Engineering for control systems
For automotive manufacturers and suppliers, business success depends more than ever on the industry’s capability to bring to market affordable vehicles with a new generation of fuel efficient powertrains – offering lower emissions – without compromising brand values, such as driving experience, NVH, comfort and safety. Desired product innovation is increasingly dependent on the introduction of controlled or mechatronic systems. This implies a fast expansion of Electronic Control Units (ECU) and their flawless integration within the underlying mechanical subsystems.
Traditional mechanical engineering processes do not support the optimization of such a mechatronic system with acceptable quality and time-to-market. Instead, it mandates the adoption of a development approach where mechanical and controls engineering are interlocked throughout the design process, enabling upfront impact analysis and validation of different vehicle architectures and detailed designs. More specifically, it requires an evolution from rapid prototyping, using physical hardware, to a “Model-Based” engineering approach, using simulation models representing the controlled systems. This assumes availability of high-fidelity models for control model development (MIL), control software development (SIL) as well as for validation of the actual controller (HIL).
The automotive manufacturing industry needs to adopt an upfront virtual design and testing approach, combining accurate simulation models of control software and the underlying physical systems, while securing a comprehensive and well-managed testing process against functional, performance and safety requirements. Testing is done virtually to the maximum extent possible, breaking the traditional buildtest-(re)design pattern. This approach is called Model-Based Systems Engineering or MBSE.
LMS Services offering for controls engineering
LMS has built extensive competence helping customers with the definition and process to build reusable, reconfigurable architectures for control development. The LMS MBSE approach enables parallel development of control software and underlying mechanical components, allowing plug-and-play replacements of real-time-enabled physical plant models with the final hardware as it becomes available. Leveraging strong verification and validation processes, LMS can secure the functionality and safety of the control algorithms using automated ECU testing in MiL, SiL, and HiL development phases.
Taking advantage of vast experience in controls engineering, we support customers by establishing a process for optimal control development, balancing different vehicle attributes with the numerous ECU software alternatives and options.
LMS has developed an optimized, customizable process with associated tools, migrating legacy ECU C-code to control models and conforming to the MBSE paradigm shift. The resulting MATLAB/Simulink® models are guaranteed equivalent to the original C-code and satisfy requirements for increased readability and auto-code generation. Leveraging these processes and tools, we offer a scalable service to perform the migration, resulting in production code for ECU control units.
LMS pioneered the introduction of an MBSE development approach for production HEVs. We take responsibility for the physical plant models running real-time in a HiL context and support automated verification and validation of the hybrid vehicle supervisory controller. On the supplier side, we co-operated in the development of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) strategy. Leveraging strong verification and validation processes, LMS took release responsibility for the control strategy of the SOFC system, securing an aggressive development program.