Continental's New Engine Management Platform Gives Engine Developers Greater Flexibility
Apr 28, 2010
- The Engine Management System 3 (EMS 3) provides the automotive industry with a scalable system for gasoline and diesel engines and for gas, hybrid and electric drives.
- The open system architecture results in excellent performance and flexibility
Regensburg/Vienna. With its new generation of powerful engine management systems, Continental, the international automotive supplier, is preparing the way for meeting the more stringent Euro 6 exhaust gas directive limits which will apply in future and for making the necessary cuts in CO2 emissions. Continental's Engine Management System 3 (EMS 3) provides vehicle manufacturers for the first time with an engine management platform based on an open system architecture conforming to the AUTOSAR standard and offering great flexibility when it comes to producing new system configurations for their drive concepts. "The outstanding new features include greater functional integration within the chip set, improved scalability plus the size and weight reductions which are the natural consequences. In future, the recently defined microcontroller performance categories will cover markets from simpler MPI engine management systems, i.e. those with port injection like Continental's EASY-U, to complex truck engine management systems," said Professor Peter Gutzmer, head of the Engine Systems Business Unit in Continental's Powertrain Division, during the Vienna Engine Symposium.
Engine Management Platform EMS 3: Open system architecture for the drive concepts of the future
Open system architecture for the drive concepts of the future
Even if the gasoline or diesel combustion engine remains the dominant drive concept for passenger cars and commercial vehicles for the foreseeable future, the challenge today is to incorporate hybrid components and ongoing developments in drive train electrification into the engine management architecture. Combined drive concepts of this type require drive train data to be more intensively networked. In addition, more stringent exhaust gas and consumption regulations need to be taken into account. These include the future Euro 6 emissions standard and above all the legislation on reducing consumption and CO2 emissions, together with the high levels of penal taxation which vehicle manufacturers who do not achieve these savings targets will suffer. Engine management is therefore one of the key components in any vehicle drive system.
The new EMS 3 engine management system is based on an open architecture conforming to the AUTOSAR standard (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) with clearly defined interfaces. Consequently, the PowerSAR function and software platform is able to flexibly support the variety of partitioned systems and electronics topologies which result from hybridization and electrification. This engine management platform is steadily bringing together the functional bases of gasoline and diesel powered systems, making it possible to cover the wide range of drive technology options which are being installed in vehicles. At the same time, the open architecture allows the integration of software solutions provided either by the vehicle manufacturer or other suppliers.
These highly complex management processes are increasingly based on physical computer models, leading to greater precision in the processes which take place in and around the engine. For example, these physical models allow the air path, i.e. how the EMS 3 supplies the engine with air, to be calculated with significantly greater accuracy and this makes it possible to control injection and ignition even more precisely. In addition, the engine management system allows the use of identical software components for the air intake section of both diesel and gasoline engines.
Soot sensor: Continental´s soot particulate sensor measures the amount of soot deposited on the surface of the ceramic sensor, a measurement which depends on the concentration of soot in exhaust gas. Click here to download this image
The system has been designed so that consumption-reducing technologies such as variable valve control and cylinder shut-off can be integrated. The incorporation of sensors and actuators is increasingly achieved via intelligent subsystems which improve the components' accuracy, service life and diagnostic ability. Closed loop control of the injection nozzles, for example, can further improve the accuracy and dynamism of the fuel injection system. The EMS 3 also features new sensors developed by Continental such as the cylinder pressure sensors for controlling the combustion process or the recently developed soot particulate sensor. A sensor of this type will probably be essential when the Euro 6 standard is introduced so that the vehicle's on-board diagnostics (OBD) are able to reliably calculate whether the soot particulate filter is operating at full power. Continental's soot particulate sensor uses changes in the electrical resistance to measure the amount of soot deposited on the surface of the ceramic sensor, a measurement which depends on the concentration of soot in the exhaust gas. If specific limits are exceeded, the sensor will trigger error messages stored in the software.
Scalable electronics modules give engine developers more design freedom
The outstanding innovations of the EMS 3 include greater integration in the chip set, improved scalability and the size and weight savings which are achievable as a result. The 32 bit microcontrollers in five newly defined performance categories range from simple engine management systems for growing automotive markets to complex engine systems. Continental's EMS 3 also systematically exploits the further potential offered by application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC).
Consequently, identical, standardized engine management hardware can be used for even more vehicle and engine variants. Standardization leads to improved quality, shorter lead times and lower costs. It will be possible, simply by modifying the software, to adapt an engine platform for use in different models or to re-use functions for engines with three, four, six or eight cylinders. To achieve this, features such as injector control, high pressure pump actuation and even linear lambda sensor data acquisition will be generically developed so that they can be adapted as simply as possible to whichever components are used.
One example of the flexibility acquired by the EMS 3 platform is the lambda sensor interface. Due to the software configuration of the interface ASIC, it is possible to install different designs of lambda sensor without having to alter the hardware of the ECU. Various types of sensors will be supported by this interface in future.
The outstanding new features include greater functional integration within the chip set, improved scalability and the size and weight reductions which are the natural consequences
This ability to vary the configuration for specific customer applications through maximum standardization of software and hardware modules will also benefit new technologies such as electric or hybrid drive trains. For example, an electric drive controller could become a derivative of the existing combustion engine controller. The upgraded control unit can be made available with little extra cost by adopting the vehicle-side solutions.
Electronics are becoming an increasingly significant feature of vehicles
At present, over one third of a vehicle's added value is attributable to its electronics and information systems. This proportion will rise to over 50 percent in future years. Electronics play an outstanding part particularly in today's engine concepts. They control the actuators such as injectors, pumps and ignition and, with the help of components such as temperature sensors, lambda sensors, engine speed and position sensors, they regulate torque, fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions. Their growing complexity can be illustrated by the fact that, in recent years alone, there has been a threefold increase in the memory storage capacity needed for engine management systems.