Our support services are often related to projects with a highly sensitive background. Therefore, most of these projects are subject to confidentiality agreements and we have to make sure that the information we disclose does not allow any conclusion as to the companies concerned.
Over the past few years, we have supported numerous customers on their way to project success in the following areas:
- Automation & Drives
- Automotive Industry
- Building Technology
- Catering Industry Systems
- Climate Technology
- Communication Technology
- Electronics Service Provider
- Energy Engineering
- Medical Engineering
- Measurement Technology
- Optical Industry
- Oil Production
- Printing Industry
- Watchmaking Industry
with a focus on the following issues:
- Optimization of development processes
- Introduction of new programming methods
- Software engineering
- Requirements engineering
- Reengineering of existing software
- Software reviews
- Code analysis
- Software architecture design
- Introduction of UML/SysML
- Introduction of new microcontrollers
- Driver programming for microcontrollers
- Selection of microcontrollers
- Selection of RTOS
- Selection of tools
- Introduction of .NET
Automation & Drives
Definition of an embedded software development process for machine control systems, compliant to the specification.
Introduction of UML for software modeling and documentation in drive technology.
Accompanying development and reviews of requirements; electronics development with transfer to production and embedded software.
Workshop: Review of a revised software architecture. Definition of the further course of action for introducing the new architecture in the project.
Workshop and consulting regarding development process optimization and quality assurance.
Microcontrollers: Workshop covering the introduction of a new microcontroller.
Achievement: The project start was sped up and the error risk was minimized.
RTOS, microcontrollers: Our system analysis provided the project manager with a basis for the selection and efficient use of a real-time operating system.
Achievement: “Now we know much better!”
Harmonics compensation: circuit design, prototyping and small series for a new type of harmonics compensation for electronic drives.
Achievement: The system was presented successfully at several professional trade shows.
Microcontrollers: With our support, our customer could correct sporadic errors occurring in a key function of the application during a critical project phase.
Microcontrollers/driver programming: We supported the customer over several critical project phases and helped them identify the problems and possible solutions. Solving the issues, the customer also benefited from MicroConsult’s close cooperation with numerous suppliers.
Achievement: By their own statement, they would have taken much longer if they had tried to solve these issues themselves.
Coaching in the decision-making phase: The issue was a useful method change and process adjustment for the development of control and measurement systems to be used in explosive environments. The model based development approach that the customer had initially envisaged turned out to be inefficient and too expensive under the given basic conditions. Instead, we identified relatively simple alternatives entailing substantial benefit especially regarding requirements analysis, requirements traceability and test schemes.
Coaching of a manufacturer of automotive control units with the aim of improving methods and processes for the introduction of a new processor generation.
Process analysis and optimization for the development of control units. The results were documented in a UML process model using Enterprise Architect. MicroConsult supported the implementation of results in the daily work processes.
Software redesign for an automation system manufacturer. The software had grown over 25 years and comprised a real-time platform (assembler, 8 axes) and a workstation (Windows, C++). MicroConsult supported the development team and management in the process of identifying the most promising redesign strategy.
Research project with the Technical University of Munich. Topic: integrated simulation, test and inspection methods based on new techniques and solution approaches.
Architecture redesign for a new generation of control systems for electric drives through new methods and process adjustments.
Project tasks like the development of a basic architecture were carried out in cooperation with a core team. Helmut Belz of SEW Eurodrive confirms that the introduction of UML was worth the effort. Using UML based on object oriented analysis and design, the Group Manager for function modules and his team developed COMET applications for a frequency converter. "So far, there hadn't been any experience regarding the suitability of UML for firmware on embedded microcontrollers", reports Mr. Belz. With the help of external coaches (from MicroConsult), the company put its adjusted development model SEW-COMET to the test. According to Mr. Belz, it was helpful to call in consultants when the project started. Moreover, regular reviews facilitated the efficient implementation of SEW-COMET. "Coaching helps companies integrate different departments in a project much more efficiently, thus optimizing their procedures." (Helmut Belz, SEW Eurodrive).
A new software architecture for future generations was developed for a renowned global coffee machine manufacturer. The required process adjustments were identified. The results were incorporated in the development of the next product generation.
Workshop: Selection of a suitable basis for an automated test system.
