From spark mining to information mining

Twenty years ago, Porsche Engineering took a initial step on a trail of general enlargement by opening a plcae in Prague, Czech Republic. This was followed in 2018 by a enlargement of a Czech auxiliary with a opening of an bureau in Ostrava.

If we ask Michal Petřek what creates Ostrava so special as a plcae for a expansion of new automobile technologies, he doesn’t have to consider long. “The automotive attention has a prolonged tradition here,” explains a Director of a Porsche Engineering plcae in a Czech Republic’s third-largest city. “The domicile of Tatra, for example, are utterly circuitously in a city of Kopřivnice. It’s a third-oldest association in a universe invariably prolongation vehicles.” In serve to automobile manufacturing, a second attention here can also demeanour behind on decades of history: Semiconductors, a simple building blocks of difficult wiring and information technology, have been grown and made in a Moravian-Silesian segment for some-more than 70 years.

Location manager: Michal Petřek advantages from a normal automotive ecosystem in Ostrava.

“Partly since of a history, we are now a many critical core of a automotive attention in a Czech Republic and during a same time a hotspot for a IT industry,” Petřek says. “There are countless investigate and prolongation comforts of OEMs and suppliers here, and many program companies are also formed in a area.” These are ideal conditions for Porsche Engineering’s activities: At a Ostrava site, some 80 employees in 3 teams are operative on a interface between vehicles on a one palm and wiring and program on a other. For their work, they have to have a good authority of both normal automotive engineering and a latest IT technologies.

Much to offer: In serve to easy industrial facilities, Ostrava offers an aged city with cafés and shops …

as good as difficult blurb and bureau buildings.

The employees in a Car Transition Team are essentially focused on program development. For example, they are operative on evidence systems for a new wiring design and on a real-time simulation of a automobile battery with that to exam a battery government complement during a expansion phase. “For a work, we need extensive complement knowhow,” says Dr. Jiří Kotzian, who heads a Car Transition Team, “because we move opposite things together, such as electric vehicles and a infrastructure that surrounds them.” His employees therefore embody both program and hardware experts who concentration especially on high-voltage issues.

System and automobile expertise: Dr. Kotzian (left) heads a Car Transition Team, that focuses essentially on program development. The Vehicle Integration Team led by Zdeněk Kolba integrates subsystems such as electronic control units into vehicles.

The Model-based Development Team is also operative intensively on e-mobility. In a Porsche Taycan, for example, battery government program from Ostrava and Prague calculates a remaining assign of a battery and a “state of health.” But a team’s solutions can also be found in framework control units, behaving such tasks as controlling framework tallness and permitting drivers to adjust a cessation settings according to their preferences. “Our program contributes to a high-quality, sporty pushing believe of a Porsche,” says group personality David Muzika. In addition, a experts contributed a Automated Measurement Data Analytics (AMDA) apparatus for a Big Data Loop plan (see essay on page 8), that enables involuntary information analysis in a cloud.

The capabilities within a group are as broad-based as a team’s projects: “We have experts in control engineering, information estimate and synthetic comprehension operative for us, and we always concur closely with a colleagues during a Cluj-Napoca site in Romania,” says Muzika. While Kotzian’s group develops program manually in programming languages such as C, C++, or Python, Muzika and his employees specialize in model-based program development. New solutions are combined here regulating a Matlab/Simulink tool, primarily as combinations of epitome duty blocks. “This allows us to quick exercise and exam a customers’ requirements,” explains Muzika. “Only when a new duty is using scrupulously do we automatically beget a analogous program code.

Wide-ranging capabilities: David Muzika and his Model-based Development Team specialize in model-based program development.

Close team-work with their colleagues in Ostrava and other locations is essential for a Vehicle Integration Team. The employees are obliged for integrating subsystems such as electronic control units from other expansion groups into vehicles and ensuring that they correlate optimally. Technical swell constantly presents Zdeněk Kolba and his group with new challenges: “The series of electronic components in difficult vehicles and a complexity of a systems continue to increase,” Kolba said. “As such, formation and validation need to be as quick and effective as possible.”

Modern operative environment: In serve to a latest technical infrastructure, …

… a Prague plcae offers a contemporary operative atmosphere in one of a many appealing cities in Europe.

Today, simulations on HiL exam benches (Hardware in a Loop; see essay on page 24) play a executive purpose in duty expansion and validation. For example, to check a information sell between a control section and a other systems, a experts use HiL to emanate a sense that it is already commissioned in a vehicle. All signals are granted by a exam bench, whose values and timing conform accurately to a after prolongation indication – prolonged before a initial antecedent is available. This proceed is suitable for a formation of all kinds of components, from tiny subsystems to some-more difficult functions. The expansion of such HiL exam benches is another specialty of a Vehicle Integration Team in Ostrava. “Our colleagues in Prague started HiL activities many years ago,” Kolba says. “We are now stability that tradition in Ostrava.”

Constant training required

“The series of control units will decrease, though a remaining components will be some-more complex,” says Kolba. “We are already scheming for this, with new capabilities and new tools, for instance for a destiny information buses in vehicles.” But other trends such as connected vehicles, unconstrained driving, and e-mobility also need a continual training process. With his group of experts in software, electronics, and mechatronics, he believes he is ideally prepared for a task: “Experience and uninformed thinking” – these are a difference Kolba uses to report what creates his colleagues special. Experience since many of them had formerly worked for years during one of a other suppliers or OEMs in a region. And uninformed meditative since other employees assimilated Porsche Engineering directly after graduating from one of a region’s universities.

Center of innovation: Since Jun 2020, a bend has been located circuitously a University of Ostrava.

Talent factory: operative students and doctoral possibilities from a circuitously Technical University of Ostrava are concerned in particular projects during a location.

Tourist magnet: steel prolongation in Ostrava finished in 1998. Today, visitors group to a former plant.

In sequence to advantage from a latest investigate results, a site intends to enhance a team-work with a Technical University of Ostrava. “It’s been concerned in automotive investigate for a prolonged time,” says plcae manager Petřek. Working students and doctoral possibilities from a technical university are already collaborating on particular projects, and a sell is set to turn most some-more complete in a future. An critical start has been made: Since Jun 2020, a plcae has been situated in an creation core circuitously a university campus. In serve to a vicinity to academia, it also offers room for serve growth.

Proximity to a educational world

“We can occupy adult to 200 people here – a series we wish to strech in dual to 3 years,” Petřek says. “We also have dual laboratories in a new building for HiL contrast and dual some-more for building HiL exam benches and electronics. In addition, there are several workshops where we can cgange prototypes in secrecy.” Proximity to technical talent and a difficult infrastructure are critical prerequisites for staying during a forefront of expansion in a fast-paced automotive world. Flexibility is another indispensable quality – something a people of Ostrava have demonstrated in a past: After a passing of a internal complicated industry, a city incited into a core of knowledge. “From spark mining to information mining,” was a slogan. Or as Zdeněk Kolba puts it: “We’re prepared for a subsequent challenge.”

In brief

The approximately 80 employees in Ostrava are as proficient in normal automotive engineering as they are in a latest IT technologies. A difficult infrastructure and tighten partnership with a educational universe safeguard that a 3 teams can accommodate all patron mandate in a fields of wiring and software.


Author: Christian Buck
Photographer: Aleš Král

Text initial published in a Magazine Porsche Engineering, emanate 2/2021.