MESTEC GmbH: improving measuring technology for the automotive industry


Communications have become mobile and in the industry it is a matter of ensuring implementation of new visualisation techniques. It is primarily important that visualisations from companies and research institutes in particular can be displayed clearly. Measured values, for example, should not lose their significance due to poor presentation. This plays an equally important role in research and business as well as the automotive industry.

Problems of visualisation techniques

Visualisation techniques play an increasingly important role in research and development as well as quality management in the automotive industry. A data logger is used here to record the data of test drives, for example. The test driver should have an overview of the measured values even while driving. It is thus a question of how to combine visualisation with optimum operating.

The data logger often has only limited visualisation capabilities. Although some data loggers offer small displays, the requirements for efficient user interfaces are significantly higher. Improved displays, however, go hand in hand with another logger as the exchange of data between these devices is not readily possible. MESTEC GmbH from 81249 Munich is working on this subject by looking for innovative ways to improve data handling.

Standardisation of interfaces

Standardisation of interfaces is important in order for the exchange of data to function smoothly. This has the advantage of a free choice of data loggers, the displays and the other operator controls. There is also a dependency on permanent suppliers and ultimately cost savings are possible. Some suppliers are able to specialise in these standard interfaces, which would involve greater expertise.

BMW is a car manufacturer that had an open protocol created. Thus, display manufacturers and the logger producers are able offer devices that are mutually compatible.

Other criteria

The interface must not only be standardised other requirements must also be taken into consideration. Thus, a solid foundation is important that operates in the form of HTTP via Ethernet. This is not susceptible to interference and is available in almost all units. Forwarding via routers is possible and the potential isolation is a given. Data is actively exchanged between devices using AJAX techniques.

The producers were offered an easy entry – made possible by the display and logger software. Those who want to set up their devices for „openABK“ should therefore rely on this software.

The test phase for loggers and displays was planned until January 2013 during which they had the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities. A test program was provided to test the scope, errors and robustness as well as the tolerance of the various device types. The aim was to determine how compatible the devices actually are in day-to-day use. With the help of a debugger, the developers gained an insight into the data the loggers and the displays collected and made available.

In the meantime, planners and buyers in the automotive industry can choose from a variety of compatible devices, which can be differentiated according to availability and features. The price is also a major factor here of course – since the automotive industry ultimately considers not least the total cost of manufacturing the finished product, i.e. automobile.

Photo credits: © – kolobsek

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