UML, SysML: The pros and cons of UML/SysML applications were analyzed based on the project requirements, and important background information was transferred.
Achievement: A sound basis for decisions was established.
Software analysis: Using sophisticated analysis methods and tools, existing software was examined for weaknesses. At the same time, the team was introduced to the method and the use of the tool.
Achievement: Our customer got valuable information on the weaknesses of their software. They are now in a position to implement further analysis themselves.
C++ Library: Support during the introduction of the C++ boost library through the selection of classes and examples for project practice.
Achievement: The development team did not have to spend time on extensive autodidactic training and familiarization. Moreover, the team has a common understanding of the library.
Testing: Generation of the product specification and test specification for a safety-critical embedded system as well as test execution.
Achievement: We efficiently took workload off the customer. They moreover developed an understanding of the benefit of new or improved methods.
.NET, C#: Coaching and training for the introduction of .NET, C# and GUI in future projects.
Achievement: The development engineers could immediately use the new know-how in their projects.
System architecture design: A globally distributed development team was prepared for platform and application programming based on Windows CE. Details on critical concepts and principles as well as the development environment and development process were communicated.
Achievement: Know-how of individual developers could be consolidated in a consistent and coherent training, and the effort for knowledge transfer could be reduced by approx. 90%.
Support of the world-wide rollout of tools as well as development methods for a new processor generation, comprising training and project specific assistance for several hundred developers.
Quality analysis of existing safety relevant codes: Optimization of the development process in order to submit suitable proof of due diligence according to the state of the art.
Process analysis and evaluation of suitable improvement for a manufacturer of control units for exhaust systems.
Redesign and porting of software for coordinating the communication of electronic modules in airplanes to a new processor platform.
Consulting as to method selection and process adjustments for a change to object-oriented methods.
Requirements engineering: In cooperation with the project team, the requirements analysis process was adjusted to the specific requirements of the customer and implemented exemplarily.
Achievement: Faster introduction and higher acceptance of a professional requirements engineering process.
Architecture design: In the course of a workshop, the requirements for a new software architecture as well as suitable implementation measures were determined. During the implementation phase, we provided support through coaching and training.
Achievement: The customer had an excellent understanding of the system which enabled them to quickly implement a professional software architecture design.
Process optimization: The existing process was analyzed together with the team. The weaknesses identified were evaluated and corrected through targeted measures.
Achievement: The team developed an understanding and motivation that helped them to quickly correct critical weaknesses.
Developing possibilities and decision guidelines for a new system architecture in building technology.
Catering Industry Systems
OOP coaching, WinCE coaching: The development team was prepared for a change to WinCE and the use of object-oriented methods in accordance with the project requirements. The team was moreover supported during the implementation phase.
Achievement: The project start was accelerated. Risks and sources of error could be determined at an early stage.
Workshop and consulting regarding the project specific use of an RTOS as well as RTOS preselection.
Workshop: Assessment of existing software architectures and conception of new software architectures for future communication systems.
WinCE: We prepared a development team for the use of WinCE and supported them during the project start-up phase.
Achievement: Common errors during the change to new technologies could be avoided and the project start-up was accelerated.
Process optimization: We analyzed the existing process together with the team. The weaknesses identified were evaluated, and targeted measures helped to develop decisive improvement potential.
Achievement: The team not only got a better understanding of a suitable process, but the process itself was also improved.
Process improvement: In the course of an analysis workshop, we evaluated the status quo together with the team: tools, methods, process, rules, main error sources, code, architecture, documentation, etc. Goals and measures were elaborated based on the results. It was critical to develop a common understanding of the challenges and to find an approach that the team could take based on their skills and potential. Afterwards, we supported the customer with training and coaching.
Achievement: Higher acceptance and faster implementation of changes.
Tailored training and team coaching for the ARM core to be used in future projects, in order to speed up the project start.
Coaching for an embedded Linux migration to ARM architectures, under the tools and methods aspect.
