Posts

iTestSystem Application: MultiDAQ

iTestSystem MultiDAQ

MultiDAQ is a configurable general data logging and real-time data viewing application for iTestSystem (iTS).  An intuitive user interface allows test technicians and engineers to choose sensor channels, synchronize DAQ hardware,  change sample rates,  setup input data filters, configure data file triggering, and manage automated data file naming.  Once configured, MultiDAQ provides graphical, tabular, and digital real-time data views for test operators to visualize data trends during the collection process.

Function List

  • Stream data from multiple C-series NI chassis.
  • Stream data at different sample rates.
  • View real-time data, including RMS and waveform data in tables, graphs, colormaps, spectra, and waterfall graphs.
  • Alarm when signals exceed channel’s minimum or maximum values.
  • Trigger acquisitions based on custom duration or value trigger statements.

For more information about MultiDAQ or iTestSystem, contact Chase Petzinger via email at chase.petzinger@itestsystem.com.

Industrial Monitoring Tools: cRIO-9046 Embedded Controller

CompactRIO cRIO-9046

One of the tools our embedded software engineers commonly use for industrial control and process monitoring applications is the NI CompactRIO (cRIO) controller. These controllers let our engineers deploy autonomous systems that use complex algorithms to generate process outputs or key performance indicators (KPIs) from structural, vibration, and process monitoring sensors.

For example, in one of the latest industrial boiler monitoring applications, we embedded a cRIO-9046 controller with our Sootblower Fouling Detection (SFD) algorithms which are used to compute and then output equipment health and process efficiency KPIs. Let’s take a look at the cRIO-9046 controller’s specifications, functionality and programming.

cRIO-9046 is an 8-Slot CompactRIO Controller that has an Intel Atom 1.30 GHz Dual-Core CPU, 2 GB DRAM, 4 GB Storage, a Kintex-7 70T FPGA that can operate from -40 °C to 70 °C. The eight slots are used for C-Series conditioned IO modules that connect sensor inputs and data/control outputs and buses.

Its operating system, NI Linux Real-Time (64-bit), allows real-time performance with the usability desktop operating systems. Our engineers use Xilinx Kintex-7 7K70T FPGA to implement high-speed, (MHz) low-latency hardware-level data processing and decision-making . The cRIO-9046 also has several connectivity ports, including 2x Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.1, USB 2.0, RS232, and RS485 ports.

Embedded LabVIEW developers can use these ports and standard communication protocol toolkits to develop standard or custom machine/system interfaces.

For a cRIO-9046 or other CompactRIOs to operate, custom LabVIEW RT applications must be developed and then deployed to each controller. Depending on the complexity of your application, you may also need to develop and deploy LabVIEW FPGA code to the cRIO’s FPGA. Over the years, our embedded software engineers have developed a standard architecture as well as software tools for communication and analysis routines to simplify the custom LabVIEW RT application development. They also have experience developing embedded LabVIEW FPGA code for advanced hardware-level signal processing.

For more information about the cRIO-9046 and our LabVIEW development capabilities, contact Mark Yeager via email at mark.yeager@itestsystem.com

Related Links

iTestSystem Application: Archive Manager

 

iTestSystem's Archive Manager Application

Managing data from autonomous data acquisition systems that generate megabyte and gigabyte data files can be a challenge. iTestSystem’s Archive Manager application simplifies this challenge by allowing users to configure a local directory as a data file FIFO and a separate directory (usually on a USB drive) as a data archive.

When enabled, Archive Manager solves two problems common to DAQ systems: system crashes due to a full hard drives and removeable drive (USB/network drive) management.  The Archive Manager allows users to set a limit on the amount of data stored in a specific directory. It monitors this directory and removes older files to accommodate new data files (data file FIFO).  This application keeps track of all data files removed from the watch directory and all files moved to the archive directory.  This allows users to swap removeable drives on the fly without duplicating data files in the archive or interacting with the DAQ system’s HMI.

Another feature of the Archive Manager application that ensures autonomous DAQ system stability is the configuration backup process.  When enabled, the configuration backup service periodically copies all files added in the log file list to the archive directory.  Backing up files like the iTestSystem configuration file allows test engineers to keep track of setup changes that occur during a test and restore previous configurations.

For more information about the iTestSystem Archive Manager or iTestSystem, contact Chase Petzinger via email at chase.petzinger@itestsystem.com.

High Channel Count Synchronous Datalogging

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…

Sound & Vibration DAQ Tools: NI-9231 Module

NI-9231 CompactDAQ Module

When measuring noise and vibration levels, our engineers use the NI-9231 sound and vibration module, a CompactDAQ chassis and a Laptop running iTestSystem to collect and analyze data. The NI-9231 module is an updated, higher channel count version of the NI-9234 module.

The NI-9231 is an 8 channel, 51.2 kS/s/channel, -5 V to 5 V, C Series Input Module with IEPE excitation that can be turned on and off, and open/short circuit detection. To increase channel capacity, these modules use 10-32 plug for its sensor input connections. NI provides a PCB Low Noise Coaxial Cable, 10 ft w/10-32 plug to BNC plug to accommodate most standard accelerometer and microphone connections.

For more information about the NI-9231, iTestSystem or sound and vibration measurements, contact Ryan Welker via email: ryan.welker@itestsystem.com or phone: (844) 837-8797 x702

Railcar Structural Testing

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.

Quiet Please: ITM Tunes Into Importance of Measuring Sound Levels

Construction Site Noise Testing

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  

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: 

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, contact Ryan Welker via email at ryan.welker@itestsystem.com or phone at (844) 837-8797 x702.

Video: Custom Rugged Data Acquisition Systems

Check out this video showing one of our custom rugged data acquisition systems!

Lattice Boom Crane Structural Design Validation

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.

Structural Validation & Testing of Generator Sets

A case study describing a reliable system for testing generator vibration levels after production in order to verify proper unit design and assembly.