What is HIL Testing?

Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulation is a technique that is used for testing control systems. Carrying out a HIL simulation to test a control system is called HIL testing.


HIL Simulation

The machine or physical part of the system (which we call the plant) is normally connected with the control system, through actuators and sensors. With HIL testing the plant is replaced by a simulation of the plant (which we call the HIL simulator). If the HIL simulator is designed well, it will accurately mimic the plant, and can be used to test the control system. Some HIL simulators are equipped with 3D visualization and represent the plant so well that they can be used for training. These HIL simulators are called training simulators.

With a simulated plant you can run tests that would destroy a real plant or would be harmful for people in a real situation. That is why HIL simulation can greatly enhance the safe operation of machines. However there are more benefits: