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Real-time remaining life estimation (Eindhoven)

Category:                             Internship
Education level:                   MSc Electrical Engineering

Context
Prodrive Technologies is a developer and manufacturer of world-class electronics. It comprises over 1100 employees and is one of the fastest growing companies in Europe. Our organization is mostly based on two groups: Development and Operations. The Development department is oriented at developing first-class electronic, mechanic and software solutions. The operations department is responsible for production, assembly, testing and life-cycle-management of electronic products and systems in the range of 1 to more than a million pieces per year.

Prodrive Technologies has developed a series of gradient amplifiers that can be used to build 3 axis gradient systems for MRI scanners. The gradient amplifier generates the current through the gradient coils and therefore consists of 3 amplifier modules that share a common power supply. In order to have fast and large enough variation in the field, high voltage and high current is required (e.g. 2100V, 1150A for NG2200). Accuracy, reliability and lifetime are very important for gradient amplifier. The latest MRI scan technologies require longer and higher current that might compromise the IGBTs life expectancy.

Assignment
Prodrive Technologies wants to acquire accurate lifetime data while MRI scans are being made. You, as a student, establish an algorithm that can be implemented in the Gradient Amplifiers to real-time keep track of the remaining useful life of the IGBTs. The calculations can be based on values that are available in the amplifier, such as: current, duty cycle, etc.  You will assess the accuracy of the algorithm by performing (destructive) tests. The algorithm is implemented in an FPGA (in VHDL code). Prodrive Technologies provides test facilities for this project and the gradient amplifier development team is available for support and reviews. The focus of the assignment may be adjusted to one or all of these topics:

  • Power electronics and IGBT physics
  • Algorithm design
  • FPGA design
  • Lifetime testing

Are you interested in this assignment? Check out this presentation for more information and images.


Deliverables

  • Mathematical model of IGBT life
  • Algorithm to assess life consumption based on available parameters in the amplifier
  • Lifetime tests that proof correctness of the algorithm
  • VHDL code to implement the algorithm in an FPGA

Important note: all our graduation assignments are dependent on time. Please see them as an example of the many great things you can do at Prodrive Technologies. If you have the same passion for technology as we do, we always have an assignment for you!

Your benefits

When you are able to prove that you are the perfect fit for our job, you will be rewarded in many ways: you will get the chance to develop yourself as a person, gain extensive knowledge and develop your career in multiple directions. Besides that, you will – naturally – be offered a market competitive salary and outstanding secondary conditions. Your salary growth is in line with your own professional development so it can grow fast and you will even get the opportunity to become a shareholder. All this at an employer that has achieved an average annual growth of 25% over the last 20 years!

Organization

There are only few companies in the world of technology which stand out. According to our customers Prodrive Technologies is one of them. Our company was founded in 1993 by technical professionals from the Eindhoven University of Technology. Since then every year Prodrive Technologies has shown a steep growth rate due to a very successful business concept in a young and dynamic organization (average age 28 years). Currently the total Prodrive Technologies organization consists of over 1.100 (900 FTE) employees which are highly skilled, highly motivated and focused on results.

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