End-to-End Durability for Automotive

A recent test campaign has confirmed the effectiveness of an end-to-end approach to durability testing using a specially developed toolchain for data acquisition and analysis.

The Siemens Industry Software Simcenter engineers put the end-to-end durability solution to the test on the rough tracks of a German proving ground. The outcome is a step-by-step account of a test campaign that demonstrates the effectiveness of the solution.

The story starts with a small but punchy electric sports vehicle that grew into a test vehicle for a condensed but complete durability measurement campaign.

  • Step 1: Instrument the vehicle – This test campaign, like any other, begins with instrumenting the test vehicle, the SimRod, with a wide range of sensors: strain gauges, accelerometers, string and laser displacement sensors, force cells, pressure transducers, and thermocouples. All inputs are safely connected to the Simcenter SCADAS data acquisition system.

  • Step 2: Run instrumentation tests – The next step is to prevent instrumentation errors such as wrong sensor direction, the incorrect scale of the measured value, or missing output. The Simcenter Testlab Control App is the perfect piece of software to perform these checks.

  • Step 3: Create the test schedule – The test schedule gives an overview of test runs required to cover a variety of customer usage scenarios, according to the targeted durability objectives. It is often defined by a customer-correlation project that helps predict the vehicle’s usage and driving conditions. This project requires an extensive fleet of vehicles driving on public roads over a long time and acquiring data to generate a realistic customer usage profile.

  • Step 4: Drive the miles – To reproduce the high load inputs on the vehicle, the engineers drive on the Belgian block and sawtooth profiles tracks of the proving ground, at speeds of respectively 30 km/h and 50 km/h. Not only does the Simcenter Testlab Control App alert the team of any anomaly during the run, but it also records the car speed and compares it to the set limits, instantly instructing the driver to accelerate or decelerate.

  • Step 5: Validate the data and procedure – The Simcenter Testlab Control App helps assess the data and run quality at a glance. Abnormal peaks or drifts in the data are clearly visible and alert the engineer about anomalies. The app automatically calculates different statistics for each sensor and marks excesses in orange or red. Another tab displays potential hardware errors. In the case of sensory overload or cable disruption, an error message clearly indicates the defective channel.

  • Step 6: Consolidate and analyze – Processing data in Simcenter Testlab is an intuitive operation: engineers simply drag and connect methods to generate a process. Once defined, the process can be memorized for future measurements, allowing easy process automation.

  • Step 7: Report – Effective reporting is key. The Simcenter Testab software allows creating and sharing active reports with a mouse click. The measured data is fully embedded into the report charts, yielding interactive graphs in place of static bitmaps. Other team members or management can further dive into the results and format or edit graphs as they see fit.
    The aim of the SimRod campaign was not to confirm the durability performance of the sports car but to validate its digital twin model. Nevertheless, the Simcenter engineers benefitted from the hardware and software’s embedded productivity enablers and track-side validation methods. The campaign confirmed the effectiveness of an end-to-end approach to durability testing.

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