For factory operations, Dana uses custom built stations to make programming fast and repeatable. The stations improve process speed and repeatability by reducing the amount of manual operations the operator is required to do. Reliability and ease of servicing are also important considerations when designing fixtures. Keeping that in mind during design will reduce down time from regular regular servicing.
Dana has developed a number of in-line production tools and programming stations to meet the needs of customers who require application software flashed at the end of the ECU production line, before modules are sent to the vehicle assembly plant. Dana’s programming stations quickly and reliably program our ECUs using OpenECU’s CAN interface. Reliable operation is ensured by automating the maximum number of operator tasks withing the programming station. Dana’s programming stations automatically check metrics of the loaded software to ensure that the code download was successful. Our programming stations also contain advanced logging capabilities for process monitoring and debugging.
Powerline Communication Equipped Devices
For Dana’s devices that have powerline communication (PLC) abilities, (which allows for AC and DC fast charging of electric vehicles) we implemented a programming station specifically for this functionality. The processor that handles the PLC features requires software and configurations separate from the rest of the controller. Similar to the application code, Dana has developed our own custom programming station to program the PLC interface IC in production. One of the key parameters that need to be set is the media access control address (MAC address). Each MAC address is unique to every device and is encoded based on the serial number. Dana’s programming software uses both CAN and the PLC Pilot interfaces to program and configure the ECU. The final step is always to ensure that the programming and configuration were successful and recorded according to the serial number.