FEV’s customers consistently benefit from this efficiency improvement.

High-Performance Automation

The latest version of the proven FEV automation system and the high-performance, model-based control of the FEV Test Object Manager (TOM) are used for test bench automation. Dynamic mode switching enables the selection of the appropriate mode within a running test cycle. This allows an ideal representation of transient torque / speed (M/n) controlled tests and prevents motoring during dynamic cycles. Thanks to direct communication between the TOM and the powertrain control module, highly dynamic engine braking – as it is often realized on commercial vehicles by intervention in the valve timing controls – can be perfectly reproduced on the test bench.

In order to ensure fast interaction between test bench automation and Test Object Manager, as well as between other, external simulation systems, high-performance EtherCAT interfaces are available. Accordingly, the automation system offers extensive, scalable simulation options that start with a simple intrinsic Road Load Simulation (RLS) and a TOM-internal, model-based driver/vehicle simulation (SIM) up through connections with comprehensive simulation environments such as DSpace, IPG Carmaker, or xMOD.

A wide variety of additional advantages with regard to efficiency, system configuration, and data processing are made possible by the intuitive graphic definition of testing sequences within the Test Schedule Manager (TSM), the device driver concept, as well as variability in the selected parameter names via optional representations and data storage that can be freely chosen within the standardized FEV naming universe (or within any client-specific naming universe).

Integrated Information Management

The test bench automation systems within FEV’s Aachen test field are fully integrated into an information management system. This system links information from the test planning phase, data acquisition, data management, and data post-processing. openMDM is used as a test database and is the central tool for managing measurement data. This includes, for example, management of data that is time-synchronized within FEV, coming from the application environment, gas and particulate emissions measurement technology, combustion analysis systems, and many other measures. In doing so, the openMDM database acts as bi-directional communication platform between testing operations and development. This enables efficient collaboration between the FEV specialist units.

Schematic integration of FEV's automation system into the test field information management

Schematic integration of FEV’s automation system into the test field information management


FEV introduces new generation of MORPHEE

Third Generation of the Automation System offers full 64-Bit Capability

15. February 2017 | Software & Testing Solutions

Third Generation of the Automation System offers full 64-Bit Capability

The new generation of the automation system MORPHEE is on the way and will be available in the second half of 2016! The new, full 64-bit version is compliant with all new operating systems and boasts outstanding performance with up to 5,000 channels at 1 kHz. The new generation will not be limited to merely following technological developments; the contributions of the FEV development teams will enable us to go much further and much faster with improvements to the system. Now, more than ever, MORPHEE is a technological benchmark in the field of automated test benches. 

The new version of MORPHEE offers the opportunity to develop new automation concepts for future test beds while taking current and upcoming emission and testing standards such as Euro 7, RDE, etc. into consideration. It is also a powerful tool for new powertrain calibration methodologies, such as Road to Rig. “Relying on its established qualities of openness and performance, MORPHEE will extend its functionalities to allow the use of the same interfaces, the same models, and the same tools throughout the entire development process,” explains Stéphane Pelletier, Product Group Leader at FEV. “As a result, the new MORPHEE generation will become a unique platform for validation, combining the three functionalities of test automation, online calibration operations at the test bed, and real-time simulation.”

All-in-one System With Modular Configurations

Based on this “all-in-one” system, numerous configurations are possible, depending on the customer’s individual testing environment. As a result, it is possible to combine these three functionalities into a single platform, which is installed for an engine, transmission or powertrain test bench. In addition, the three can be operated separately, using third-party tools as is common in a calibration configuration where the MORPHEE calibration platform usually operates with third-party automation tools.

Real-time Connection of Data and Simulations

In a co-simulation configuration, the platform is able to accommodate several third-party simulation tools to create a complex simulated system, early in the development process — i.e., model in the loop, software in the loop applications. Afterwards, this simulation platform can be reused for the subsequent development steps on a hardware in the loop test bed and an engine test bed. Considering these examples, one can already imagine the unique potential offered by the MORPHEE suite.

“Our new MORPHEE generation focuses on segmentation which more appropriately resembles the current workflow of the latest generation of test centers,” explains Pelletier.

