Omron Automotive Electronics Adopts Model-Driven Development

4/26/2004 - New car buyers desire increasingly distinctive feature sets -- placing ever-changing expectations on OEMS. The OEMs, racing to deliver high-quality vehicles to a highly competitive marketplace, depend on Suppliers to provide high-quality, functionally integrated components on demand. Suppliers must meet shrinking timelines, reduced budgets and more complicated specifications to remain successful.

Omron Automotive Electronics, Inc. – a division of Omron Automotive Electronic Components – based in Nagoya, Japan – provides automotive OEMs and Tier 1 manufacturers a variety of electronic systems for popular comfort, convenience and safety features. The Omron product line includes switches to operate traditional consumer favorites such as power seat, power window and power mirror switches. Omron’s product line also includes unique electronic control units (ECUs) for power window control, power sliding doors, power tailgates, daytime running light sensors, and remote keyless entry systems. All of these products help OEMs provide safer and more desirable driving experiences for the car-buying consumer.

Model-Driven development changes the traditional product development process as consumer demands increase and become more varied. OEMs and suppliers have been forced to examine their traditional product development processes with the goal of better managing timelines and communication while increasing product (and component) quality and durability. Their culture-changing review revealed the traditional development process for vehicle systems and subsystems to be slow and often cumbersome. Vehicle engineers responsible for defining the operation and interaction of each system within the automobile relied on written (and sometimes ambiguous) specifications as the primary means of communication with their suppliers, including Omron.

To meet the tough business challenges of improving the development process, automotive OEMs have turned to Model-Driven Development (MDD) as a viable alternative. By allowing the OEM to graphically define the specifications and requirements in a systems engineering environment such as Statemate®, from I-Logix, the ambiguity is removed and time-to-market is reduced.

Statemate creates a comprehensive engineering environment for systems specification, validation and rapid prototyping. The system engineer utilizes Statemate to capture requirements, develop system models and produce executable specifications of system and software functionality. The OEM then passes specifications directly to the supplier via Statemate models, and the supplier is able to "test drive" specifications before writing any software. Once the supplier understands and finalizes all specifications, they can then implement the requirements specification through the Statemate MicroC Code Generator, which allows the supplier to directly deploy the C code from their Statemate model on the target ECU. In addition, test vectors can be generated automatically from Statemate and can be reused in the MicroC Code Generator to verify that the code meets the requirements specification. This is how MDD uniquely closes the loop between software and requirements.

Omron Automotive Electronics adopted MDD, and utilizes the I-Logix’ Statemate integrated tool chain. Omron now receives specification models directly from their OEM customer. Omron uses Statemate to graphically specify their designs and improve communication among teams at the customer location and their internal project teams. Omron is further reducing time to market through the automatic generation of production-quality code, and at the same time lowering total development cost by validating the systems and software designs up front, prior to implementation.

At Omron, the MDD approach using Statemate was implemented quickly. "Using Statemate is easy. I-Logix provided on-site consulting to ensure that we use the tool efficiently and to its fullest capability," said Brad Grupczynski, a sales engineer at Omron Automotive Electronics. "We are able to implement what the OEM supplies through their Statemate model almost directly."

Omron is able to track and document changes in OEM specifications easily by comparing models generated by Statemate. This is particularly helpful when functionality of a component is altered. It ensures that ECU interactions still remain reliable. Omron further boosted productivity by using the test vectors developed from the Statemate model to test the code, some of which was generated by the Statemate MicroC Code Generator in the target environment.

"By embracing the OEM’s dream process of developing models, handing those models down, and asking us to develop code from the model, we are enhancing our relationship, as well as our own product development process, and opening the door for future opportunities," said Jerry Bricker, Vice President of sales for Omron Automotive Electronics Inc.

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About Omron
Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation. Established in 1933 and headed by President and CEO Hisao Sakuta, Omron has more than 23,000 employees in over 35 countries working to provide products and services to customers in a variety of fields including industrial automation, electronic components, social systems (ticket gate machines, ticket vending machines, cash dispensers, and traffic control), and healthcare. The company is divided into five regions and head offices are in Japan (Kyoto), Asia Pacific (Singapore), China (Shanghai), Europe (Amsterdam) and US (Chicago). For more information, visit Omron's Web site at

About I-Logix
Founded in 1987, I-Logix is a leading provider of Model-Driven Development (MDD) solutions for systems design through software development focused on real-time embedded applications. These solutions allow engineers to graphically model the behavior and functionality of their embedded systems, analyze and validate the system, and automatically generate production quality code in a variety of languages. I-Logix also offers iNotion, a product lifecycle management portal designed for software; coupling product development, quality assurance, marketing and the customer by providing instant, controllable, web-based access to development artifacts and product management services 24/7 worldwide. For more information, please visit our website

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