Boosting efficiency in the calibration of complex embedded controllers
The development of innovative new engine and vehicle functions has brought about huge progress in terms of performance, comfort, safety, and eco-friendliness. With the networking of different vehicle areas, the calibration of vehicle systems has become a complex challenge involving more calibration work and rising costs for test benches and test vehicles. At the same time, there is constant pressure for calibration projects to be completed faster and more cost effectively.
ETAS helps OEMs and suppliers in the automotive and off-highway industries to meet this challenge with its Calibration Consulting services. Customers benefit from a significant increase in calibration efficiency thanks to ETAS’s expert advice. All ETAS consultants have many years of experience in the field of vehicle calibration and operate independently of ETAS’s tool business.
In close cooperation with customers, the Calibration Consulting experts provide support and advice concerning the optimization of calibration tasks and the development of sustainable calibration processes.
Calibration Consulting’s portfolio includes the following services:
- Defining optimization goals based on KPIs (key performance indicators)
- Identifying potential cost and time savings in calibration
- Processing calibration and measurement data
- Drawing up calibration workflows and processes
- Intelligent initial precalibration (maturity level of up to 70% possible)
- Variant and version management, covering country-specific emissions and diagnostics regulations as well as chassis, gearbox, and engine variants
- Knowledge management
- Evaluating powertrain concepts using simulation
- Calibration in a virtual environment
- Defining and observing standards and best practice
- Planning test drives and work packages
- Setting up a comprehensive tool chain including interfaces
- Integrating calibration during function development
- Calibration in ECU network to allow cross-ECU measurement and parameterization
Calibration Consulting concept
The ETAS approach comprises four steps:
- In close cooperation with all stakeholders – such as calibration engineers, project managers, and management – our consultants analyze the customer’s current situation. After that, we identify management’s requirements and existing challenges. This gives us a deep understanding of the existing processes, methods, and tool chains.
- The Calibration Consulting experts draw up proposals to optimize the processes, methods, and tool chains, present them to the customer, and choose the best concept together with the customer.
- A customized solution package is then developed on this basis and taking into account the set KPIs and goals and the available budget.
- Our consultants guide customers through the process of introducing measures, helping to ensure their long-term success. On request, we support our customers during the change process by means of everything from training and coaching to supervising the implementation of the measures and evaluating the progress made after the implementation phase. We are also happy to carry out a reassessment of the measures for our customers at regular intervals in order to trigger a reorientation if necessary.
Advanced Calibration Consulting
Many of ETAS' customers are experienced operators and have developed their own approaches for calibrating vehicles and functions such as driving behavior. Consequently, new methods and tools can help them to become more efficient only if they are adapted to their individual needs.
Automation and standardization tools, such as INCA-FLOW, help design recurring calibration tasks so that they are simpler and quicker for calibration engineers to perform while ensuring that best practice is followed in calibration. This also means better quality and more useful documentation for customers, including for knowledge management purposes.
Smart experiment planning (DoE) significantly reduces the amount of time needed on the test bench, cutting costs. Using data-based models, controllers can be virtually optimized such that a brief verification at the engine or vehicle is all that is needed to complete calibration. These models can also be used on test drives to replace elaborate measurement technology – for example, as a virtual exhaust gas model.
ETAS consultants quickly analyze and appraise the customer’s calibration approach on site and propose a suitable methodology and also tools if required. Thanks to their experience, the Calibration Consulting experts can also look after introduction and implementation for the customer, including help with testing.
Our process optimization is based on careful analysis of the current situation. For this purpose, ETAS consultants interview all relevant customer stakeholders, such as calibration engineers, project managers, and management. This gives ETAS experts a deep understanding of the existing processes, methods, and tool chains along with management’s requirements and upcoming challenges. Our interviews cover the following main topics:
The process analysis is carried out at three different levels of detail.
Level 1: “Self-assessment” carried out directly on the ETAS website.
Level 2: “Overall benchmark” carried out on customer premises by ETAS consultants
Level 3: “Deep dive” carried out on customer premises by ETAS consultants
On the basis of the analysis, ETAS consulting experts draw up a profile that reveals strengths and weaknesses and points out the potential for optimizing the areas analyzed. This profile offers customers a benchmark comparison with other competitors.
Once they have successfully identified potential issues, the experts develop proposals for implementation that take the prevailing boundary conditions into account.
As a next step, these proposals are translated into specific measures and carefully prepared for implementation. This includes drawing up a risk analysis, responsibility matrix, schedule, and measurable indicators of success (key performance indicators, or KPIs).
On request, ETAS takes responsibility or provides support for introducing the defined processes and optimization steps together with experienced personnel on site. Subsequently, we can carry out measurements of the KPIs – and hence success – either immediately afterward or else later at regular intervals.
Process optimization by our consulting experts sheds light on a variety of aspects:
- The company’s current position compared to other market leaders
- Strengths and weaknesses of current development processes
- Potential areas of improvement in development
Process optimization by ETAS consulting experts provides support in a variety of areas:
- Identifying optimization measures, including cost-benefit analysis
- Professional implementation of changes
- Ensuring process stability
- Change Management