A large-engine manufacturer had test cells with severe vibration levels…
The Off-Highway category contains case studies and blogs related to off-highway, mining and construction machinery/vehicle engineering and testing services.
Automotive and off-highway engineers and designers often need to log vehicle bus data along with vibration, strain gauge, and other sensor data during normal operation to evaluate their design. Using data from all these sources enables these engineers and designers to pinpoint a vehicle’s response to staged or damaging events. For example, engineers can see how steering wheel position and speed effect structural response when the vehicle hits a pothole.
How does steering wheel position and speed effect structural response when the vehicle hits a pothole?
In situations where our engineers need to tap into the vehicle’s on-board diagnostics using CAN bus data and analog sensor data to identify and solve a problem, we will deploy a rugged measurement solution based on NI CompactDAQ (cDAQ) hardware. These systems usually include an industrial compact pc or standalone cDAQ running the iTestSystem engineering measurement application. iTestSystem logs data from the vehicle bus connected to NI 9862 CAN module and other analog sensors connected to NI cDAQ modules like NI 9234, NI 9236, and NI 9229 into one data file.
NI 9862 CAN Module Specifications and Connections
According to the NI data sheet, the NI 9862 modules is a single CAN port device that is isolated from the other modules in the system. The port has a Bosch DCAN CAN controller that is CAN 2.0B-compatible and fully supports both 11-bit and 29-bit identifiers. The port also has an NXP TJA1041AT High-Speed CAN transceiver that is fully compatible with the ISO 11898 standard and supports baud rates up to 1 Mbps. This module requires +9 to +30 VDC supply voltage to operate.
The table below shows the connections between the NI 9862 9 pin D-Sub and the SAE J1962 connector that are required for CAN communication. NI sells a OBDII9M-DB9F CAN Cable cable if you don’t want make your own cable.
iTestSystem CAN Channel Setup
Setting up a vehicle CAN bus connection can be difficult, especially if you need to acquire non-standard, proprietary messages and frames. iTestSystem simplifies this setup by leveraging the NI XNET and CAN drivers to view and configure CAN bus data, import databases, and assign scale factors. iTestSystem then allows users to browse and choose which CAN signals to acquire.
For more information about collecting CAN bus data with an NI 9862 and iTestSystem, or our testing services, contact Chase Petzinger via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (844) 837-8797 x704
- Sound & Vibration DAQ Tools: NI-9231 Module
- Engineering Data Acquisition Tools: NI-9236 Strain Module
- How Do I Collect Vibration Data with iTestSystem and a cDAQ?
This video shows how to install a strain gauge on a curved surface using M-Bond AE-10 two part epoxy. Watch an ITM test technician walk through each step of the M-Bond AE-10 strain gauge installation procedure.\
Contact ITM for your Strain Gauge Needs
Installing strain gauges in the field for structural and fatigue measurements requires expertise and experience. Whether you use our iTestSystem software to stream and analyze strain signals for static measurements and real-world fatigue data acquisition or contract our software engineers to build a real time strain monitoring system, we will make sure you acquire quality strain data. Contact our strain lab and technicians to install strain gauges on test specimens or to design, build, calibrate, and test strain-based load cells.
Strain Lab Contact Info: Ryan.Welker@iTestSystem.com, (844) 837-8797
ITM delivers mobile data acquisition solutions to capture real-time feedback under actual conditions
Whether we are testing a new component on a truck that’s a thousand miles away or putting an off-highway vehicle through its paces right in front of us, it’s our mobile data acquisition products that often lead to ITM’s successes.
How have ITM engineers employed mobile data acquisition to create successful tests and find solutions for their clients? Here are two recent examples:
Example 1: Custom in-vehicle data logging solution captures CAN bus information alongside analog sensor data
The R&D office was filled with our client’s application engineers as they eagerly awaited a first-ever view of their product — a fan drive— as it performed under the hood of a commercial truck more than a thousand miles away.
A display of gauges, needles and dials showed precisely how our client’s product performed during everyday over-the-road stresses. The mobile data acquisition feeds showed fan speed, temperatures around the fan drive, and CAN bus data including engine speed and torque along with coolant, air and oil temperatures. It was an impressive view they had never seen before.
For years this global powertrain technologies company has turned to ITM to gather data for engine-cooling components. Thanks to software innovations at ITM, the firm has taken mobile data acquisition to the next level. Important vehicle information from the CAN (Control Area Network) bus alongside sensor data can be collected and shared real-time, which allows their client to remotely monitor tests as they happen.
“Not only are we correlating information that is broadcast by the vehicle with analog sensor information,” says ITM VP of Operations Ryan Welker, “we can gather data and feed it back to our customer in a way that is configurable to their needs. We can also incorporate GPS technology, which is very valuable. Now they can see if a vehicle is traveling up and down steep hills and see what influence it has on duty cycles of their product.”
