HTC-S DAQ and Control System

Our latest HTC-S controller has the capacity to test and control more than just solenoid and valve body test machines. This controller has a modular architecture allowing the addition of DAQ channels and controls to meet the demands of your system. With our ever-evolving control software we have the capacity to adapt our control system to a variety of valve body test systems, most transmission test stands, chassis dynos and engine dynamometers. Contact us with your application and see how we can get your equipment running like it was intended and results you can be confident in.

HTC-S DAQ and Control System

The data acquisition and control system (DAQCS) designed on the basis of the HTC-S controller allows receiving and processing of up to 144 input channels of different data types (0-10 V, 4-20 mA, temperature sensors, speed sensors, limit/end switches). Data is read out in high resolution at a frequency from tens to thousands of Hz, depending on the channel type. Intelligent post-processing with flexible user settings ensures a low noise level. DAQCS has up to 52 output channels (PWM, 0-10V, discrete outputs), allowing to arrange the control over different actuating elements: relays, solenoids, stepper motors, DC motors, and air coolers. In addition to classic PID controllers for implementation of closed-loop control circuits, DAQCS allows the use of controllers based on fuzzy logic, as well as proprietary patented solutions.

 

A simple and at the same time high-speed Ethernet interface, available on most modern computers, is used to communicate DAQCS with a PC for displaying of real-time data controlling different types of actuators. The modular principle of the DAQCS design makes it easy to increase the number of inputs and outputs, allowing to process data from additional pressure sensors, temperature sensors, speed and torque sensors used in the industry. Upon client’s request, it is also possible to develop additional specific expansion modules.

One of the most important features of DAQCS is that it can be configured for work with different types of sensors (pressure, temperature, flow) and devices operating on CANOpen and J1939 protocols, using a can interface for communication.

 

DAQCS can be either installed into the customer’s equipment, or delivered in a rugged industrial case. If necessary all mating connectors, a set of sensors for upgrading the client’s equipment and circuit documentation are supplied with DAQCS.

 

Application. DAQCS can be used for control and modernization of the following systems:

  • IC-engine loading stands

  • brake testing stands

  • transmission dynamometers

  • electric motor test stands

  • test stands for automotive transmissions and solenoids.

 
 

 Case Study 

HTC-S Controller Upgrade to Mustang Transmission Dyno

Figure 1: Mustang DAQ Board

CHALLENGE

A customer with an existing Mustang transmission dyno has a need for an easier to use and more capable dyno and transmission control system. Their current system had the following deficiencies:

  1. Difficult and time consuming to program new units.

  2. Did not have the ability to smoothly ramps solenoid current between gears needed for later model clutch to clutch units.

  3. Needed support for the Chrysler 68RFE, Ford 6R140, and Mercedes 722.6.

  4. Existing manufacturer of dyno is phasing out support for the control system and machine in general. This system was built in 2012.

  5. The current transmission shift controller is obsolete and no longer in production.

SOLUTION

Hydra-Test USA proposed the installation of our HTC-S controller with advanced solenoid control and basic dynamometer controls. With the launch of Hydra-Test transmission dynamometer in late 2020, the current software will be undergoing revisions to enable advanced data recording and control capabilities. This customer has also agreed to beta test Hydra-Test’s dyno software and give feedback on the control system as well as gain the ability to develop shift profiles easily that will handle the above listed units.

CONTROLLER IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS

 

Interface with the Mustang DAQ System: Unknown prior to installation.


Mustang uses a custom proprietary DAQ board that uses an RS-232/422 connection to the main computer. Dyno speeds, PAU torque, drive enable/disable, and E-Stop are communicated and controlled through this board with custom signal conditioning. Connection points for dyno signals, signal isolation, and signal converters needed to be implemented on site to bring in the signals to the HTC-S Controller. Calibration to match the Mustang Controller was also performed once all the signals were connected and verified.

Figure 2: Signal Conditioners

Figure 2: Signal Conditioners

Figure 3: Connections on the Mustang DAQ board

Figure 3: Connections on Mustang DAQ Board

Figure 4: Signal Isolators

E-Stop Safety PLC: Implemented as an overall safety monitor.


In order to keep the operator safe, and the machine under control when and E-Stop might be pressed or cleared, a small PLC was used to monitor E-stop. This was tied into the existing E-Stop so that when it was pressed a signal would be detected on the PLC. Upon detecting an E-Stop, the PLC would remove the speed and load signals from the Mustang controls. The PLC would monitor both these signals would only reconnect these signals once E-Stop was cleared and both load and speed were brought back to zero (minimum). This ensured that clearing an E-stop would not allow the system to start spinning up again if the test sequence were still running. The PLC also displayed the state of an E-stop input, the valve of the controller signals (from 0-100%), and if the system was in Dyno Run Mode or E-Stop Mode. By default a loss of power to the PLC would disconnect any control signals from the Hydra-Test Controller.

Figure 5: E-Stop Monitoring PLC

Figure 6: E-Stop PLC Controller Signal Monitoring

Pressure Switch Monitoring: Requested per customer.


TransAxle indicated that pressure switch monitoring (especially on the Chrysler 66RFE and 68RFE units) was critical during a dyno test. To accomplish this the unused analog signal channels were repurposed for pressure switches. The needed hardware was placed inside the HTC-S box so that no special hardware was required for the transmission test cables.

Figure 7: Pressure Switch states showed on-screen

Control System Switch


The Mustang control system had some frequently used features not yet implemented in the Hydra-Test software. To allow TransAxle to continue to use these features on select dyno tests, a switch was added that allowed the controls to switch between the Mustang control system and the Hydra-Test HTC-S. All sensors for the dyno were connected in parallel and no functionality of the original Mustang system was lost.

Figure 8: Control System selector switch

Hydra-Test Hardware Installation


Hydra-Test installed hardware in the main machine electrical cabinet. Installation was completed in a standard manner consistent with the OEM controls and hardware that was already installed. A control cabinet was provided where the controller, controller power supply, transducer interface box, and computer were installed. An 8-foot adapter cable consistent with some of the more common transmission test cables was wired on site and documented for the customer so that they could reference it for building future transmission test cables.

Figure 9: Hydra-Test Hardware Installation

Figure 10: Hydra-Test Controller Cabinet

SUMMARY

Overall, this upgrade proved to be successful. The customer was left with working shift patterns for the Chrysler 68RFE, the Ford 6R140, and the Mercedes 722.6.
1. The customer was now able to easily program new units with the Hydra-Test test sequence editor.
2. The Hydra-Test HTC-S controller is specifically designed to be able to smoothly ramp solenoid current between gears needed for later model clutch to clutch units.
3. Hydra-Test was able to become familiar with the dynamometer and will be able to offer support for this system to keep the customer up and running as needed.
4. The HTC-S is Hydra-Test’s current production controller and is fully supported now and in the future.

 

Hydra-Test is open to develop the dyno specific software features based on Transaxle's valuable feedback. Additionally, the customer is planning on future dyno upgrades and would like to utilize our expertise to help.

VIDEOS AND DOWNLOADABLE MATERIALS

 
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Hydra Test USA LLC.

Santa Ana, USA

+1 (262) 563-1048

Hydra Test USA

3301 W. MacArthur BLVD.

Santa Ana, CA 92704

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