Companies that design and manufacture products face an increasing market demand for small series of customised products, resulting in a huge variability of the product portfolio and especially of the embedded controller software. Today, the development and validation of these controller software variants require a lot of manual effort. This results in long “time-to-market” cycles whenever a new variant is created and, in turn, to some reluctance to bring new product variants to the market, thereby missing business opportunities.
This project aims at providing software product line methods, techniques and tools for the development of mechatronic software controller variants in view of significantly reducing the required development and validation time of new variants. More specifically, the project goals are as follows:
- For the development and validation of variants that can be built by selecting, combining and configuring existing software components, this project will deliver:
- The necessary configuration tools to enable application engineers to build and validate industrial-size mechatronic software variants without requiring detailed knowledge of the software, plant and test architectures and of the modelling tools used by the different disciplines.
- A methodology and toolbox that mechatronic companies can use to set up their mechatronic variant development and validation process, taking into account the specific requirements of each company.
- For the development and validation of variants that require modifications or additions to the various models involved in the development and validation of new variants, this project will create a prototype of a configurable inconsistency detection tool than can be customised by the different companies for their particular variant design process and tools. This tool allows to detect inconsistencies early in the development stage.
This framework will strongly decrease the manual efforts that are needed to implement controller software for existing product variants. This will be achieved by selecting, linking and configuring the appropriate – feature-related – components.
Furthermore, using this framework, it will be possible to speed up the design of controller software for new product variants. This will be achieved by synchronising the various models involved in the development and validation of new variants, using early detection of inconsistencies in the V-cycle.
Davy Maes - firstname.lastname@example.org