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Testing with a digital twin allows adjusting control parameters or evaluating new control designs seamlessly.


Researchers at the Control Systems Engineering (CSE) Lab at Hiroshima University in Japan created a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testbench to test the controllers from various industries, such as vehicle systems, construction machinery, refrigeration processes and molding technologies.

Speedgoat products played a vital role in their model-based development (MBD) workflow. The researchers relied on an approach that fused the model and data to create a new, modular, and scalable control platform to be used across various developmental projects in the future.

“Due to the seamless integration of MATLAB®, Simulink® and Speedgoat products, algorithm implementation and control system development were carried out at an astonishing speed allowing us to obtain many successful results in less than three years since the project first launched.”


Prof. Yamamoto, School of Advanced Science and Engineering, Hiroshima University

Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing Accelerates the Development of Controllers for Mechanical Systems 

Control Systems Engineering (CSE) Lab at Hiroshima University in Japan focuses on control systems design for various industries using the MBD and data-driven approach. Along with this, they work towards its implementation through industry-academia collaboration.

The Challenge

One of the biggest challenges that the researchers faced was with time. If the plant model was not ready and bottlenecked the project’s progress, everything was subsequently delayed. This resulted in the team having to spend a lengthy amount of time and resources to test and debug to achieve satisfactory results. When the control algorithms designed in MATLAB® and Simulink® had to be directly implemented into the actual controller and tested on-site, errors were discovered very late. This required tremendous time and effort to recode (through trial and error), readjust parameters (with slow responses), then reimplement and retest, all whilst going back and forth between the laboratory and the testing site.

In addition, due to control algorithms becoming more sophisticated and complicated over the years, it became increasingly difficult to maintain and manage the control systems efficiently.


Solution and Results


In order the tackle their issues with time and resource constraints, the team implemented plant models for various industries such as vehicle systems, construction machinery, refrigeration processes and molding technologies, and used Speedgoat’s Baseline real-time target machine to run the digital twin in each HIL simulation.

By designing the models of physical real-world plants using Simscape™ within the Simulink® environment, the team was able to apply first principle modeling to get the project started and running using very little data. Thanks to the data inspector function of Simulink®, the team could visualize and check the control results in real-time.


As a result, this allowed them to conveniently evaluate control algorithms and make parameter adjustments on a desktop before implementing them on the HIL simulator. This resulted in significant testing time reduction and resource savings because the wait for an actual prototype to be ready for testing could be eliminated altogether.


The Key Benefits

  • Astonishing test-time reductions leveraging automated and robust testing workflows
  • HIL testing allows obtaining experimental results on the same day by leveraging the seamless integration of Speedgoat solutions and MathWorks products
  • Efficiently maintaining and managing control systems testing despite algorithms becoming more sophisticated over the years
  • Early elimination of coding errors and easier parameter adjustments
  • Obtained research results in less than three years, saving several years of effort. 



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