Archive for the ‘compactrio’ Category

Regulating indoor temperature seems as easy as pushing a button on your thermostat, but it involves multiple systems working together to get the job done. If you’ve ever had your air conditioning break in the middle of summer, you know how uncomfortable it can be when these systems fail. To prevent service outages and reduce energy consumption, Danfoss A/S built the world’s first test center for indoor climate products.





Danfoss A/S designed and built a control and data acquisition system using NI CompactDAQ, CompactRIO, and LabVIEW. They used the NI CompactDAQ platform as the backbone of the system due to its flexibility and Ethernet connectivity. By creating a new LabVIEW test framework, Danfoss A/S constructed a test solution that supports new devices. The test center is capable of controlling and monitoring both energy generators (heat pumps, gas boilers) and heat emitters (radiators, floor heating) as well as controlling the simulated outdoor environment in a climate room.


The test center will allow Danfoss A/S to continue producing reliable energy products. A new solution for cooling or heating your home might be right around the corner.


>> Read the full case study.

Unmanned vehicles are extremely useful in situations that are dangerous for human operators. The ILX-27 is an unmanned helicopter designed to support special military operations. The helicopter’s applications include reconnaissance, cargo transportation, and evacuations, but before the ILX-27 can answer the call of duty it must first pass a series of ground and flight tests.


The Institute of Aviation (ILOT) designed the ILX-27 in cooperation with the Air Force Institute of Technology and Military Aviation Works. After the helicopter was built, engineers working on the project needed to create a test system to obtain reliable data retrieved from ground and flight tests.




ILOT used NI LabVIEW, DIAdem, and CompactRIO to create a measurement system that managed the helicopter’s construction and monitoring. ILOT used CompactRIO as the main data recorder and DIAdem to store measurement data obtained from the tests.  


Engineers used LabVIEW to monitor the vibration levels of multiple helicopter parts under inspection and control the parts in case of an emergency. For ILOT, LabVIEW facilitated data analysis and the presentation of results, leaving time for the company to concentrate their efforts on the helicopter tests.

ILOT achieved the overarching goal of the project performing ground and flight tests of the ILX-27 on a proving ground. But testing on the ILX-27 isn’t done quite yet. NI’s flexible hardware gave ILOT the tools to further expand the trajectory of the project. The company plans on adding a module to the helicopter rotor head to gain insight on the dynamics of ILX-27.


>> Read another blog post involving unmanned vehicles.


Nuclear power plants are one of the world’s major sources of energy. In 2012, 12.3% of total electricity came from nuclear power plants. However, these plants can also be incredibly hazardous. Nuclear decommissioning, the process of dismantling defunct nuclear facilities, is dangerous due to high radiation and other factors such as heat, humidity, and caustic fumes.


One solution is to use remote handling techniques, such as operating a robotic manipulator. However, many robotic manipulators can’t handle nuclear decommissioning tasks because of the design of the devices. Using NI LabVIEW system design software and NI CompactRIO hardware, James Fisher Nuclear Ltd (JFN) developed a safe, modular arm that operates with maximum dexterity to navigate in harsh environments.



With the help of LabVIEW, JFN created a valuable tool that can solve many nuclear decommissioning challenges around the world. The robotic arm is safe, reliable, and versatile. Most importantly, it minimizes the risks for human operators working in a harsh environment.


>> Read the full case study. 

From inspecting the packaging of consumer goods to surveilling traffic to identifying cells with fluorescence, vision techniques are increasingly being used in every industry imaginable. Whether you are using vision to improve the quality of your finished goods, guide your robot, or add traceability to improve your process, here are five considerations to keep in mind when you choose your vision system.


  1. Software is the key

    Ease of use is all about abstracting technology components in a system so that you can meet familiar application challenges as a domain expert. This means you can concentrate on your vision inspection while NI worries about how to make your applications work for different camera standards and take advantage of the latest hardware advancements.

    NI LabVIEW graphical programming software also provides a powerful and easy-to-learn environment (compared to text-based programming), and gives you access to hundreds of functions to enhance images, measure parts, identify objects, check for presence, and locate features through the NI Vision Development Module.


    Through software, you can model system variations to see if your inspection will stand up to motion blur, changes in lightin, and camera      position. These common issues in vision systems can be seen in the image above.

  2. Choosing the right camera

    Each application is best suited to a certain type of image sensor, with options spanning area-scan, monochrome, and color sensors as well as specialty sensors such as thermal (infrared), 3D, and line-scan. It is important to be aware of inspection conditions when choosing among these different sensor types.  For example, inspecting quick-moving rolls of textile requires a line-scan sensor while measuring hot metal in a dusty, dark environment requires a thermal camera.

    NI has made it a priority to support the most widely used imaging standards and strives to integrate support for new technologies. With the NI Vision Acquisition Software driver package, you can use a common framework to acquire images from smart cameras; traditional plug-in frame grabbers using analog, parallel digital, and Camera Link standards; and consumer buses such as GigE Vision, USB, and IEEE 1394. These drivers are the first to natively support image acquisition from GigE Vision and IEEE 1394 cameras in real time.

