Using CompactDAQ for Automotive Test

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"The modular CompactDAQ platform is successfully used for environmental and design validation during the R&D processes. CompactDAQ provides the possibility to perform several testing tasks without major hardware changes to the test device."

- Tibor Jirak, R&D Electronic Engineering, Automotive Lighting s.r.o.

The Challenge:
Developing an automotive test system based on a modular platform that can quickly adapt to evolving customer requirements based on the newest trends and cover essential test needs during the R&D process, especially for validation.

The Solution:
Creating a CompactDAQ system featuring DAQ analog input modules and digital I/O modules for environmental validation and functional test of the product in the development phase.

Author(s):
Tibor Jirak - R&D Electronic Engineering, Automotive Lighting s.r.o.
Pavel Fexa - R&D Electronic Engineering, Automotive Lighting s.r.o.
Martin Dovica - R&D Electronic Engineering, Automotive Lighting s.r.o.
Radek Krivsky - R&D Electronic Engineering, Automotive Lighting s.r.o.

The R&D department of Automotive Lighting s.r.o company (AL) used the CompactDAQ platform for validation and LED module test.

Validation

Validation proves that the product meets customer needs. Moreover, it helps produce strong products. The environmental validation team fulfills requirements from different customers (BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Renault, Škoda, Volkswagen). In general, the test sets a climatic profile (temperature, humidity, mechanical stress) in a climatic chamber (Figure 1), simulates communication (CAN, LIN) for devices under test (DUTs), controls electrical parameters for DUTs, and measures previously mentioned parameters.

Figure 1. A Row of Climatic Chambers in the Test Laboratory

Each project is unique in its own way (for example, design or functionality). That is why universality is key for the system to be implemented for validation. The CompactDAQ platform offers modularity and some scalability to cover current and future projects. The testing system based on CompactDAQ chassis with C Series modules (NI 9211, NI 9205, NI 9401, NI 9227, NI 9219) can continuously log 44 current channels, 36 voltage channels, and four temperature channels as well as read or set eight digital channels. The system is wrapped in a custom-designed box with a front panel for connecting DUTs (Figure 2). The system can control up to eight power switches. The cDAQ-9178 eight-slot USB chassis with external devices designed for the automotive industry covers most of the customer requirements.

Figure 2. From Top: CompactDAQ Module, Industry PC, Computer-Controlled Power Supply, and Backup Power Supply

LED Module Test

The LED Module Check tester was developed to provide an easy and quick way to test the LED modules AL produces as well as calibrate and demonstrate them. The LED Module Check consists of hardware and software (GUI). The hardware is a stand-alone box connected to a PC that runs the LED Module Check UI. Via the UI, the user can control all the LED(s) and motor(s) (if included) of the connected LED module.

During the LED module testing, the device periodically measures its electrical parameters. The measured values are compared with the expected values defined in configuration files. The measured values are also displayed on the UI. If an error occurs, the user is informed via a pop-up message. LED Module Check I/Os are based on the CompactDAQ chassis (cDAQ-9178) with C Series modules (NI 9205, NI 9227, NI 9227, NI 9481, NI 9264).

Results

The modular CompactDAQ platform is successfully used for environmental and design validation during the R&D processes. CompactDAQ provides the possibility to perform several testing tasks without major hardware changes to the test device.

Author Information:
Tibor Jirak
R&D Electronic Engineering, Automotive Lighting s.r.o.
Pavov 113
Jihlava 586 01
Czech Republic
Tel: 00420734358121
Fax: 00420567562690
tibor.jirak@al-lighting.com

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