Go Beyond PID: Ford and Leading Universities Use Wineman for Dyno, Earthquake, & Automotive Testing

Publish Date: Oct 27, 2014 | 7 Ratings | 4.71 out of 5 | Print

Overview

In today's world of growing system-level complexity, engineers are taking new approaches to system-level testing of control systems. The lines between hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing and mechanical test cells are blurring. The addition of real-time simulation into mechanical test systems helps engineers create model-based test cells that combine the moving components of real-time test cells with system-level simulation that is typically found in HIL testing. NI Gold Alliance Partner Wineman Technology uses NI VeriStand and the INERTIA add-on to create an ideal test platform for model-based test cells by providing easy-to-use proportional integral derivative (PID) control as well as real-time simulation in a unified environment.

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Table of Contents

  1. Michigan State University: Dyno-Testing Tanks
  2. Lehigh University: Simulating Earthquakes
  3. Ford Motor Company: Developing Fuel Alternatives
  4. Additional Applications
  5. What Is INERTIA?
  6. Try INERTIA for Free
  7. Read the Full Case Studies
  8. Learn More About This Application

1. Michigan State University: Dyno-Testing Tanks

The Michigan State University research team, led by Dr. Harold Schock, director of the Engines and Automotive Research Labs, has paired INERTIA with NI PXI hardware to build a power train test cell. It is equipped with six model-based dynamometers to independently operate each of the six wheels on a tank-like ATV. Each dynamometer can absorb more than 1,000 kW and control each wheel in torque, speed, or simulation modes. Simulation models are used to create real-world terrain conditions including sand, mud, and snow, as well as vehicle conditions such as multiple wheels being lifted off the ground. These simulations give engineers the ability to test the ATV performing various maneuvers through simulated terrain and ensure full system capabilities.

Figure 1. The 6WD ATV being positioned for dynamometer tests.

“Wineman Technology provided us with the service needed to complete our projects on time and within our budget. We will be happy to work with them as a partner on future projects,” Dr. Schock said.

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2. Lehigh University: Simulating Earthquakes

INERTIA is also being used with NI data acquisition and control hardware to test seismic behavior of large-scale structural components at Lehigh University, home of the largest structural engineering lab in the Americas. The team at Lehigh uses INERTIA to develop and test a seismic-resistant family of self-centering steel frame systems designed to avoid structural damage during earthquakes.

Figure 2. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) damper testing actuators controlled by INERTIA. Photo courtesy of Wineman Technology, Inc.

“I’ve been working in the field of data acquisition and control for over 25 years. INERTIA is the only control package that offers this level of customization. The straightforward programming methodology, combined with the ability to completely customize your control application, makes INERTIA a perfect fit for the research environment,” Lehigh University Engineering Researcher Edward A. Tomlinson said.

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3. Ford Motor Company: Developing Fuel Alternatives

INERTIA proved useful in alternative energy testing when Ford Motor Company used it to test fuel cells, electrochemical devices that have the potential to serve as alternative energy sources for powering passenger vehicles. Ford needed a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test system to conduct research on its variety of fuel cells, and by using the INERTIA add-on coupled with NI hardware, Ford was able to simulate vehicle inputs, control and monitor the system, and acquire analysis data with a single test system.

Figure 3. Ford Motor Company needed a flexible HIL test system to evaluate passenger vehicle fuel cells.

"NI VeriStand and the INERTIA add-on provided us with an easy-to-use tool for developing and deploying our HIL tests, and the NI VeriStand plug-in architecture helped us customize the environment to meet Ford's specific application needs," said Michael P.C. Cornwall of Wineman Technology.

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4. Additional Applications

Wineman Technology designed INERTIA to seamlessly integrate with NI VeriStand software. It can be used with a variety of NI hardware to implement closed-loop control and monitoring of real-time test cell applications such as dynamometers, servo-hydraulic testers, and environmental test chambers.

Darryn La Zar, vice president of sales and marketing at Wineman Technology, discusses test cell applications and the company’s partnership with NI.

Watch the brief video for more information.

In addition to testing tanks and simulating earthquakes, INERTIA has been implemented in a variety of real-time test cell applications for the control and monitoring of the following:

  • Engine cells, transmissions, and motors
  • Actuators, valves, and pumps
  • Turbines and gear boxes
  • Auxiliary power units
  • Tire test systems
  • Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards testing


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5. What Is INERTIA?

Wineman Technology, a National Instruments Gold Alliance Partner, created the INERTIA add-on to be used in a wide range of test cell applications. It is available on the LabVIEW Tools Network, a collection of NI toolkits and third-party add-ons to expand the power of LabVIEW graphical development software. Although NI VeriStand is an open, flexible, customizable test environment, INERTIA offers ready-to-use functionality specific to real-time test cells that helps customers get up and running quickly without in-depth programming knowledge.

The INERTIA add-on integrates a series of closed-loop control features into NI VeriStand. These include the following:

  • Ready-to-use closed-loop controllers with multiaxis synchronization and amplitude control
  • Multimode control support with bumpless transfer between modes
  • Tightly integrated test editor with control procedure commands and model execution
  • Application-specific tools and user interface objects for the NI VeriStand workspace
  • Integrated proportional integral derivative (PID) control-loop tuning utility


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6. Try INERTIA for Free

Try INERTIA by downloading the free trial on the LabVIEW Tools Network now!


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7. Read the Full Case Studies


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8. Learn More About This Application

Wineman Technology, an NI Gold Alliance Partner, specializes in LabVIEW based custom systems utilizing real-time and FPGA technologies. As the inventor of INERTIA™ and EASE (now NI VeriStand) software, Wineman excels at applications including dynamometer systems, servo-hydraulic systems, real-time controllers and data acquisition, hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test systems, as well as custom test systems. Wineman staff LabVIEW architects and developers are also responsible for true turnkey designs. Industries served include motorized vehicles and equipment, aerospace and defense, energy and alternative energy, consumer electronics, and other industrial and commercial sectors. Click on the "Learn More about This Application" form to have Wineman follow up with you on this application.

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