Testing

Diesel Engine Turbochargers on Test Benches

Delphin TopMessage for Real-Time Monitoring
CHESTERLAND OH—May 10, 2012

Diesel Engine Turbochargers on Test BenchesCAS DataLoggers recently provided the data acquisition solution for a leading German manufacturer developing and producing marine diesel engines and compact turbochargers enabling optimal levels of performance, fuel consumption and emissions. Their high- performance components were manufactured in-house and then sent to the plant’s test benches, where the turbochargers were subjected to high levels of thermal and mechanical stresses, including rotating up to 90,000 RPM, exposure to temperatures of up to 750ºC, and a 5.0 pressure ratio. Read more on our quality assurance applications note page.

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 http://www.dataloggerinc.com/products/TopMessage_Data_Acquisition_and_Control_System/133/.

The entire CAS inventory of data acquisition systems can be found at http://www.dataloggerinc.com/categories/Data_Acquisition_Systems/26/.

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 www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com

Endurance Test Application: Monitoring Failure of Flexible Joint Boots

ADwin-Light-16 Data Acquisition and Control System

CHESTERLAND OH—October 3rd, 2011

CAS DataLoggers recently provided the data acquisition and control solution for an automotive supply company conducting endurance testing for flexible joint boots. As part of the normal engineering process, it was often necessary to measure the reliability of mechanical assemblies over long periods of time under various stress conditions. This required that data on the assembly line be recorded and that wear-out or failure mechanisms undergo routine evaluation. In the case of flexible joints on shafts, the parts were rotated at high speeds over an extended period of time to simulate the typical operating life. The failure modes included deformation and cracking of the rubber boots, for which periodic manual observation was the only method for identifying failures. However, it was impractical to continuously record video and difficult to capture images of a part spinning at up to 10,000 RPM, so plant management realized the need for a sophisticated data acquisition and control device with an advanced DSP that could operate in real-time and included user-friendly software.

The customer installed an ADwin-Light-16 data acquisition and control system adjacent to its assembly line. Subsequently, a system incorporating the ADwin device was designed that allowed unattended monitoring of the rubber joint boots over extended periods of time. The ADwin-Light-16 was used to measure the rotational speed of the part via a reflective optical sensor providing TTL pulse for every shaft revolution. Next, the ADwin system calculated the delay required to achieve an absolute offset (measured in degrees) which was used to make the part appear to be motionless using an externally triggered high-speed strobe light providing up to 10,000 flashes per minute. The ADwin system then calculated a phase delay that, when used in conjunction with the strobe, would make the part appear to rotate at a much slower RPM, typically in the range of 1-10 RPM. Additionally, the ADwin-Light-16 was used to trigger a Sony camera providing 30 frames a second at 640 x 480 resolution which captured a sequence of images that in turn captured a full 360-degree view of the part being tested. A Matrox frame grabber was integrated to capture images from the camera for processing, while a program written in Visual Basic was used to set-up the capture parameters, schedule the periodic collection of the images, and store the images in a sequence of files on disk, compressing the images to minimize storage requirements.

A low-priced 8-channel intelligent real-time data acquisition system, the ADwin system featured 8 16-Bit, 10 μs ADC analog inputs and 6 TTL/CMOS compatible digital inputs as well as 2 16-bit analog outputs and 6 TTL/CMOS compatible digital outputs. 2 32-Bit counters and a TTL/CMOS compatible trigger input were also standard, with an option to add an up/down counter. The system featured a local 32-Bit SHARC DSP with its own local memory to handle system management, data acquisition, on-line processing and control of outputs, and the ADwin-Light-16 itself was available in many configurations including PCI, CompactPCI, and EURO USB configurations or external USB or Ethernet.

The ADwin-Light-16 system enabled real-time development with the included ADbasic software, which defined the processing sequences executed on the hardware. Using ADbasic, engineers optimized and compiled the program code with just a mouse-click. After being loaded on the system by ADbasic or a graphical PC user interface, the real-time processes executed independently. ADbasic contained the functions to access all inputs and outputs as well as functions for floating-point operations, process control and communication with a PC. A library was provided which contained standard functions such as filtering, various examples for counter use, closed-loop controllers, function generators, etc. which lead to a faster program implementation.

