Marine Diesel Engine Turbochargers On Test Benches

Delphin TopMessage Data Acquisition System

CHESTERLAND OH—October 4th, 2011

CAS DataLoggers recently provided the data acquisition solution for one of the world’s leading manufacturers of large diesel engines, turbochargers and complete drive systems. The company specialized in manufacturing diesel engines for shipping, power generation, and heavy road and rail vehicles with power ranges from 116 to 9000kW. Turbocharger performance determined overall engine performance, fuel consumption, and emissions, and were regularly tested using test benches where they were subjected to high levels of thermal and mechanical stress as well as exposure to temperatures of up to 750ºC (1382ºF) and a 5.0 pressure ratio. These test benches were designed to test the most critical areas and to optimize the robustness, efficiency and operation of the components, and could rotate the turbochargers as rapidly as 90,000 rpm. Given the complexity of these tests, plant managers began to see the need for a sophisticated data acquisition system offering highly accurate measurements, fast signal processing and easy configurability. The customer was also considering integrating more advanced test scenarios utilizing additional inputs in the near future, and therefore a modular system was required to enable management to upgrade the system easily with more input and output channels whenever needed.

The customer installed a Delphin TopMessage data acquisition system in a control cabinet in the turbocharger testing area. For this particular test bench application, about 80 analog signals and about 20 digital I/O channels were required. The analog inputs recorded pressures, volume flows, valve position, and temperatures, while the counter inputs measured rotation speed. The customer’s specific TopMessage system contained the following modules: 1 TopMessage Master with 1 GB memory and ProfiBus DP Slave interface; 3 TopMessage Slave extension units; 6 ADVT modules with 90 analog inputs for temperature and pressure measurement; and 1 DIOT module for digital I/Os for pulse and speed measurement. The system’s software consisted of ProfiSignal Basic process visualization and monitoring software with 250 inputs.

During testing, a high level of accuracy (+/- 0,2 K) was especially necessary when recording the temperature measurements. The ProfiBus-DP Slave interface of the TopMessage was important to integrate it with the PLC system which controlled the overall test cycle. Suited to many different data acquisition, data logging, and testing applications, the TopMessage device processed any signal quickly and reliably from just a few thermocouples right up to thousands of measurement points spread over several plant areas. Offering universal inputs and outputs with extended functions and software channels, the TopMessage handled 30 analog inputs or 48 digital inputs and could connect up to 10 slave devices for extended functionality. This modular and scalable system featured high accuracy with up to 24-bit resolution and 2 slots for analog or digital input or output cards as well as a CANbus for expansion modules. Housed within an industrial grade enclosure, the TopMessage also featured signal conditioning, an Ethernet interface and screw terminal connections.

The TopMessage system was a modular device for data acquisition and automation with a master/slave design making it ideal for both small and large applications requiring the processing of thousands of channels. Master and slave devices each accommodated two I/O modules. The customer was presented with a range of I/O modules to select the best one for their application, with different modules available for any number of channels and sensor types. A network interface enabled the TopMessage device to be integrated into a TCP network or to be directly connected to a PC workstation or laptop/netbook computer. Online measurement data could be transmitted, saved and processed, and the data could be stored simultaneously within the TopMessage device itself on its local memory.

Additionally, the TopMessage system was upgraded to include ProfiSignal Basic universal software for data acquisition, test automation and data acquisition applications. This software’s wide areas of application ranged from simple data storage and visualization to a complete automation solution with reporting. ProfiSignal Basic was easy to configure by PC, and plant engineers found the representation of the channels to be a clear and intuitive with an operation similar to Windows Explorer.

The customer realized several advantages after installing the Delphin TopMessage data acquisition system in the turbocharger test area. The TopMessage itself made for an easy install, so much so that the first test run was performed after just 2 days of installation. Likewise, the installation and configuration of all the temperature sensors was also hassle-free since no additional converter and signal conditioning unit was required, and configuration of individual mimics and HMI screens was simple too. Another major benefit was the TopMessage’s modular design which enabled future expansion of the testing program with additional inputs and outputs. All in all, plant engineers found that the TopMessage data acquisition system was very reliable and highly accurate, and operators were easily able to work with the ProfiSignal Basic software for automation and reporting.

Check out the Delphin TopMessage product page at

The entire CAS inventory of data acquisition systems can be found at

For further information on the Delphin TopMessage data acquisition system, other data acquisition devices, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Specialist at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437