Software-in-the-loop simulation speeds up machine control tests

Software in the loop

New software can now be trialled at an early stage and at low cost using realistic machine models. This enables software errors to be detected quickly and reliably and to be reproduced before the first machine prototype has even been tested, speeding up the development process and minimising the time and costs needed to fix bugs in the machine.

How does this kind of test work?

1. The software developer and Hydrive agree on the interfaces between the machine software and the machine model.
2. In consultation with the client, Hydrive develops a dynamic simulation model that describes the behaviour of the machine.
3. The software developer exports the current version of his/her machine software as an encoded DLL and gives it to Hydrive.
4. Hydrive incorporates this file into the machine’s simulation model, creating a connection between software and machine.
5. Hydrive carries out a simulation study to analyse how the machine interacts with the software.
6. Feedback and analysis results are discussed with the client and directly integrated into the software development process.
7. Once established, this technique will allow software revisions to be tested quickly and reliably.

Behind the scenes

Hydrive engineers have been investigating efficient software testing strategies for many years and are always developing new possible solutions. The aim of the presented technique is to test software written in programming language C/C++. The software project is skilfully configured to provide just one codebase, which is then exclusively compiled for the electronic control unit or simulation. The machine models are created using SimulationX software.