Additionally, by means of the easily configurable ADtools, users could display their real-time data graphically or numerically, to visualize process sequencings or to set input values via potentiometers, sliders or push buttons. ADtools also provided users with the current status of the ADwin’s system resources. The ADwin software environment could be used under Windows (2000/XPVista/Win7) and Linux, or as a stand-alone data acquisition system. Also, ADwin contained drivers for many of the popular programming environments including Visual Basic, Visual C/C++, LabVIEW/LabWindows, TestPoint and others.

The automotive supply company benefited in several ways following installation of the ADwin-Light-16 data acquisition and control system. The ADwin system was an ideal, low-priced solution for fast data acquisition and control in real time under Windows. By using an automated system, the need to have a person manually inspect the boot for failures was entirely eliminated–instead, the history of the complete test was recorded in a sequence of files that was played back later for analysis. By freezing the motion of the part, the joint boot could be inspected without stopping the test and individual sites could be inspected for degradation. Also, with the system’s onboard SHARC DSP, processing of each measurement occurred immediately after acquisition. The ADbasic control language allowed operators to program mathematical operations and functions which were executed immediately after each sampling step, even at sampling rates as high as 100 kHz.

Check out the ADwin-Light-16 data acquisition and control system product page at http://www.dataloggerinc.com/products/ADwinLight16__RealTime_Data_Acquisition_and_Control_System/65/. Additionally, an overview of the CAS inventory of data acquisition systems can be found at http://www.dataloggerinc.com/categories/Data_Acquisition_Systems/26/.

For further information on the ADwin-Light-16 data acquisition and control 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 www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com

Low-Cost Solutions for Chip and Board Level Tests

ADwin Real-Time Data Acquisition Systems

CHESTERLAND OH—September 19, 2011

Depending on the complexity of analog and digital technology-based IC chips and electronic boards, there are different test solutions available for R&D and production line testing. While complex and expensive chips and boards are tested with large, sophisticated testers, more cost-effective test solutions are a necessity when testing low-cost chips and boards. A real-time system with a modular architecture such as the ADwin family of data acquisition devices makes an ideal and cost-effective platform to provide the necessary field tests of mixed signal testing for chips and boards. The ADwin system offers a selection of I/O cards including parallel analog I/O modules, parallel digital I/O modules, digital input modules with individual thresholds (comparator inputs), and large memory buffers for waveform storage, all with precise deterministic timing of all signals. Besides all these testing functions, the system can also be used as a FLASH programmer, providing the application with the high synergy of combining testing and programming in the same system.

Designing, prototyping, and testing systems such as mass-market IC chips and boards for electronic toys, inexpensive control units, washing machines, dishwashers, electronic tools, and many other applications requiring strong, integrated digital and analog data acquisition and signal generation hardware. The most efficient solution is to run all these functions on a single system—a system that provides users with a flexible selection of many different analog and digital I/O modules, a scalable system in number and type of I/Os, and synchronized functionalities with precise timing between all I/O modules. ADwin systems have all of these features and are characterized by deterministic execution of intelligent data acquisition and control applications. This is achieved through a local CPU (DSP) controller, the real-time heart of every ADwin system. The CPU is responsible for all real-time functions and guarantees a deterministic process execution entirely independent of the PC and its workload. ADwin systems work in close cooperation with PCs running Windows, but there is a clear job partitioning: the ADwin system’s job is to execute fast and deterministic processes in real-time, while the PC performs standard functions such as graphical user interfaces for applications, visualization of data, and database accesses. ADwin systems add real-time capability to the PC, so if the Windows PC crashes, the ADwin system will continue to run, maintaining the integrity of the application.

These high-speed systems have a deep onboard memory and contain an Ethernet-based communication interface allowing multiple distributed test systems at a single PC or workstation and also feature excellent driver support for a single system running Windows, Linux, and Unix. The software allows the selection of the smallest ADwin system for applications with a very limited number of I/Os, while the code is compatible to applications with hundreds of I/Os using bigger ADwin systems. Additionally, FPGA-based modules provide nanosecond precision for customized functions in I/O modules, such as special hardware triggers or interfaces like SPI or I2C.

