NI's Compact FieldPoint takes LabVIEW into harsh environments

Austin, TX—National Instruments launched Nov. 5 its new Compact FieldPoint product line, which provides a small, rugged, intelligent platform that extends the reach of its LabView software into harsh industrial environments, such as embedded machine control, industrial data acquisition, data logging and in-vehicle applications.

11/12/2002


Austin, TX— National Instruments

Previously hampered by extreme industrial settings, engineers and scientists can use Compact FieldPoint to perform advanced measurement and control by integrating its intelligent distributed platform on a factory floor, in an industrial machine, or in remote locations. Compact FieldPoint''s family consists of 20 I/O modules and three intelligent controllers that perform analog and discrete control; user-defined data logging; and advanced inline math and signal processing. Using these processing capabilities, engineers and scientists can perform signal generation, calculus, curve fitting, statistics, and run PID loops, fuzzy logic and optimal control routines.

'Compact FieldPoint running LabView Real-Time is perfect for our standalone control of hybrid power systems in Alaska,' says Thomas Johnson, research engineer for the University of Alaska's Institute of Northern Engineering. 'These systems provide cathodic protection for the trans-Alaskan pipeline and must operate with utmost reliability in extreme and adverse conditions. Only Compact FieldPoint combines the necessary ruggedness and durability necessary to make these systems a reality.'

Compact FieldPoint incorporates a solid metal backplane for standalone mechanical ruggedness and stability. Users benefit from sturdy four- or eight-slot backplanes and steel screw fasteners that enable Compact FieldPoint to endure high vibration applications, even when mounted on heavy machinery or vehicles. Compact FieldPoint is the size of a large brick, measuring 5 x 10 x 5 in., and can withstand 50 g of shock and 5 g of RMS vibration.

'By eliminating the possibility of disconnect failures resulting from intense shock and vibration, Compact FieldPoint provides a cutting-edge solution for the challenges of in-vehicle testing. This small, rugged, and intelligent platform enables us to implement analog measurement, control and data logging to monitor signals, such as oil pressure and vehicle speed,' says Lance Butler, B&B Technologies' senior systems integrator. 'This dramatically reduces the time and cost currently associated with in-vehicle applications.'

Compact FieldPoint operates in temperatures ranging from -25 °C to 60 °C, enabling users to run embedded LabView applications in extreme environments that cause many industrial PCs to fail.

Using the Ethernet connectivity of Compact FieldPoint, users can create web-enabled applications, and remotely monitor sites to improve processes, reduce costs, and improve data throughput. The built-in web and file servers in Compact FieldPoint provide easy access to embedded LabView applications and stored data. With remote panels, users can access Lab-View's user interface through any web browser, enabling them to view or control embedded applications remotely without a separate human machine interface (HMI).

For applications requiring external device control, Compact FieldPoint offers one RS-485 and three RS-232 serial ports. These enable control and communication with industrial devices, including bar code scanners, radio modems, touchscreens and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) via the four serial ports. The RS-485 serial port provides a low-cost, long-distance (1.2 km), multidrop network for connecting industrial devices.

Because Compact FieldPoint seamlessly integrates with PLCs, engineers can achieve advanced analog control, measurement, data logging, and communication functionality. For systems incorporating a PC, LabView provides connectivity to more than 100 PLCs from many manufacturers.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.