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Integration Services

National Instruments Powertrain Controls Group (NI-PCG) offers complete turn-key engineering services for state-of-the-art engine control and combustion analysis systems installed in engine test cells or vehicles.  NI-PCG works closely with customers to understand the goals of their engine research and development project and then recommends the NI products that will provide the best solution for their budget.  Turn-Key projects typically follow the outline below.  Contact NI-PCG with your project goals.

  1. Project Specification: Customer provides NI-PCG with the goals of the project and the sensors and actuators involved.
  2. Choose a Hardware Platform: NI-PCG will determine the hardware platform required in order to carry out the project goals and support the desired I/O. A simple engine set-point controller will typically only require a CompactRIO controller platform. However, a research-oriented control system for algorithm development and combustion analysis will require a PXI platform with a high performance RT controller with multiple DAQ cards. At a minimum NI-PCG will provide an accurate quote for only the hardware and software products required for the customer to build their own desired system. 
  3. Engineering Services: NI-PCG can offer additional engineering services to help the customer achieve their goals even quicker and with confidence.
    1. Enclosure: NI-PCG offers custom 19” rack enclosure systems for the NI-PCG and NI hardware. These enclosures are internally wired and documented. They are typically AC powered and provide circular connectors on the front for all I/O interfacing. Spare rack spaces can be provided for future I/O growth.
    2. Harness: Typically, customers are performing research with an existing OEM engine. Since NI-PCG is providing a full authority engine controller, the OEM ECU is removed, but the OEM harness is still useful. NI-PCG can provide a custom adapter harness between the 19” rack and the OEM harness while preserving continued use of the OEM ECU.
    3. Reverse Engineering: In some cases, it is required to calibrate an engine close to the factory calibration in order to have a baseline to compare against further research. Deriving the steady state factory engine calibration requires recording large amounts of data while running the engine with the OEM ECU. This data must then be converted to the appropriate algorithms and tables for the new controller.
    4. Control Application Development:  NI-PCG can draw on years of engine research expertise to develop a flexible, full authority, open-source engine control and combustion analysis application tailored to the specific project engine. These applications are bench tested at NI-PCG’s facility for proper operation and then reviewed with the customer. Further debugging may be required while running the actual engine.
    5. Onsite Support: NI-PCG will travel to the customer’s site to assist with getting the engine running, developing and debugging control algorithms, calibration and training. Site visits are typically 5 days with one NI-PCG engineer. Site support visits are quoted at a flat fee and include travel.