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M670 OpenECU used in KUKA engine final test lines to control multiple engine configurations

OpenECUTypically, an Engine Control Unit (ECU) is developed for a specific engine and expected to live with that engine for the life of the ECU. However, in KUKA’s production manufacturing environment, there can be a need to test an entire family of engines with drastically different configurations using one ECU. Accommodating multiple engines with differences in sensors types and actuators can pose a significant challenge for ECUs designed for a single engine.

OpenECU provides the flexibility needed to switch between engines while still being designed specifically for engine control. This functionality was put to the test by KUKA who had a hot test station that needed to run 4 engine types with varying crank profiles, cam phasing actuators, and sensor communication protocols (SENT vs Analog). Using the ECU intended for installation in the vehicle would have required the ECU to be reflashed with every change in engine configuration. Using the M670 OpenECU and Pi Innovo’s model based engine control strategies using Simulink, all engine types could be run using the same software, therefore eliminating the need for reflashing. This significantly decreased the time required to test each engine and vastly increased the number of engines that can be tested by a single ECU.