Smooth Upgrade with full Compatibility

Maintaining consistency with the original principles of MORPHEE means that applications such as tests, graphic interfaces, templates, and components that have been developed for the 32-bit version, can also be used with the 64-bit version. While the development of the new MORPHEE generation is an important technological step, it is at the same time a continuation of the strategy followed by MORPHEE from the very beginning. The upgrade to the new MORPHEE version will be available to all customers with a maintenance contract, while operators of third-party automation systems will be offered individual, customized migration.

[CYCLE V] Morphee All in one - 300DPI


One Cylinder, a hundred Applications

FEV Single Cylinder Engines: Important Development Tools for Combustion Optimization and more

14. January 2017 | Engineering Service

FEV Single Cylinder Engines: Important Development Tools for Combustion Optimization and more

FEV has developed a family of single cylinder engines (SCE) for combustion research, functional testing, and continuing development of engine components. Six research engine size variants with cylinder bores ranging from 65 mm to 530 mm are available for sale, covering a wide spectrum from passenger cars to large engines. Single cylinder motor test results can be subsequently transferred to all common multi-cylinder derivatives. The modular SCE design makes it possible to adapt the engines to individual client needs with little effort. This makes very specific analyses of almost any component possible, from various piston shapes to modified valve timing. With the help of optical visualization, the tool also allows fundamental combustion research.
“Our offering is intended for OEMs, universities, and suppliers, as well as the oil and fuel industry,” explains Professor Stefan Pischinger, president and CEO of the FEV Group. “Our single cylinder engines are highly efficient tools that achieve reproducible results under laboratory conditions to support our client’s research and development work.”

Fast and Reliable Tools

The simplified structural design with only one cylinder shortens both the set-up times as well as the component costs. In addition, the reduced fuel consumption (only one cylinder operating) reduces the maintenance costs. “The unique layout enables a separation of the various parameters that influence the combustion process,” states Peter Heuser, FEV group vice president, commercial vehicle engines. “At the same time, disturbing influences can be effectively minimized and new design concepts can be examined on the test bench at an early stage of development.”

Flexibility is Key

FEV’s single cylinder engines are available with bore-diameters ranging from 65 mm up to 530 mm. In combination with various strokes, cylinder displacements between 0.2 and 155 liters can thus be achieved, with each single-cylinder motor covering a broad displacement range.

To ensure a high level of flexibility in the single cylinder family, FEV offers a comprehensive range of accessories – including various conditioning units, control units with test bench automation as well as optical and conventional measuring systems.

FEV Service from Planning to Commissioning

“Over time, we have put over 160 single cylinder systems into service. In the past few months alone, we have completed over ten installations of the new single-cylinder engine family, covering all sizes and various fields of application,” explains Heuser. “These ten most recent installations alone have operated for more than 12,000 hours, demonstrating the system’s practicality and efficiency – and this number is growing larger every day.”

Customer Projects

The FEV service portfolio goes far beyond installation. FEV’s experts develop comprehensive solutions: In addition to a need-based design of the single cylinder engine, FEV’s services also include integration of the engine into a new or existing test facility. In addition, FEV operates customer-specific single-cylinder engines within its test facilities. To guarantee rapid implementation of the projects, FEV has base modules in various sizes available, which can be used and adapted for customer projects.

Advantages of FEV’s SCE Solution

  • More conclusive test investigations
  • Flexible test bench variations
  • Optimized interaction between numerical simulation and experiments
  • Enables combustion development and hardware testing at an early stage of development
  • Allows advanced combustion research with the help of optical visualization
  • Fully modular design
    – High flexibility / short preparation time
    – Bore/Stroke configuration is easily reconfigured due to only a limited number of parts that need to be exchanged
    – Preassembly of modules makes quick exchange times possible
  • No restrictions regarding boundary conditions (exhaust backpressure, temperatures etc.)
  • Design protects for operation at high loads (300 bar PFP) and engine speeds
  • Customer-specific single cylinder engines can be operated in FEV’s in-house testing environment
  • Experienced SCE Team with strong customer service orientation

Single Cylinder Engines - Webspecial
In addition to this article, we created a webspecial at, which could also be interesting for you.


