Heavy-Duty (HD) diesel engines fulfill the current NOx limits by a sophisticated combination of in-cylinder technologies and an aftertreatment system. In the face of current testing cycles with low average load and efficiency/CO₂ demands measures for the provision of an adequate exhaust temperature become a development core.An alternative to common exhaust management strategies could be variable valve actuation (VVA). Hence a self-developed camless valve actuation system was implemented on a single-cylinder research engine to investigate potential strategies. As these investigations require an appropriate test bench setup the paper consists of two parts. The first part describes the design process of the test bench and focuses on the Rapid Prototyping Systems (RPS) that enabled its operation. The second part discusses the results of different VVA-based exhaust management strategies and gives an outlook to further investigations.