Case Studies

Control and monitoring of a Class II b medical device

Introduction

Developing software for medical devices can be an arduous task. With patient safety paramount it is important to develop software that is robust, thoroughly tested and traceable through the software development life cycle.

The Challenge

To develop safety critical software and firmware for use in a medical device whilst ensuring that the software was compliant with the Medical Device Directive and regulatory standards, including 62304 and 60601.

The Solution

Using the powerful and flexible Single Board RIO connected to a Windows Embedded 7 PC operating as a HMI, 3 applications were developed; each was developed using LabVIEW, but each with a very different job. Control Software Solutions developed the safety critical application and main interface to the machine inputs and outputs, which all ran as firmware on the FPGA of the sbRIO.

Image acquisition software for blade inspection

Introduction

Vision acquisition systems can be a powerful tool for quality control and development of blades, knives and other cutting edges. By acquiring an image of the blade edge, the image can be processed and measurements can be quickly and accurately made.

The Challenge

To develop an application capable of interfacing with and acquiring images from a digital camera, displaying the images to the user allowing them to make measurements on screen measurements of the blade edge and logging the test results to a test database, and generate reports in MS Word.

The Solution

Due to its flexibility National Instruments LabVIEW was the ideal development environment for bringing together the third party devices used in the application. Making use of LabVIEW Object Oriented Programing it was easy to allow a range of cameras to be used without adding complexity to the software. The readily available Database Connectivity Toolkit and Report Generation Toolkit allowed the developers to concentrate on the image acquisition and processing tasks.

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Developing a flexible control system for control of test systems applications

Introduction

Often test machines require control systems capable of controlling a range of actuators whilst acquiring data from sensors and instruments for measuring the test variables, such as pressure, temperature and load, and in many cases it is desirable for this to be done with a single flexible system.

The Challenge

To develop an easy to use, robust control system capable of controlling a range of hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical actuators and systems. The controller needed to be reusable with a configuration application written in LabVIEW, and a LabVIEW API that could be used by developers to integrate into their own applications.

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Equipment condition monitoring system

Introduction

Maintenance of plant equipment is essential to ensure continued operation avoiding unplanned down-time which can be extremely costly. Sometimes where replacement parts are costly and on long lead-times it is necessary to monitor the system in order to get early warning of potential issues before they cause failure.

The Challenge

To develop a system monitoring system capable high speed data acquisition and data processing, using custom triggering to detect system events and log the events and associated data for display and analysis.

The Solution

Control Software Solutions have developed conditioning monitoring systems based on PXI and cRIO platforms in order to perform continuous system monitoring. In both cases the hardware/software system was used to monitor instruments connected to the plant and perform high speed data acquisition with custom triggering. On detection of high frequency or low frequency events the software would log the event information to a database and associated acquisition data to file.

Equipment Condition Monitoring System

Vision inspection system to increase productivity on a factory production line.

Introduction

On fast a moving production line manual inspection of product can often be a bottleneck in the production process, as well as a source of error and uncertainty. Control Software Solutions Ltd were employed to develop a production test system capable of performing visual inspection of the product to improve productivity by reducing the time taken to perform routine inspection.

Hardware/Software Used

  • NI LabVIEW
  • Database Connectivity Toolkit
  • Zebra ZT410 printer
  • Basler Ace acA2500
  • cDAQ-9174 CompactDAQ chassis with C-Series modules for IO

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Temperature logger software

When characterising temperature profiles in industrial environments, for example; in furnaces, environmental chambers, electrical control panels, engines and turbines etc, it is necessary to make many measurements at many measurement points. Often the large channel count means that it is not practical for these measurements to be made manually and therefore systems are required that can automate this process.

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Testing a sealed pneumatic device

In the manufacture of sealed pneumatic systems, the final inspection of product is an important part of the quality control process. Often such systems require numerous checks on the pneumatic circuit including the lines, valves and switches. To improve traceability, accuracy and speed of test it is often necessary to automate such systems. In addition to
providing a pass/fail result it is useful to help the operator to diagnose faults when a test step fails.

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