The development of safety-relevant components to meet stringent quality requirements is demanding. Schmidhauser AG meets this challenge successfully with Model Driven Development and Rational Rhapsody® from IBM.A conversation with Peter Bode, Project Manager for Mobile Drives. PDF-File
Model Driven Development with Rational Rhapsody® in C – drive controllers for vehicles
Schmidhauser AG is a member of the Lenze Group and a competence center for customer-specific drive controllers. With 55 employees at the headquarters in Romanshorn, Switzerland, the company provides a diverse range of services in product development (hardware, software, and power electronics). At the end of 2006, Schmidhauser decided to develop its mobile drive controllers for vehicles with the Embedded UML Studio from Willert Software Tools. The tool is based on Rational Rhapsody® and is focused on target platforms with small memory Footprints. The main factors driving the decision were the high quality requirements that must be met by safety-relevant components of Schmidhauser.
Responding better to customer needs
For Peter Bode, only Rhapsody® was under consideration from the beginning – especially because of its leading options for modelling and full automatic code generation. "Often we are confronted with the situation that product requirements have not yet been completely defined at the beginning of the project. With Rhapsody®, we can represent new functionalities graphically and present various possibilities for a solution to our customers. This allows us to respond flexibly and address needs much better."
"Many of the products we develop must meet extremely stringent requirements in terms of quality and electromagnetic compatibility. In addition to the advantages already mentioned, significantly better product quality is therefore a critical success factor for us." Other advantages cited by Peter Bode are
significantly higher efficiency
easy training for new employees
simpler software maintenance
better consistency when changes are made and
the fact that the documentation, model, and code are always at the latest level.
Accompanied project start-up
To be able to work efficiently in a short amount of time, three employees attended a relevant tool training session before Rhapsody® was introduced. A coach ensured seamless tool integration into existing infrastructures on site. The first development project was completed within nine months: two auxiliary unit inverters for the EvoBus Citaro Diesel Hybrid Bus. Currently there are three products developed with Rhapsody® on the market.
On-site support coordinated by EVOCEAN was important for ensuring an efficient start. "The five-day Embedded UML Studio start-up training was also worth its weight in gold," adds Peter Bode. "I would recommend Rhapsody® at any time. Today we are able to concentrate on the actual problem of an application. And we are significantly more efficient than in projects in which we're not yet using Rhapsody®."
Something Peter Bode would like in the future is an integrated solution for "Performance Testing" in the embedded software on the target platform. The next goal is for additional savings in time and money. "So far we have invested primarily in improving quality. Now we would like to improve our time to market and reduce costs by about 30%. I'm convinced that we're on the right path with Rhapsody®."
|Development environment||Before Rhapsody®||With Rhapsody®|
|UML||Visio||Embedded UML Studio Rhapsody®|
|IDE||Tasking / Keil||Tasking / Keil|
|RTOS||Internal development||Embedded OO-RTX|
|Target platform||ST 10 / DSP TI F28xx||ST 10 / DSP TI F28xx|
|Debugger||Hitex||Hitex / PLS UDE|