Peter Jentsch is Manager of the Center of Competence for Mobile Media Gateway at Siemens Communications. Based on UML, his team developed a software for mobile network operators to perform on a completely new hardware. More than 100 developers across several continents were involved. The existing software, written in C, was partly reused. Mr. Jentsch called in MicroConsult experts for the transfer from procedural to object oriented programming. Mr. Jentsch's department decided for a cooperation during the analysis and design phase. "The cooperation with MicroConsult in the development of the new architecture initiated many invaluable thinking processes which resulted in a transformation of the project itself. We were able to take the hurdle for a successful use of UML tools more quickly." (Peter Jentsch, Siemens Communications).
Electronics Service Provider
Workshop and consulting regarding UML, project and process.
Independent review of software architecture and performance, with a focus on driver architectures.
Joachim Beyersdorf, Project Leader at DHL: "Based on their profound knowledge of methods and tools, MicroConsult helped us substantiate our business case regarding a uniform 3D strategy in the mobile area with an implementable solution. Cooperation with MicroConsult in this complex context was professional and very helpful. I have come to appreciate the MicroConsult team and personally recommend a further cooperation."
Hans Wiesböck, Editor in Chief, Elektronikpraxis: "MicroConsult is not only the prime address for hardware and software training in the embedded industry. Most of all, MicroConsult is a problem-solving partner. Services range from training, consulting and coaching through to human-level embedded networking. After all, people and not tools develop solutions. We at ELEKTRONIKPRAXIS appreciate being part of the MicroConsult network."
UML and architecture workshop to develop a new software architecture that was documented using UML.
Workshop and consulting regarding new developments and redesign for medical devices.
Coaching to support decision-making for a method change for the analysis and design of medical devices with redundant motor control as well as the required process adjustments. The aim was to improve the transparency of development results, for example, to be used as a proof for certification processes.
Analysis of the development process and applied methods. Introduction of measures for improvement. Definition of tools, methods and processes as well as all required artifacts. Creation of an exemplary project plan with objectives, tasks, responsibilities (team), milestones, project team, budget, ...
Coaching for process analysis and elaboration of process adjustments under the aspect of model-based development.
Analysis of an existing development process for drive systems and determination of improvement measures for implementation within a small team (10 people) from hardware, software and mechanical engineering.
Analysis of the development process and methods employed. Identification and initiation of measures for improving software quality, such as checklists for software development and templates for specification. Introduction of systematic requirements engineering.
Rahman Jamal, Technical Director, National Instruments Germany: "We experienced the MicroConsult team as competent and committed partners for design process and embedded issues. Moreover, the cooperation with MicroConsult at the "Virtual Instruments in Practice (VIP)" congress as well as other events, such as Automotive Day or PraxisForum Embedded Test, was trend-setting and inspiring to us."
Dr. Helge Thiess, Carl Zeiss AG: "MicroConsult supported us with coaching in a new project, with the goal to optimize the program structure of our in-house software. We particularly appreciated their competent and target-oriented consulting. Based on his analysis and the resulting recommendations, the coach made a substantial contribution to the success of our project. This makes MicroConsult an invaluable project partner which we are happy to recommend."
UML: Coaching for the architecture design based on UML.
Achievement: The customer was able to verify and optimize his design.
Redesign of software for drilling systems with extreme requirements on reliability and robustness. Method change, process adjustment, modularization, creation of a uniform platform.
UML tool selection: In a first step, the key principles and applications of UML were described. Then, the key criteria for the use of a UML tool were determined and evaluated considering the specific project conditions. Based on the results, available tools were qualified and selected.
Identification of unused potential for optimizing the programming methodology. Generation of tailored, project-oriented training to improve the software development expertise.
Chris Shore, ARM Ltd.: "MicroConsult is one of ARM's longest standing partners and has been an Approved Training Centre for five years. In that time, they have proved themselves to be highly professional and totally committed to keeping up-to-date with the fast-moving world of ARM technology. Their people are of the highest caliber."
Werner Pichl, Infineon Technologies AG, Senior Manager, Tool Partner Management Automotive, Industrial & Multimarket: " For TriCore, one of the most powerful 32 bit microcontroller architectures, the MicroConsult experts offer know-how in the form of training, coaching and engineering services tailored to individual customer needs. All requirements are perfectly considered. Therefore, MicroConsult is Infineon's first choice for microcontroller related services."
Process analysis with a focus on requirements regarding identification systems and biometry.
Process analysis: Use of model-based development methods, selection of suitable tools and measures for their introduction.