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Reverse Engineering Technologies for Remanufacturing of Automotive Systems Communicating via CAN Bus

Stefan Freiberger*, Matthias Albrecht and Josef Käufl

Author Affiliations

Chair of Manufacturing and Remanufacturing Technology, Bayreuth University, Universitaetsstrasse 30, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany

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Journal of Remanufacturing 2011, 1:6  doi:10.1186/2210-4690-1-6

Published: 7 December 2011


Nowadays, as mechatronic and electronic systems have found their way into vehicles, the technological knowledgebase of traditional remanufacturing companies erodes rapidly and even the industrial principle of remanufacturing is at risk. Due to the fact that modern cars incorporate up to 80 of these mechatronic and electronic systems that are communicating with each other e.g. via the vehicle controller area network (CAN), remanufacturing of these automotive systems requires innovative reverse engineering knowhow, methodological innovations and new technologies, especially focusing on the tasks testing and diagnostics of systems and their subassemblies. The European research project "CAN REMAN", conducted by Bayreuth University in cooperation with two other universities and eight industrial partners, focuses on these needs in order to enable companies to remanufacture modern automotive mechatronics and electronics with innovative reverse engineering skills as well as to develop appropriate and affordable testing and diagnostics technologies.

In order to operate and test the mechatronic device with CAN interface outside the vehicle environment, an appropriate simulation of the vehicle network and all connected sensors of the device under test (DUT) is essential. This implies an electrical analysis of the connectors of the DUT, a content-related analysis of the CAN-bus, a sensor hardware simulation and a CAN-bus simulation.

All electrical measurements and results were taken using conventional multimeters or oscilloscopes. The CAN-bus analysis and simulations were conducted using the Vector Informatics software tool "CANoe" (Version 7.1) and a suitable CAN-bus hardware, e.g. the CANcardXL and the IOcab8444opto. All hardware simulations were executed with a conventional wave form generator or a microcontroller evaluation board (Olimex AVR-CAN) and an appropriate electric setup.

In order to initially readout the failure memory and to investigate the diagnostic communication of the DUT, garage testers such as "Bosch KTS 650" or "Rosstech VAG-COM" were used.

The results of the project are application-orientated methods, test benches and skills for remanufacturing companies to find out the working principles of the CAN-bus communication between automotive mechatronic and electronic systems within vehicles.

The knowhow presented in this article enables remanufacturing companies to remanufacture modern automotive mechatronic and electronic systems which are communicating via the CAN-bus and similar communication types.

Remanufacturing; Mechatronics; Electronics; CAN-bus; Reverse Engineering; Testing; Diagnosis; Vehicle Network Topology