01/23/2018

Just so everything goes smoothly – BFFT test system technology keeps the inspection programme running

A great deal of development work is required before a car finds its way to a dealer’s showroom and onto the drive of its new owner – after all, no automobile manufacturer wants to supply its customers with an unfinished product. The demands on inspection teams are becoming increasingly complex, especially now that cars have more and more digital components. With this in mind, we would like to take advantage of this opportunity to present a detailed description of the BFFT test systems technology department:

In the workshop, the individually configurable HIL test benches are manufactured to customer specifications. (Credits: BFFT)

 

More complex technology requires smart solutions

Formerly conducted largely on a mechanical basis, testing now requires a high level of engineering expertise. In the latest vehicles, even components that were previously rudimentary such as indicator lights are fed with information from dozens of digital circuits and control devices. In order to ensure their reliability in everyday use, the BFFT technicians have to put even the tiniest components through their paces while simulating various scenarios, and then evaluate and remedy any resulting malfunctions.

A BFFT employee configures the test setup. (Credits: BFFT)

 

Perfectly equipped for every eventuality

It is extremely important to use the right equipment when performing such inspections – and that’s where the BFFT test systems technology department comes in. Theoretically, it would be necessary to have a specially configured test stand for each particular range of models in order to test all the electronic systems in the vehicles, either individually or in combination with each other. Since cars have a vast number of possible component combinations and increasingly complex electronics, this is simply not feasible, so BFFT has developed the MTB, a modular test stand that can be perfectly adapted to the requirement profile of all its customers. The MTB test stand can be quickly and efficiently adjusted to meet individual requirements, and avoids the necessity of crawling around in the test vehicle to get to every single screw. Another advantage of the MTB is that manual and automated tests can be conducted by means of residual bus simulation and bus manipulation.

A modular example setup to test and secure infotainment systems. (Credits: BFFT)

 

One system – unlimited possibilities

BFFT’s MTB test stand could be said to be the Swiss army knife of its in-house product portfolio. The entire infotainment system of a vehicle can be housed in the base module, which has roughly the same footprint as an ordinary laptop. The open design allows the components and measuring devices to be reached with ease. Plug-in extension modules turn the system into a fully-fledged and autonomous test rig, while the integrated trolley with a handle and wheels makes the MTB mobile.

The tower expansion modul turns MTB into a wholesome, mobile test bench. (Credits: BFFT)

 

Rapid response capability for effective testing

The module maintenance team’s task is to ensure that the MTBs and more complex HIL systems continue to work smoothly for our busy customers. Our specialists stay on-site with individual customers so that they can respond to any challenges, monitor processes and make any necessary modifications. BFFT also employs several software development and test teams in its test systems technology department, in order to ensure that the correct combination of test conditions and procedures such as residual bus simulation or signal manipulation are fed into the system. The teams in this department define a precise set of test specifications, which the highly proficient programmers code into very efficient software for test case generation. This approach ensures that there is no need to start each individual test procedure manually, as the individual scenarios are automatically generated one after the other, or even in parallel. The procedure is concluded by a comprehensive analysis of the testing process at BFFT.

The BFFT test systems technology department thus ensures that our customers – and thus also finally the end users – are delivered a product which is as flawless as possible.