ATS Advanced is our test bench automation system developed in-house so that the most complex of testing processes can be visualised. The open architecture makes it a particularly user-friendly system, rating very highly for flexibility and scalability. Customers can use ATS Advanced to intervene in their own open-loop control processes, to enter data for themselves, for instance, or even to extend the system using off-the-shelf hardware.
This is an advanced test bench automation system with 3 functions and 3 elements:
- communicating with the EUT (equipment under test) via a bus system specific to the vehicle
- going through the test procedure stored in the test bench computer for the specific gears
- prescribing the ideal values for closed-loop multi-engine drive controls (only in the case of test benches possessing these)
- recording the measured values (such as rpm, torque, messages and measurements from e.g. open-loop gear controls)
- evaluating the recorded measurements online
Thanks to the fast Profibus connection between the computer and the closed-loop drive controls of the end-of-line test benches, continuous reference values are supplied from the real-time computer with the effect that there are never any blank periods between the test steps. In addition, the system transfers the electric motor measured values (for rpm and torque) direct to the real-time computer digitally (no longer as an analogue representation). Thus, conversion errors are precluded.
Depending on customer’s wishes, the usual PLC installed is the Siemens S7-400 which includes a function component containing the multi-vehicle program. A Profibus DP is used to couple the PLC to the real-time computer, to the operator panel so that the motor status can be visualised, to the inverters for all power trains - the drives and dynanometers of the EUT plus any drives for adjustment by means of NC (numeric control) - and to the decentralised I/O components.
- creates the test runs (e.g. gear-specific testing) and envelopes for the various measuring tasks
- begins and ends a test
- visualises the successive test stages and the values and graphs recorded by the real-time computer
These visualisations, stored in a local SQL database on the testbed computer, can be exported to an external server. The test bench computer also communicates with the EUT via the specific bus.