Founded in 1949, Liebherr is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of construction machinery and also a supplier of technically innovative user-oriented products and services in numerous other fields. Products produced by Liebherr include offshore, harbor and crawler cranes, excavators, dozers, wheel loaders and mining equipment. The Liebherr group employees 30 000 people in 100 companies on all continents.
Liebherr’s Earth Moving Technology Group consists of five independent factories in three countries, each having its own software design center.
Historically, a large variety of design methods were used locally in order to meet the requirements of the large variety of machinery produced.
Among the methods used were C on a bare board and a Software-PLC based approach with IEC-61131 graphical language. The large number of different approaches and the lack of a solution that was able to cover all needs of Liebherr EMT lead to high costs and slow time-to-market.
Liebherr EMT decided to search for a unified solution in order to harmonize software platform and application development tools and processes.
Liebherr recognized that necessary key elements of this solution were the proprietary PME platform, based on COTS real-time operating system and a well tailored software development process. Liebherr’s application development team also included application specialists with no deep knowledge of software development, so they needed a graphical solution that offered domain specific language tools while allowing for quick implementation of customer wishes. Requirements also included the ability to reuse software modules, real time CAN protocol and most importantly, the solution had to meet safety requirements according to IEC 61508 SIL2.
Liebherr chose SCADE Suite as the standard software development environment for all design centers for earth moving machines in Germany, France and Austria because it is specifically designed for safety-critical projects, and SCADE Suite handles all phases of the development cycle, from specification to implementation, test/verification and documentation. The testing and verification stages of software development are deeply integrated in SCADE Suite. SCADE Suite allowed Liebherr developers to reuse existing software modules and generate highly optimized C code with good runtime performance.
>Esterel Technologies Germany GmbH developed
PMElink, a SCADE Suite plug-in that allows Liebherr’s application developers to compose a software application from pre-validated SCADE software components and to then link and deploy it to any machine that runs the PME core.
SCADE Suite now provides the software design centers with the ability to rapidly develop, validate and certify reusable software models.
SCADE Suite has allowed Liebherr to significantly reduce development time and cost, while easily implementing new application features. SCADE Suite has vastly shortened development time during the Test / Verification stage of software development.
SCADE with the PMElink plug-in brings the ability to tailor, maintain and parameterize SCADE-based applications directly in the field, even on top of a mining excavator in a South African Gold Mine.