By Nicolae Foica, Projectmanager/Senior system engineer, E/E System integration and testing, ServiceXpert GmbH in München

Difficulties in diagnostic implementation often lead to delays in delivery. ServiceXpert, the diagnostic competence partner with proven processes and tools, supports the elimination of bottlenecks – on OEM and supplier sides.

Not least in times of growing globalization, increasing competition and extremely high cost pressure, it is becoming more and more important for companies in the automotive industry to work with business partners who provide support with many years of technical expertise and project experience – not least when bottlenecks and difficulties arise in their own processes.

Since diagnostic implementation generally takes place towards the end of ECU development, bottlenecks often occur in delivery dates on the supplier side and associated follow-up processes at the OEM. ServiceXpert Gesellschaft für Service-Informationssysteme mbH is an established automotive service provider with focus on diagnostics and increasingly works in partnership with various OEM and Tier1 suppliers. In these situations, the ServiceXpert specialists have often been able to prove that they are able to flexibly adapt to project situations with their proven, dynamic processes and distinctive diagnostic know-how and deliver the appropriate solutions. This expertise is continuously developed by the team and is now ranked by well-known OEMs and suppliers as a “Trusted System Partner”.

The diagnosis team has focused on the following topics:

  • Diagnostic development and requirements engineering on UDS protocol level
  • Automated diagnostic protocol tests (ECU Test Standalone)
  • Automated system diagnostic tests (testing in a system network)
  • Network Management Conformance Tests (NMCT)
  • Continuous testing and debugging support in close cooperation with the software development teams

ServiceXpert’s classical approach usually starts in the form of a presence meeting or workshop, in which a strategy is developed, for example, to enable the requesting company to deliver a production-ready software within two iteration loops and thus avoid an imminent penalty of the client.

By means of an initially performed automated diagnostic protocol test, which is carried out together with ServiceXpert either onsite within the scope of a workshop or remotely, the supplier can quickly be shown the extent to which the software at the diagnostic interface deviates from the requirements of the client. Based on this and a corresponding consultation, the ServiceXpert team shows different options for problem solving. The supplier can thus choose the most suitable solution from the individual options, which can be implemented by ServiceXpert at short notice.

Depending on the scope and severity of the detected deviations of the existing software implementation, ServiceXpert starts an individual diagnostic workshop with the customer. Together with the customer’s software developers, the latest status of the implemented diagnostic protocol and the requirement differences are analyzed. Furthermore, a first software debugging and bug-fixing, including an issue retest, can take place parallel to the workshop and thus the available time can be used efficiently. Additional test scopes resulting from the situation can be defined immediately (e.g. smoke tests and explorative tests). At the end of the workshop, the ServiceXpert team confirms the achieved maturity level at the diagnostic interface to the supplier through validation.

The ServiceXpert team is experienced in handling OEM’s and suppliers’ processes through numerous diagnostic projects and is therefore able to ensure the result of a supplier’s secured diagnostic implementation into the OEM’s vehicle diagnostic architecture – in the case described above a successful integration within two iteration loops.

ServiceXpert works with established tools in E/E development – classical development with OSEK or AUTOSAR based development – and has sufficient proprietary software licenses for the implementation of its solutions. Therefore, flexible services for different diagnostic protocols like UDS, KWP, OBD or J1939 can be provided. This flexibility is reflected in added value for the projects and customers concerned, which results in an improvement in the maturity level of the diagnostic implementation (application or bootloader) and the quality of the overall result.

This approach considers the time pressure in the project, has a high degree of efficiency and can be adapted very dynamically to the situation.

ServiceXpert has already supported numerous Tier1 suppliers and OEMs in their diagnostic projects with this procedure in order to meet project goals, milestones and budgets and is constantly developing its portfolio in this environment. In addition, the company and its customers profit from this diagnostic knowledge also in the new challenges of the automotive industry such as Autonomous Driving, Connected Car, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Firmware Over-the-Air (FOTA, OTA), where ServiceXpert offers further engineering services.

(OEM and Suppler by VEK Publishing, Issue II/2020)