18/05/2009 by Kvaser

Ford Dunton uses Kvaser hardware in engine development

Kvaser hardware and ATI software wins all-round approval for calibration at Ford Dunton Technical Research Centre.

Ford Motor Company’s research centre at Dunton is the largest automotive design and engineering facility in the UK and a long-term customer of Accurate Technologies Inc. (ATI) and Kvaser. Home to several thousand engineers, designers and support staff, Ford Dunton uses an impressive array of ATI and Kvaser products for calibration and diagnostics during the design and development of Ford’s small and medium sized cars and commercial vehicle range.

According to Trevor Griffiths, Calibration Tools Specialist for Ford Dunton’s Powertrain Control Systems Engineering division, engineers there use Kvaser CAN interfaces, combined with ATI software, to perform calibration throughout the engine development process – from prototype to production.

Griffiths was first introduced to Kvaser products by ATI UK’s Business Manager Umesh Patel several years ago. Needing to calibrate electronic control modules from different manufacturers that all used the common protocol CAN CCP, Griffiths initially required a rugged CAN interface that could cope with the daily demands of in-the-field testing at Dunton, and would also be compatible with the ATI Vision software.

Griffiths took delivery of numerous Kvaser USBcan Rugged interfaces, which were duly put to use in various test situations, including Dunton’s dyno cells and test track. As he explains: “When developing strategies for engine control, it is necessary to make calibration changes dynamically – so we are looking for real-time feedback.”

Since that first delivery, ATI and Kvaser have gained a solid reputation among Ford Dunton’s design and calibration engineers, and Ford Dunton subsequently became one of the first customers to use Kvaser’s Leaf Light. Now the most common Kvaser interface product used at Ford Dunton, Griffiths says: “Leaf Light is highly favoured by the engineering and development teams due its versatility and physical attributes. The tool is light, compact, powered from the USB and represents a cost-effective CAN interface.”

Whilst the specification of the Leaf Light is lower than some other Kvaser interface products (it isn’t qualified for operation in extreme temperatures), Griffiths notes that if the temperature goes below zero, he recommends that engineers carry it in their pocket!

Meanwhile, Ford Dunton has used ATI VISION calibration and data acquisition software since 1998, since adding CANLab, ATI’s excellent multi-bus network analysis and development tool. Other software and hardware interfaces from the ATI/Kvaser stable in use at Dunton include ATI CANverter and Kvaser CanKing, Memorator, LapCan and Leaf LIN.

Concludes Griffiths: “Our investment in Kvaser products has proven to be a wise decision. Ford will continue to monitor the development of ATI and Kvaser products with great enthusiasm, and we have high expectations of future products.”


Image from left to right: Umesh Patel (ATI UK), Klas Sehlstedt (Kvaser) and Trevor Griffiths (Ford Dunton)