To perform the tests, ITM used a RAC-88 data acquisition package that consists of a National Instruments cDAQ chassis and associated hardware as well as an embedded PC that runs ITM’s off-the-shelf iTestSystem DAQ software application. The package is equipped with a broadband router and cellular air cards for remote data connectivity and transmission.
From a pragmatic perspective, Welker points out that the constant monitoring also allows for a far more efficient testing process. Not only do their customers get data quickly (instead of waiting months until a test is complete to begin analysis), but also, any issues that disrupt data collection are brought to light immediately.
Beyond having the ability to build more efficient tests, Welker reiterates the importance of being able to gather more complete data by accessing the vehicle’s CAN bus network.
“This opens the doors to a lot more opportunities for customers that build engines and components,” he says. “Those vehicles are spitting out all kinds of valuable information over the CAN system that we can now correlate with analog signal test data. This allows us to provide customers with a far more accurate picture of exactly what is going on with their equipment.”
Example 2: In-vehicle testing employs mobile data acquisition to assess exhaust system
ITM was challenged with creating a rugged and flexible in-vehicle testing solution to determine the vibration levels of an on-highway vocational vehicle’s exhaust system during operation.
ITM engineers chose the high-performance and rugged NI cDAQ-9139 stand-alone system with NI C Series modules along with our LabVIEW-based data acquisition software, iTestSystem, to create a rugged, high-performance and portable exhaust test system for large vocational vehicles. Our solution provided a wireless interface to the stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system to allow the operator remote control and monitoring of the embedded acquisition and logging system.
“The new stand-alone NI CompactDAQ system provides a high-performance and portable system for demanding in-vehicle testing applications,” says Mark Yeager, ITM engineer and lead programmer. “Our iTestSystem software, based on NI LabVIEW, combined with stand-alone NI CompactDAQ allows us to build flexible mobile data acquisition systems faster than using traditional logging systems.”
ITM has used USB and Ethernet-based NI CompactDAQ systems, and its iTestSystem software, based on NI LabVIEW, for years to build high-performance mobile data acquisition and test systems for our customers in the transportation and in-vehicle space. The stand-alone NI CompactDAQ systems provide a new line of portable and flexible hardware from National Instruments by combining an embedded processor with the modular NI CompactDAQ platform.
Since these new NI cDAQ-913x systems can be used with the same NI LabVIEW system design software, NI DAQmx driver and 50+ existing NI C Series modules, ITM can build new flexible logging solutions for its customers in a very short amount of time.
Designing a Flexible Logging Solution for Exhaust Testing
For this mobile data acquisition application, ITM engineers chose the high-performance and rugged NI cDAQ-9139 stand-alone system with seven NI 9234 accelerometer modules and one NI 9229 module to interface directly to the sensors we leveraged in this application. The standalone cDAQ-9139 was bundled with a cellular network interface and packaged inside a rugged carrying case. For the sensors, ITM mounted 28 piezoelectric accelerometers to the exhaust system and connected them to the seven NI 9234 accelerometer modules. Engineers also installed a magnetic pickup sensor and connected it to the simultaneous, differential NI 9229 analog module to determine rotational speed that would be used later in a post processing order analysis algorithm.
Yeager says they leveraged the Windows Embedded OS running on the NI cDAQ-9139 to make the transition from using NI CompactDAQ USB-based systems connected to a laptop or PC a seamless process. The team used ITM’s iTestSystem software, based on NI LabVIEW system design software, to stream data from staged events and operation directly to the NI cDAQ-9139’s non-volatile hard drive in a TDMS file format. They were able to control and monitor the daq systems remotely via Remote Desktop by connecting the cDAQ-9139 to a Wi-Fi network using a high speed cellular broadband modem and router with Wi-Fi.
After conducting the mobile data acquisition, all of the TDMS data files were transferred to a computer for post processing and analysis. The analysis for this project included calculating the overall vibration levels for each accelerometer using the order analysis plug-in for iTestSystem software that leverages the built-in analysis functions within NI LabVIEW. Additionally, with the iTestSystem software, they were able to provide the customer with a professional report containing overall vibration levels and order analysis graphs that identified which sensor locations failed or met the design criteria.
Leveraging the stand-alone CompactDAQ systems and iTestSystem software for this project was a huge success, and the customer was amazed at how quickly ITM was able to integrate new technologies including both NI and third-party hardware and software. With this system, ITM was also able to reduce the overall cost of their test by reducing the manpower needed to perform the test and providing them with instantaneous feedback of the system functionality by utilizing new technologies.
