NIWeek 2018: Data-logging software keeps pace with automotive challenges

22nd May 2018
Posted By : Mick Elliott
NIWeek 2018: Data-logging software keeps pace with automotive challenges

The FlexLogger configuration -based data-logging software for validation test was launched at NIWeek in Austin by National Instruments. With intuitive workflows and integrated data management, FlexLogger helps automotive test departments quickly capture accurate, well-documented data to verify system functionality in real-world conditions and comply with strict government regulations.

Technology innovations in areas like active safety, electrification and

Vehicle-to-everything V2X communication are disrupting how the automotive industry designs, tests and produces vehicles.

Rapidly evolving components and systems including sensor fusion, high-capacity batteries and deep learning demand a higher volume of testing with accurate, traceable results to exceed safety-critical expectations for quality and reliability. These trends are pulling automotive test departments in different directions, intensifying challenges to build increasingly complex, mixed-measurement test

systems under compressed timelines, while managing the explosive growth of collected data.

Engineers can use FlexLogger to help simplify test configurations and extract key insights with sensor-specific workflows to acquire and log synchronised, mixed measurements - no programming required.

They can quickly integrate analogue sensors, digital pulse frequencies, CAN signals and calculated channels that are all logged to the universal Technical Data Management Streaming (TDMS) file format so that data can be correlated and analysed to accurately characterise an entire system. These capabilities address similar challenges faced in other industries including heavy equipment, aerospace, appliances and academic research.

For example, heavy equipment manufactures like CNH Industrial design and produce different vehicles like agricultural machines, construction plant, trucks

and buses. Each system has unique specifications for functionality and performance, which means every test has different requirements to integrate new sensors and industrial protocols.

“Characterising a combine harvester drivetrain requires a mix of different measurements including pressure, temperature, and current, CAN and shaft speed,” said Andy Tarman, lab test engineer at CNH Industrial.

“Flex Logger makes it easier to troubleshoot and verify that the raw data from different sensors are correct before I start my test. This helps shorten test development by saving time typically wasted on redoing configurations.”

These configuration-based workflows are the cornerstone that now empower technicians to streamline test development, integrate new measurements and manage data using NI’s flexible software platform and modular hardware

For example, leveraging NI’s data management expertise, FlexLogger automatically logs descriptive metadata about the test configuration including sensor and hardware

acquisition settings for easier traceability.

Test departments can improve access to data and effectively communicate results to the organisation using DIAdem data management software to find, analyse and report on FlexLogger data.

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