Issue: Apr 2010


AVL Develops Combustion Controller With MathWorks Tools



Model-Based Design helps reduce AVL development time by 50%

by John Larkin

MathWorks announced that AVL LIST GmbH, the world's largest privately owned company for the development of powertrain systems, has developed a real-time combustion controller using Model-Based Design. With MathWorks tools, AVL reduced development time by approximately 50% compared to implementation using manual programming.

Engine calibration involves controlling an engine to its optimum combustion position, which has traditionally been a slow process of trial and error with an engine running on the test bed. To address this challenge, AVL has developed a new combustion controller that drastically reduces test bed time for engine calibration teams. AVL built a system-level model in Simulink to verify the controller in simulation over its full range of operation and test the reaction to limit violations to protect the engine under test. Real-Time Workshop and the AVL ARTE.Lab tool helped the team quickly generate code from the controller model and execute it on the test bed. In addition to reducing development time, AVL integrated a new test bed with the controller in two days and cut testing time by 80% on a recent pilot project.

“Using MathWorks tools was critical to the success of our combustion controller, which will, in turn, enable our test bed customers to reduce testing time,” said Dr. Klaus Rothbart, product manager at AVL. “Integrating MathWorks tools gives us an advantage because a majority of our customers also use MATLAB and Simulink, and can customize the combustion controller without additional ramp-up time.”

“With rising engine complexity, calibration remains a challenging and time-consuming task for automotive engineers,” said Jon Friedman, automotive industry marketing manager at MathWorks. “We are encouraged to see AVL’s success in test bed development as well as the new controller that helps calibration engineers gain testing efficiency using Model-Based Design and MathWorks tools.

About The MathWorks
The MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain dynamic and embedded systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these product families to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, electronics, financial services, biotech-pharmaceutical, and other industries. MathWorks products are also fundamental teaching and research tools in the world's universities and learning institutions. Founded in 1984, The MathWorks employs more than 2,100 people in 15 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit www.mathworks.com.

MATLAB and Simulink are registered trademarks of The MathWorks, Inc. See www.mathworks.com/trademarks for a list of additional trademarks. Other product or brand names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
About AVL
AVL is the world's largest privately owned company for development of powertrains (combustion engines, hybrid systems and, electric drives) as well as simulation and test systems for passenger cars, trucks, and marine engines. The high-tech company AVL employs 4.500 people worldwide. Turnover in 2008 was 740 million Euros.


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