With the introduction of modern testing, measurement and simulation methods, the manufacturers of technical products are responding to the growing requirements on the quality of their products and to stricter liability regulations. However, the rapidly growing amount of measurement data creates new challenges as it must be systematically recorded and transparently archived. Typical use cases are data analysis to identify testing respectively behavioural patterns or as evidence in case of e.g. accidents.
The automotive industry and its suppliers suffer from the enormous amount of test and simulation data that are produced day by day. And, it is not enough just to record and store measurement data – several terabytes per week in some sectors. Under certain circumstances, companies have to archive them for 30 years and longer, and need access to them anytime in order to verify that they took the necessary care at all times during development.
In order to manage these data independently from the manufacturers, they are being stored using the ASAM ODS standard. ODS (Open Data Services) focuses on the persistent storage and retrieval of testing data. The standard is primarily used to set up a test data management system on top of test systems that produce measured or calculated data from testing activities. Plus, using this standard manufacturer ensures that data stays readable for 30 years or more.
Organization via file-based directory structures originates from the beginnings of product testing, yet is still the standard in many companies – not least since large test departments are often divided into several small teams that are organized autonomously. This is where the PLCD story begins.
Stabilizing an existing PLM application / Minimizing deployment time
Several development teams already worked on this product lifecycle management application. In the end, the existing PCLD application had become out-dated because of the use of discontinued technologies like e.g. JSF 1. Plus, Bosch had trouble with every new release as enormous manual effort was needed to deploy new features.
So, one goal of the project was to renovate the application with state-of-the-art technologies and to enhance the user experience. But before thinking of an application redesign or further developments, Canoo engineers installed the build chain including build scripts and continuous integration.
With this first action, the deployment complexity was dramatically decreased resulting in greater acceptance of new releases. In the meanwhile, a new release means only a few minutes of work for Bosch. The high degree of automation has led to a frequent deployment of new features.
Web application with enhanced User Experience
After having stabilized the build, the real reengineering work started. Canoo is the development partner for the PLCD web application and responsible for the data access to the Avalon server including the cache infrastructure for queries. Furthermore, Canoo has the lead in regards of UI-/UX-Design using experienced in-house specialists.
The main goals of this project were to stabilize and enhance the existing application. It was important to restore the confidence of its users. Canoo’s huge experience from DevOps to UX Design was one of the main reasons for the success of the project. Another reason was the perfect interaction between all parties.
Today, PLCD provides reliable access to a centralized storage with the possibility to manage data using meta data and to instantly start analysing measurement data by engineers and test bench operators. Additionally, the application enables users to describe the test items, to plan and to commission test runs so that the whole test workflow – from commissioning to execution – may be pictured and supported. And most important, the users are now much better supported in executing their tasks and thus save a lot of time.