Test management and automation

Alma Automotive Test Control System adapts to the available test system layout: besides the control of engine speed and torque it can be used to manage air, oil, water and fuel conditioning systems, directly implementing the actuator's real-time control, or simply dispatching demand targets to external controllers. Every component of the test cell (e.g., the ventilating, fuel supply, fire extinguishing systems, etc.) can be directly controlled or remoted, and any type of test cell transducer can virtually be managed. Finally, the Test Control System can interact with the most popular calibration tools, such as INCA, CanAPE, Sysma.

Alma Automotive test control software is based on NI VeriStand, a software environment for developing Real-Time testing applications, that allows to:

  • Configure automatic procedures to control devices
  • Perform data acquisition
  • Manage channels (scales, alarms, mapping) and create calculated channels
  • Run simulation models based on Simulink, Labview, etc...

The strength of Alma Automotive approach is the use of a standard interface (VeriStand) customized with models and custom components, running both on the Real-Time and host-PC environments.

Main benefits

The Automation can be useful in many phases of the testing and calibration process that can be carried out in steady state conditions or with dynamic approaches. Among others, these tests benefit of the test bench automation system:

  • Execution of Design Of Experiment test plans
  • Description of engine behaviour: overall volumetric efficiency, friction, torque, …
  • Optimal spark/injection advance setting: finding the optimal value, and exploring the whole timing-BMEP/IMEP for torque control strategies
  • Optimal fuelling: cylinder-by-cylinder volumetric efficiency determination, optimal injection phase, transient conditions lambda compensation
  • Reliability tests: replication of track laps feeding the ECU with recorded (or simulated) signals


The application is developed according to the customer requirements and is delivered as a LabVIEW project: the customer accesses the source code and is able to manage the evolution of the automatic calibration software.


Several base requirements can be satisfied using standard tools available in VeriStand (Stimulus Profile), other may require to add customized procedures (custom tools, custom devices). Alma Automotive is able to tailor custom tools to the user’s need. Complex profiles and sequences of simple profiles of target settings (bench and ECU) can be uploaded from telemetry or built thanks to proper interfaces. Profiles may be repeated several times. 

Hardware

The dyno bench control system is based on hardware platforms compatible with NI Real-Time software.

Hardwarewise, several options can be chosen, depending on the application: cRIO, PXI or MXI+PC-RT. In the latter case, the Real-Time OS runs on a high performance’s desktop PC, connected to the Chassis containing the I/O Modules via MXI Express BUS interface. Finally, the Host PC is connected via Ethernet to the Real-Time controller, offering a user interface for tests management and monitoring.

Software

The test bench software is divided in two parts:

  • Logical: the test bench code, included in the System Definition File, that is the focal point of the VeriStand Project and all the custom pieces of code that increase VeriStand’s native features, such as simulation models, custom devices, custom tools, ecc… Moreover, this section includes also the profile generator tool, useful to create and edit automatic tests that can run in Real-Time, replaying complex profiles on bench outputs.
  • Interface: the front panel that allows the operator to safely monitor and manage the test bench.
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Ask us more info

Alma Automotive s.r.l.

Via Terracini 2/c - 40131 Bologna - Italy
Tel. +39.051.9923806 / +39.051.0548470
Fax +39.051.0544839

info@alma-automotive.it
PEC amministrazione@pec.alma-automotive.it

Our locations

HEADQUARTER
Via Terracini 2 , 40131 Bologna

TESTING FACILITIES
Via Provinciale Bologna 28/30
40066, Pieve di Cento (BO)

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Gli aiuti di Stato e gli aiuti de minimis ricevuti dalla nostra impresa sono contenuti nel Registro nazionale degli aiuti di Stato di cui all’art. 52 della L. 234/2012 e consultabili qui

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