Behind an intelligent thermal management system stands a professional development process
The ASEP and its 8 phases – Customer requirements and technical specifications combined
Eight important phases, that are significant for Aircontech as a provider of specific thermal management systems, in order to fully support and advise customers. Despite the clearly defined process, we work agilely in short and flexible decision-making paths - always solution-oriented.
We ask many questions of our ambitious clientele in order to be able to thoroughly define the requirements for the thermal management system. Customer requirements are combined with technical specifications in order to achieve satisfying results. After scenarios have been developed and offers have been made, we create a digital concept (digital mock-up). We coordinate this with our customers for approval.
In this section of the process, the individual components, cooling and refrigerant circuits are simulated using 1D simulation (Dymola). We consider the system design and carry out an analysis of the operating conditions.
3D design & virtual validation
In this step towards a functioning thermal management system, CAD-supported assembly space and assembly optimisation and the CAD design of the system or individual components take place.
As a further important phase, virtual validation in the course of the 3D flow simulation lays the foundation for the actual implementation of the system. If this is successful and the customer is impressed, we can move onto the prototype phase.
After the virtual development of the thermal management system, an actual prototype and the first functional samples are created in the in-house prototyping using the appropriate components. We can handle the tests in-house and they include the following, amongst other things:
- Long-term tests under the most severe conditions in our in-house cold/hot chambers
- Empirical determination of performance during simulated solar radiation
- Proof of electromagnetic compatibility
- Vibration and sprayed saline mist tests for individual assemblies that must function reliably under the toughest conditions
With this, we prove the performance of the product and the components and collect valuable performance data. Prototypes are then approved using predefined criteria.
Depending on the client's requirements, we develop manual control units up to fully automatic climate control. Software customizing for the thermal management system includes the following modules:
- Diagnostic capability (unified diagnostic system UDS), determining of system statuses and communication with the vehicle (vehicle communication unit VCU, battery control management BCM)
- Communication with operator or vehicle via CAN, LIN, Modbus,…
- Adjusting the control parameters to system behaviour (dynamic, inert system)
- Software update (flash programming): quick software update by our in-house developers
Component and system validation
The performance evaluation that now follows relates to the individual components, system and vehicle. The performance of HVAC components and HVAC units are measured. System performance data is also collected: up to 250 kW, sound power level, electrical safety (LVD) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) are tested.
The vehicle is validated in accordance with ISO 14269-2. We evaluate thermal comfort in vehicle cabs, and carry out windscreen defrosting tests and artificial sun simulations. To do this, a test dummy is used to evaluate how air flow, temperature, clothing and humidity affect the feeling of comfort. Sensors are attached to this test dummy, which is divided into 23 zones. These measure the various parameters and simulate human skin under a constant flow of heat.
After joint acceptance, the series release follows. An important milestone for all involved. Our flexible production of thermal management systems offers our customers the possibility of small as well as large series production. This ranges from, for example, 5 units per year to well over 20,000 units per year. Aircontech is certified according to EN ISO 9001:2015 and works with common quality management tools such as Design & Process FMEA, 8D Report and Ishikawa diagrams. This is how we ensure quality criteria.
Spare part and claim management according to 8 D, change management in series production, customer-specific documentation upon request is a matter of course for us as a manufacturer of complex thermal management systems. With this all-encompassing service, customers can rely on us for the long term.
Upon request, we carry out product training such as technical training, software and spare parts management and provide maintenance instructions via video.