Hardware in the Loop (HiL) systems are used in the development and test of real-time embedded systems often found in Electronic Control Units (ECU) within almost any on- or off-highway vehicle today. HiL systems are comprised of both hardware and software that can simulate the larger entity (i.e. car, tractor, etc.), so that the smaller ECU can be inserted into that larger system to determine whether or not it’s internal real-time embedded system is performing as intended. While this may seem like a mountainous task for vehicle manufacturers in industry today, DISTek has invested in tackling the design and production of an internal HiL solution.
Acquiring and/or logging high speed data, using the traditional DAQmx scaling approach, will consume considerable amounts of memory due to its use of the double precision data type. Each sample collected will consume eight bytes of memory whether being stored in memory or on disk. This size is fine when collecting data at lower rates, but if you are collecting data at a rate of 1 MS/s, eight bytes per sample is too much for most systems to handle.
A customer has been receiving field failures and the root cause has been difficult to determine. They have ideas of what may be causing these failures and need a test system that can simulate the various conditions and monitor the Device Under Test (DUT) to assist in determining the root cause. The customer turned to DISTek to provide a bench-top setup that will control the DUT and measure multiple in-circuit test points for events that may be damaging field effect transistors (FET) along with recording FET case temperatures. Custom events have been defined by the customer and will trigger the system to capture pre and post-trigger data. The test system should also provide various loads to the output of the DUT.
Here at DISTek we just competed our 24th full calendar year as a company, which means our 25th anniversary happens in 2017. We are excited to think about our future as we pass this milestone, but it is also healthy to step back and review what we did in 2016. We took some bumps and bruises along the way – as did many in the industries we serve – but we also had some exciting successes.
Welcome back to the blog! Today, I will be talking about how to operate a Cognex smart camera via a LabVIEW program. The way I will be communicating with the camera is via TCP/IP. There are other potential ways to communicate with the camera from LabVIEW, but this was determined to be the best way, giving us the most control over the camera. I will walk through some basic terminology that is necessary to discuss building a Cognex vision test. Then, I will create and set up a vision test and finally, I will briefly describe how to program LabVIEW to send/receive information to the camera and to trigger an image acquisition.
As an embedded developer of machine controls, the ultimate test for your software is to run on the target machine. Whether it’s an agricultural implement, a wood chipper, or a concrete paving machine, there comes a point where the software needs to meet the motors, solenoids and sensors. The problem that we all face, though, is that program managers almost always want to have the software ready to run the prototype as soon as the machine is assembled.
As LCD vehicle displays have become more prevalent and versatile in both on- and off-highway, the time it takes to ensure proper display functionality after a software release has increased dramatically. It is not uncommon for displays to have 15, 20, or even 30 different screens, each of which having multiple sub-selections available. If you take into consideration different supported languages, the scope of the test grows dramatically. DISTek, as a company, is always attempting to define the future needs of customers in the off-highway industry, of which vehicle display testers are one of those needs.
The 22nd Annual NI Week is slated to begin in Austin, Texas, on August 1st. NI Week provides the forum to bring together the brightest minds in engineering and science. More than 3,200 innovators representing a wide spectrum of industries, from automotive and telecommunications to robotics and energy will converge together to discover the latest technology to accelerate productivity for software-defined systems in test, measurement, and control. While DISTek regularly attends in various capacities, this year we will be making a new showing. Our very own Systems Engineer and LabVIEW expert, Ed Dickens, will be presenting on Wednesday, August 3rd from 4:45-5:45PM. His presentation is the result of National Instruments trying something new. This year, for the first time ever, there will be an advanced software topic track where all the presentation topics and content will be prepared and presented by various “LabVIEW Champions”.