The customer is an Austria-based manufacturer of engine, transmission and emission testing systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, construction, large engines and their integration into the vehicle.
The customer specializes in sophisticated products and solutions for the automotive industry, including emission testing benches – special multi-component engineering systems. This elaborate and expensive equipment needs to be configured, and each unit sold must be adapted to the specific requirements of the end client.
The manual setup of custom configurations is very flexible, but each containing more than 10,000 various parameters. The creation of such a configuration manually, first, time consuming and, second, fraught with lots of mistakes. The task was to create a tool that allows you to automatically generate and carry out configuration for the controlled equipment.
The idea was to develop Configuration Manager that adjusts most of parameters based on the minimal input data. While using it, a user has to enter only high-level information formulating the requirements to the hardware configuration.
To achieve the goal we defined a program model of the equipment that describes a complete configuration based on the user input. In order to create a new model, one shall go through a sequence of successive steps, describing high-level usage scenarios.
Over 30 independent generation algorithms convert the defined program model to the set of files for the target hardware configuration. Each algorithm is responsible for a specific component of configuration: creating gas schemes and electrical wiring, configuring bench environment, etc.
The Configuration Manager also automatically creates a whole set of UI panel: bench operation panels system dashboards, interactive gas flow diagrams, service control panels for analyzers, pressure regulators, etc.
In addition to the generation algorithms, the system implements a set of validation and verification algorithms intended to check the correctness of the created configuration.
The project was developed by Applied Systems in close contact with the customer’s experts. We have involved stakeholders from several departments to review specifications. All notes and corrections were carefully collected and incorporated into the project documentation.
The first stable working version of the software was released in just four months. The implemented system has an open architecture, so today it is keeping pace with equipment upgrades. From iteration to iteration the Configuration Manager learns more equipment types and enhancements.
Our system allows you to greatly reduce effort for the equipment configuration creation: an average configuration can now be made up within few hours instead of several days.
The Configuration Manager covers about 90% of cases, except for the ones when the customer adapts its measurement equipment to very special user requirements.
Using Configuration Manager eliminated the bottleneck in the production and allowed to accelerate product promotion on the market and increase scale of manufacturing.