Key features of these chip and board testing applications include multi-channel arbitrary, analog and digital waveform generator, synchronized analog/digital stimulation of the Device Under Test (DUT), and measurement of the DUT responses with parallel, synchronized analog/digital inputs. Sequencing instructions are stored in a DSP with large memory and extremely fast real-time reaction time of 300 nanoseconds to control the complete system.

Synchronized analog/digital stimulation of the DUT is also possible. For high-speed arbitrary waveform generation and the stimulation of the DUT, the ADwin-Pro system provides multi-channel analog and digital output modules. The analog output modules have a parallel design, so that all channels can be updated synchronously without any phase shift between the channels. Parallel updating is a great advantage, especially if these signals need to be correlated to each other for the application. This update technique is achieved by using one DAC per channel, with one register per DAC. Therefore it’s possible to first write new values to the control registers for all channels and then start the conversion for all channels with a single command.

Using a single module, 4 or 8 channels are available. If an application needs more channels, additional modules can be used simultaneously. Here too, all channels on several modules convert synchronously through one single instruction. Depending on the application, the update rates for the stimulation are in the range of kHz up to MHz.

A local RAM buffer on the I/O modules allows storage of waveforms. The allocation of this local RAM can be done freely, so it’s possible to store multiple wave forms of different sizes, or a single large waveform. Each output can be linked to any waveform in the buffer, and each output can have its individual output rate. It’s important to note that it’s possible to perform the waveform generation in an adaptive way, so that (based on responses at analog/digital input signals or counter/timer values) the output can be modified within microseconds.

The ADwin-Pro’s parallel analog measurement modules acquire all channels synchronously, without any phase shift between the measurement channels. Parallel sampling is a great advantage if measurement signals are correlated to each other. This measurement technique is achieved by using one ADC per channel. If an application needs more channels, more modules can be used simultaneously. As above, all channels on several modules convert synchronously through one single instruction with the values of all channels being processed online in the same sampling step. Modules with 4 and 8 channels are available, and again, if an application needs more channels, they system can simply use more modules simultaneously.

Internal RAM on each module is available as a memory buffer for measurement data. With this architecture, users will find it’s possible to acquire the values of all channels with up to MHz sample rates. The RAM buffer can be used, but it is always possible to read single values directly and to build a real-time intelligent software trigger in order to run the DUT arbitrary waveform generation in an adaptive mode.

New digital and analog I/O modules for the ADwin-Pro-II system are equipped with a programmable onboard TICO CPU that offers the development of application-specific functions running at MHz speed. Functions not available on standard I/O modules can be included via TICO code on these modules, so it is possible to run the following: sequence controlling, high speed application-specific counters, custom serial interfaces like SPI, Manchester-Code, I2C, etc. Also available is an equivalent analog input module with up to eight ADCs, an FPGA, and RAM. These modules are the base for extremely fast programmable customer-specific functions for pre-processing of the analog signals. The major advantage is the speed of TICO-based solutions; the routines generated for these digital and analog boards are run with nanosecond-level timing precision. Additionally, ADwin systems in general are very precise. In the standard configuration, the ADwin CPU reacts on any event within 300ns if it comes from a timer, a digital, or other event sources, allowing code to run on a standard ADwin system with cycle times of microseconds.

In addition to the CPU, there is a large local memory area for program code and measurement data. The communication between the ADwin system and the PC is via Ethernet or USB. Fieldbus interfaces allow the connection to PLCs while a bootloader supports complete stand-alone operations of the ADwin system. Additionally, drivers are available for a wide range of PC programs under the Windows, Linux or MAC operating systems. Programming tools for the ADwin system include ADbasic or Matlab®/Simulink®.

For further information on the ADwin-Pro, the ADwin-Pro-II, other ADwin real-time data acquisition systems, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437
sales@dataloggerinc.com
http://www.dataloggerinc.com