In the end, the customer liked the mobile data acquisition system so much that instead of sending the system back to ITM, they redeployed it onto another on-highway vehicle to solve a different problem.
Faced with the challenge of testing a large and complex on‐highway vehicle, engineers from Integrated Test & Measurement knew it would take hundreds of channels…
Obvious signs of fatigue — cracks at the corners of doors — had begun to surface on an in-service Railcar. A railcar structural testing case study.
Check out this video of a Lego Test Cell Model that is controlled with an NI CompactRIO. ITM implemented an embedded vibration health monitoring application at an engine manufacturing company in Texas. The distributed system monitored and reported damaging engine dyno vibration levels on 10 engine test cells.
Whether manufacturing vehicles, mining natural resources or operating machinery on a construction site, a single common factor can bring your operation and productivity to an absolute halt.
That factor is noise.
In a world where precision and performance rule, measuring and controlling sound levels can be crucial to the success of your product or project. The team at Integrated Test & Measurement (ITM) have developed a customized solution that not only measures and collects sound-level data, but will help your team identify the specific components causing all that noise.
On-Site Sound Testing Capabilities
ITM can assist with all types of sound testing on site including:
- Vehicle/Automotive Noise Vibration & Harshness (NVH) Testing
- Drive by Noise Testing
- Sound Level Testing
- Vehicle/Automotive Component Noise Testing
- Construction Site Sound/Noise & Vibration Level Monitoring
- Mine Sound/Noise & Vibration Level Monitoring
- ISO Noise Testing
- Data Logging
In each of these instances, their engineers will be packing a custom Sound Level Test Kit full of data acquisition hardware, microphones and more. The key to their equipment, however, is that each kit includes ITM’s proprietary iTestSystem software, an intuitive sound-level human machine interface (HMI) that allows for sound-level recording and reporting.
Mark Yeager, ITM Lead Programmer, says building the capability within iTestSystem to measure microphone data now allows customers to look at a real-time display of sound-level measurements.
Yeager says their crew can build out tests on site to do such things as measure pass-by noise, a process by which the team arranges mics inside a vehicle and along both sides of a 40-yard stretch then capture, monitor and analyze a vehicle’s sound and compare it to acceptable standards. By breaking apart the frequencies of components, they can even zero in on trouble spots such as a turbocharger on a car or a loud cooling fan on a piece of construction equipment.
Measuring Dangerous Sound
Yeager also points out the need to measure sound in places like construction sites or mines, where there may be concern over hearing loss for operators. According to the Centers for Disease Control, hearing loss can result from a single loud sound (like firecrackers) near your ear. Or, more often, hearing loss can result over time from damage caused by repeated exposures to loud sounds. The louder the sound, the shorter the amount of time it takes for hearing loss to occur. Sound is measured in decibels (dB). A whisper is about 30 dB, normal conversation is about 60 dB, and a motorcycle engine running is about 95 dB. The CDC advises that noise above 70 dB over a prolonged period of time may start to damage your hearing, and loud noise above 120 dB can cause immediate harm to your ears.
Test-Ready Sound Level Kits
If you have test engineers on-site and simply need the equipment to help you get to the bottom of your sound issues, ITM will ship their test-ready kit that includes a pair of pelican carrying cases packed with the following components:
- ITM’s proprietary iTestSystem software
- Intuitive sound-level human machine interface (HMI)
- Data Acquisition Hardware
- NI cDAQ Chassis
- 8-Channel Microphone Module
- Wireless Switch
- Power Supply
- BNC Connectors
- Network Connectors
- Six Microphones
Whether your needs include on-site sound testing and analysis or you simply need the crucial equipment to measure sound and vibration levels yourself, ITM can help.
ITM is a structural test & measurement engineering service and software company located in Milford, Ohio, that helps companies reduce costs and improve efficiencies in their product development, manufacturing, and production activities. ITM is a recognized NI Gold Alliance Partner that provides software development, structural and mechanical testing services, industrial monitoring, strain gauging, and data analysis solutions to clients around the globe.
For more information about sound and noise level testing or our sound level test system or other data collection solutions, contact Ryan Welker via email at email@example.com or phone at (844) 837-8797 x702.
A case study describing a strain gauge DAQ system used to validate several new designs of a heavy lift lattice boom crane to comply with SAE J987 standards.
A case study describing a reliable system for testing generator vibration levels after production in order to verify proper unit design and assembly.
ITM | Integrated Test + Measurement
227 Water Street, Suite 300
Milford, OH 45150
Email: ITM Sales
ITM provides software development, structural and mechanical testing services, industrial monitoring, strain gauging, and data analysis solutions to clients on six continents. ITM is a recognized National Instruments Gold Alliance Partner.