Virtual Test Bed, real Results

Virtual and HiL Test Beds as Solutions for RDE Cycles

15. August 2016 | Software & Testing Solutions

Virtual and HiL Test Beds as Solutions for RDE Cycles

D2T, a Member of the FEV Group, has developed a unique simulation-based solution that allows the performance of a significant portion (up to 30 percent) of Engine Control Unit (ECU) calibration on virtual and Hardware in the Loop (HiL) test beds, without the need for an engine test bed. In the demanding context of new transient cycles (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP)) and environmental cycles (Real Driving Emissions (RDE) linked to new temperature and altitude conditions), this is a most welcome solution.
Calibrating the ECU by simulating the engine and its environment has often been envisaged and even tried. However, traditionally, the process has encountered major technical problems. Within the framework of a 0D/1D physical or numerical simulation with various software systems available in the market, it is possible to simulate the impact of engine design on pollutant emissions and fuel consumption and thus define the most suitable concept to achieve the desired performance. The level of accuracy is nevertheless low and not sufficient for ECU calibration. 

On the other hand, Design of Experiments (DoE) allows the creation of reliable statistical models with a limited and reasonable number of experimental data. As a result, global DoEs allow for modelling and predicting pollutant emissions and fuel consumption over the entire engine map, considering specific steady-state operating points as well as the air path and injection parameters. The accuracy for these operating points (5% to 10% on NOX) is at the requested level for calibration tasks. However, the development of more dynamic cycles with Euro 6/7, such as WLTP and RDE, reveals the limits of this method: Since the acceleration phases are much more prevalent than in the previous NEDC cycle, air loop control errors become more significant. These air loop differences can result in an accuracy degradation in the prediction of pollutant emissions of up to 25% of NOX emissions on cycle.

A Powerful Combination of Technologies

To overcome these challenges, the FEV Group proposed an innovative and simple solution based on FEV products in combination with well-known third-party products: ICE²*DoE model for combustion and pollutant emissions and third-party products for physical modelling of the air path. These tools have been coupled and integrated into the xMOD/MORPHEE integration and automation platforms to optimize CPU performances, easily set-up automated procedures, and even connect a real ECU (HiL). This innovative solution allows the attainment of good accuracy levels (for instance 10% for NOX Emissions on a WLTC cycle), as a result of the good behaviour of the complete air path, thus making verifying an efficient and reliable virtual calibration platform.

Reliable Results for All Kinds of Cycles

With these virtual test beds, engine settings are tested in simulations and quick results for emissions and fuel consumption can easily be obtained on RDE and WLTC cycles for a wide range of applications. With respect to On Board Diagnostics (OBD), it is also possible and straight-forward to test different types of engine failures, sensors, actuators or injectors (production dispersion) and directly assess their impacts on the engine outputs. Finally, virtual beds enable testing non-standard conditions, such as changing altitudes and ambient temperatures, as they can occur in RDE cycles.
This allows the transfer of a large part of testing traditionally completed on physical test beds – both on the engine test bed and on the chassis dynamometer – to a virtual test bed and/or to a HiL test bed. In such a scenario, physical test beds will be used more for validation than for development, in the future. As the calibration teams work within the same, MORPHEE-based graphical user environment on the Virtual/HiL test beds and on the physical test, team efficiency is also improved. The optimizations of the calibration process reduce both time and the cost of development, while improving final quality.

*ICE²: developed by IFPEN, sold by FEV Software and Testing Solutions

*ICE²: developed by IFPEN, sold by FEV Software and Testing Solutions




Prospective software development with ASSIST

27. June 2016 | Software & Testing Solutions

Prospective software development with ASSIST

Modern control software is both extensive and complex. Additionally, despite shorter development cycles, the market demands a high degree of quality. This challenge can be solved through the combination of suitable development processes and intelligent automation concepts.

ASSIST is the process and automation framework from FEV, following the strategy of a seamless toolchain that covers the entire development process from the definition of requirements to the release of validated systems.

Based on successful project experience, FEV increasingly offers its competence, methods, and tools from ASSIST, in addition to its own project experience, to its customers in the form of consulting and tool development. In this area, through interaction of the process model, process, and automation tools, a high level of quality can be ensured, while reducing costs and minimizing risks.