At present the use of modeling systems is growing in acceptance as engineers are pressured to reduce development time and cost. There are however few such modeling systems that can be directly linked to a test bed. These two seemingly disparate functions within the testing community have historically been provided by two different types of vendors; one provides the physical test bed system (TBS) and another provides the tools for modeling. Recently there has been a movement to integrate these two activities allowing the test bed and modeling systems to interact while actively conducting a test.
These integrated modeling/testing systems are successful with a single caveat: they tend to be restrictive in their use and application. The typical users of such systems tend to use a test bed system provided by one vendor while concurrently running models in a modeling tool provided by either the same or perhaps another vendor. The customer is caught between two vendors, and as long as their needs fall within the confines of the assumptions, processes and methodologies explicitly incorporated into these tools, great value can be added by their use. If they do not, then the customer must enter into negotiations with the vendor(s) to either modify the methodologies encapsulated within their tool or extend them to satisfy the customer's specific need.
It is the need to decouple the application of the engine test bed and modeling systems from their implementation that has motivated the work to be presented in this paper. It will detail the introduction of MATLAB§ into the powertrain test cell environment and its integration into an automated model-based calibration system, MTS Atlas¥. It will be shown that it is possible and beneficial to allow the user to define the application of the tools while leaving their physical implementation to the vendor(s). More importantly, it will describe the philosophical paradigm shift that has necessitated this fundamental change and the manner in which these tools should be used.