- After adopting the Scrum and Agile development methodologies, Danfoss Drives started developing in smaller sprints using HIL.
- With Typhoon HIL, Danfoss Drives got a HIL infrastructure that works out of the box.
- Since adopting HIL testing, less time is needed for validation tests of software controls than before.
Søren Bækhøj Kjær is an applications engineer at Danfoss Drives. In this blog interview, he tells us what makes Typhoon HIL solutions a unique tool for engineers. Watch the short video above or read the full interview below to find out more.
What is the mission of Danfoss Drives?
Many Danfoss products are made with energy conservation and efficiency in mind. By making sure we are controlling the drives, motors, heating, and air conditioning of buildings, we are not wasting energy.
“The mission of Danfoss Drives is to make modern living possible and sustainable.
What were the key challenges your engineering teams were facing before adopting a HIL system?
At Danfoss Drives, we develop, test, and manufacture drives for various motors. The smallest one we have is around 300 watts, while at the other end of the scale, we're talking several megawatts. If you want to test on bigger drives and bigger motors, it's difficult to find and build these setups for testing. Only after the software and motor control teams would spend about two years doing code, could you go into “Big Bang” integration in the lab. Then you would have to do lab test validation and verification for a long time before you are ready to launch a product.
“Before HIL, it could easily take a few weeks to have the tests set up or upgraded. Then we adopted the Scrum and Agile development methodologies, and started developing in smaller sprints using HIL.
Søren Bækhøj Kjær at the Danfoss Drives test facility in Gråsten, Denmark with motors ranging from 300W to several MW.
What was the crucial advantage of the HIL system of choice from your viewpoint, as an engineer?
User-friendliness. Typhoon HIL offers seamless integration between the software, or how you go to make your model, and how you compile it for use in the simulator. With some of the other vendors, there was more hassle around doing this, and you would need to have a deeper knowledge of how to model things.
The Danfoss Drives Typhoon HIL test setup for development, validation, and verification testing of drive software controls.
Not everybody inside our organizations has that knowledge. Of course, we could have also just made our own motor models and put them into a library which could then be used by everybody. But we are not manufacturers of test equipment, we are pure drives players, and we were just looking for a test infrastructure that works out of the box.
“We were just looking for a test infrastructure which works out of the box.
We wanted a system that could be used by all persons, not only control electronics engineers but also test engineers and power electronics engineers. The easiest tool to adopt was a Typhoon HIL system.
What does a HIL system allow you to do that you couldn’t do before?
With HIL, we can change the size of the motor and the drive with a push of a button. We can also test different applications, like motion control or pump applications. It is very easy to switch around and do different tests.
“Performing tests on a HIL system, we can see immediately if what we have been implementing is working. Since we are doing much more testing upfront, we don't need as much time to make validation tests of software controls as we did before.
With the Typhoon HIL simulator, Danfoss engineers can easily test with different motor sizes and technologies.
How does using HIL affect your relationship with customers?
We have the possibility of making a huge number of tests all the time, in different motor sizes, technologies, and drives sizes. So, when a customer asks if we see an error, we can first recreate the test cases in real-time with HIL, and then “kill the bug”. We then release software updates and make sure that we have satisfied customers.
“Using HIL, it's easy for us to find and fix errors much faster.
What does HIL Tested mean for Danfoss Drives engineers in one word?
HIL Tested means Usability.
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