Industrial Data Acquisition Application Case Study

Industrial Data Acquisition Applications

VXI DAQ System for Automotive Body Engineering Test Stands

Customer Case

The customer requires a system for automotive body engineering test stands in order to conduct a wide range of tests that include the effects of slamming the doors, the response to shock by various parts of the car body, operation of electrically powered windows during lifecycle tests, and so forth. Previous test systems were individually constructed for each test to be performed, with no form of standardization between systems. This resulted in almost as many different test systems as there were types of tests. A senior test engineer in Ford Body Engineering developed a VXI-based universal test data system on a roll-up cart. As there are needs for more test systems, additional "clones" are built.

Based on the cart instrumentation, a seat belt anchorage test system was developed. This test system applies a force profile of the anchors that retain the seat belts to the floor of a vehicle. The force is increased until the anchors give way. The anchors must hold firm in the event of a crash. The VXI mainframe is in the rear.

KineticSystems Case Solution

KineticSystems supplied VXI modules for the customer's application. The KineticSystems V387 is a discrete I/O module that provides digital control for the test unit. The V285 is an arbitrary waveform generator and the force profile is stored in this module. Its output is used to drive the actuator control system. The V246 is an 8-channel strain gage module and two of these modules are used in this application. They are used with strain gages to measure forces during the test. The V246 channels are multiplexed, and the analog voltages are digitized by a V207 with its 500,000 sample/second ADC module. The VXI Local Bus is used for the communication path between the strain gage modules and the ADC. The application was created using LabVIEW, a graphical programming environment. The test is fully automated, including calibration.

The primary reasons for choosing VXIbus for this and other Body Engineering test stands are:

  • VXIbus is a widely accepted standard, and acceptance is expected to continue for a long period of time.
  • VXIbus is a modular standard, with a wide array of instrumentation modules available for mixing and matching to meet a particular test requirement.
  • VXIbus is a robust standard. Characteristics such as EMI (electromagnetic interference), power supply noise and cooling are well specified.
  • VXI modules are available that allow computer control of end-to-end calibration. This is very important for repeatability and productivity.
  • Software drivers are available for using these modules with the LabVIEW programming environment.

KineticSystems Case Recommended Products

The primary KineticSystems products used in this application are:

  • V207 - 16-Bit, 500,000 Sample/sec ADC Host for the V241 Modules
  • V246 - 8-Channel Bridge Signal Conditioner with 6-Pole Programmable Filters
  • V285 - 8 or 16-Channel, 16-Bit, 500 kHz DAC Waveform Generator
  • V387 - 128-Channel Digital Input/Output

Industrial Application Request

We encourage you to contact us and discuss your industrial application in more detail with our engineering team. KineticSystems can provide tailored custom data acquisition hardware and software solutions to meet specific industrial application requirements.