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Traffic light principle for reliable system software: teamtechnik and TU Munich develop a new testing tool

Image caption: New software evaluation process for system builders
Photo: teamtechnik (no fee for printing – notification requested)

In a joint research project with the Institute of Automation and Information Systems at the Technical University of Munich, teamtechnik has developed a new method of software testing that enables the quality of individually adapted control and test software to be evaluated faster and more accurately. It thus allows system builders to make software development processes quicker and more reliable.

When commissioning a new system it is typically necessary to match individual software modules of the programmable logic controller (PLC) to the specific requirements of the product and the production sequence. Yet what effect does changing a single software sequence have on the overall quality of the control program? In the research project a metric (a mathematical function) was developed that enables complex software changes to be evaluated using a simple traffic-light principle.

This allows an analysis of existing system software following adaptations and change processes, quickly and reliably. With this tool teamtechnik aims to obtain objective parameters for software quality evaluation.

‘Together with the Institute of Automation and Information Systems at TU Munich we have further optimized in-house software development processes at teamtechnik. This gives our customers dependable system software that delivers absolute reliability even in the regulated environment of automation,’ says Dr. Matthias Bengel, Vice President, R+D Software.

Cooperation has been ongoing between teamtechnik and the Institute of Automation and Information Systems at TU Munich for a number of years. The outcomes of the current research project are published under the heading ‘Development and evaluation of a metric for determining the maturity of compliant control software’.

 

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A brief portrait: teamtechnik Group

teamtechnik Group is one of the international market leaders for production technology, assembly and functional test systems. The company, based in Freiberg am Neckar, Germany, focuses on developing and building custom automation solutions for the sectors new energy automotive and medical. A proven focus here is its high competence in software and control technology. teamtechnik was founded in 1976 and today has production sites in Germany, Poland, China and the USA. With over 1000 employees worldwide, the systems manufacturer achieves a turnover of €180 million.