  3. Intelligent vision through industrial connectivity.....

To read about numbers 3 through 5 as well as dive deeper into the first too points, check out this article on vision systems>>>

NI LabVIEW is a diverse graphical system design tool, and people who use it are doing some awesome things. LabVIEW is used in almost every industry, and when it comes to the medical industry, nothing compares. Researchers using LabVIEW are making huge progress in their industries, and the latest and greatest from the medical industry is a cost-effective liver dialysis prototype for clinical trials.







"The combination of LabVIEW and CompactRIO hardware significantly contributed to the deployment success of the prototype of our innovative liver dialysis therapy. Using NI technologies helped us deliver the first system within just seven months.”  Holger Chab, Hepa Wash GmbH




Researchers at Hepa Wash wanted to create a prototype that met performance and specification requirements set forth by the company, and achieved medical device safety under guidelines set forth by the International Electrotechnical Commission. Researchers used the LabVIEW FPGA and LabVIEW Real-Time modules with NI CompactRIO hardware to control the liver dialysis therapy prototype, as well as NI Requirements Gateway software to automatically create traceability documentation between requirements, tests, and design. By using all of these tools Hepa Wash achieved authorization for clinical studies within seven months.




>> See how using LabVIEW makes emergency room visits shorter.

Most of the time when you go to the hospital it’s a game of “hurry up and wait.” You rush to get the medical attention you need, and then wait for what seems like forever until you finally see a doctor.  Why is that?  Well, sometimes it’s because doctors have to transport patients from one room to another to run computed tomography (CT) scans and X-rays to make sure the diagnosis is correct and that previous surgeries were successful.


Researchers at Korea Institute of Industrial Technology have figured out a way to help doctors save time and complete diagnostics and surgeries more efficiently.  Their solution is a mobile X-ray imaging system that enables surgeons to operate more precisely and check a patient’s status instantly. 





The research team used NI LabVIEW software and NI hardware to develop the mobile X-ray imaging system because of the expandability of the NI CompactRIO platform. Because this complicated system requires many different sensors, hardware, and controllers, the CompactRIO platform’s versatility helped to build the system by easily adding the appropriate modules.


With LabVIEW, the researchers created the mobile X-ray system in three months and provided the reliability, expandability, and ease of operation they were aiming for.  LabVIEW also helped the researchers create a user-friendly interface and the core technology of the system, saving them development time.

>> Check out the full case study.


In the past, technicians who test drilling tools and electronics for Halliburton had to manually simulate deep well conditions to make sure that equipment would be able to survive the extreme pressure under the earth’s surface.  This manual system exposed technicians to high pressure, placing them at risk because there was no separation between them and the sources of high pressure. To reduce the risk of these testing procedures, Halliburton asked Optimation to create a system for technicians to run tests remotely, safely, and efficiently.



Optimation used CompactRIO and LabVIEW software to develop a turnkey layout and fabrication of a new valve, panel, and control system. 




>> Check out the case study here. 

Today, bridge structures are tested with unique constraints. Vehicle loads and extreme conditions give researchers a better understanding of the impact these structures can withstand. However, bridges are not being designed for both of these conditions at the same time.


Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno are using graphical system design to test bridge sections and the extreme conditions they may endure. To better understand the behavior of these immense structures during an earthquake and the combined load of a vehicle, researchers wanted to accurately test how the vehicles suspension system interacts with the movement of a bridge. They achieved this by building bridge sections and simulating earthquakes with large hydraulic shakers.


NI data acquisition hardware and the NI LabVIEW Real-Time Module helped the researchers easily program a system that could monitor critical components of their simulation such as strain, force and displacement. The ability to collect and process accurate data all with one platform made the test system a huge success. The entire system design gives researchers the capabilities to better understand the behaviors and movements of the structures we drive across every day.



>>Read the full case study here

Two important elements in a sustainable urban infrastructure are public transportation and green structures. Not only are they important, but they also help create sustainable living conditions for a

community. That’s why engineers at National University of Singapore created the first working prototype of a zero-energy bus stop (node) that was also user friendly for commuters.


Powering a zero-energy bus node that is self-sustainable requires electricity. The engineers needed to situate solar panels on the top of the bus node. To further the energy supply, they mounted the solar panels on a rotational base that causes the panels to adjust with the weather information received by a controller. Using the energy supply from the abundant sunlight created enough to power one entire bus node.


The next crucial element was creating a solar panel powered system. The engineers created a three-part system made up of sensors, actuators, and a controller. They used NI CompactRIO hardware and LabVIEW software to give the controller capabilities for obtaining up-to-date arrival times, current traffic conditions, and other navigation information for passengers right on-site.

The use of integrated NI hardware and software helped engineers create the first working prototype of a zero-energy bus node. This entire bus node is 100 percent self-sustainable in electricity consumption and Singapore now has a ready platform for energy control activities that will help create a more sustainable infrastructure in the future.




>>Read about all the additional features of the bus node.


Today we introduced the C Series NI 9861 CAN interface and NI 9866 LIN interface, the newest modules in the NI XNET family of products, and the first low-speed CAN and LIN modules that integrate with the entire NI CompactDAQ platform. The CAN and LIN modules can help engineers increased productivity and flexibility through project reuse for a variety of platforms.


You can use the new CAN and LIN modules with the same NI LabVIEW or ANSI C/C++ software code on a variety of platforms including NI CompactDAQ, CompactRIO, PXI and PCI. Both modules also support synchronization and triggering with other CompactRIO and NI CompactDAQ modules.


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