Embedded Control Systems
Oil & Gas Applications
Overview – LabView Interface
The folks at Impact Systems LLC needed a way to connect multiple motion control systems together in such a way that each system could be individually monitored and controlled from a central location via a standard Ethernet connection. A laptop computer running a National Instruments (NI) LabView program was used for monitoring the motion controllers.
A remote centralized monitor and control platform was crutial to handling the overall Impact system where motion controllers handled local control of various motors, pumps and valves.
The image above shows three motion controllers (in background) communicating with a laptop computer. The LabVeiw program allowed data to be received by LabVeiw for display. The LabVeiw program also allowed control data to be sent to the individual controllers.
The LabView interface includes plots showing real-time data along with various controls. Tabs allow the user to quickly navigate between the different controller screens. Summary screens allow the user to quickly view data from several controllers at the same time.
One of the controllers above is attached to a mechanical simulator allowing it to exhibit control of a mechanical system on the bench. The three motion controllers are tied via ethernet cables to a wireless router which in turn is picked up by the computer’s wireless receiver.
LabView uses NI OPC server software to handle communication with each of the motion controller channels.
Not only was LabView able to handle the monitor and control tasks mentioned above, but was also useful for other tasks such as post-analysis of large datasets.