Case Studies

Test Stand Automotive Flashing Station

Posted in Automotive, LabVIEW, Test & Measurement Automation, Test Stand


DMC built a custom, turnkey, multi-up automotive flashing station for our client to efficiently test and download firmware to Electronic Control Units (ECUs), using NI TestStand and LabVIEW.


DMC designed and built a PC based flashing station for ECUs. The stand included CAN (Controller Area Networks) ports with relays and power supplies for four ECUs. The hardware solution was based on NI’s CompactDAQ platform and NI-XNET for CAN communication. DMC also designed heavy duty harnesses that provide an easy connection process for operators.

Test Stand Flashing Station Full Front View

Multi-up Flashing System

The multi-up flashing system, capable of flashing four ECUs at one time, provides higher line throughput than the previous manual process. The test sockets run independently: allowing for different ECU models to be flashed at the same time.

Test Stand Flashing Station Close Up

Software Interface

Through DMC’s expertise in both LabVIEW and NI TestStand, we built a software interface between them to provide a unified solution with an operator-friendly user interface (LabVIEW) and a powerful, customizable sequencer (NI TestStand). This was done to satisfy the requirements of both end users: operators and engineers.

The LabVIEW user interface (UI) allows operators to know when a sequence starts or stops and which step they are at throughout the flashing process. The UI also guides operators through barcode scans to automatically select the right software to flash to the ECU.

NI TestStand’s sequence editor allows engineers to customize the flashing process for new ECU models and software revisions.


DMC delivered three flashing stations that included PCs with hardware that will successfully ensure the ECUs meet a certain quality standard. The process is repeatable and traceable through NI TestStand reports and CAN logs for each ECU.

Test Stand Flashing Station Inside View

In summary, we created a high volume, automated, flexible flashing station that allows the customer to quickly modify and customize their own flashing sequences for existing and future ECUs.

Learn more about DMC’s Test and Measurement Automation expertise and contact us to get started on your next project.

Customer Benefits

  • Automated firmware flashing user-friendly process
  • Coordinated timing of tasks
  • Easily editable flashing sequence
  • Flexibility
    • Many working cells
    • Customizable test sequence and reports
  • Improved user interface
  • Increased overall accuracy and efficiency
  • NI platform-based application  
  • Repeatable
  • Traceable