Paper No. 63
S. M. Price, National Instruments User Symposium, Austin, TX, March 28-30, 1993.
In an industrial continuous processing environment, failures of system components can lead to unsafe operation, environmental damage, and significant loss of revenue. When specific components of the system are critically designed, instrumentation can be installed (e.g., pressure transducers, accelerometers, strain gages, etc.) to provide data to assess current conditions. From these data, operational parameters or even system design can be altered to maintain safe and reliable operation. However, the amount of data generated can quickly overwhelm operations/engineering personnel. Therefore, a system to continuously acquire and evaluate the data, presenting only the most useful information is vital. Such a system is discussed in this paper. The rapid development (less than 2 months) and successful use (currently over 1 year) of a low-cost PC based system providing on-line continuous monitoring and evaluation capabilities for 35-40 channels will be discussed. The system was developed using off-the-shelf hardware, (including the National Instruments AT-MIO-16F5 A/D board) with custom software, written with the National Instruments LabWindows product. Extensions to the National Instruments’ “double buffered” data acquisition technique will be detailed. Use of an off-line post processor (also developed with LabWindows) that can provide further diagnostic evaluation of the data acquired will also be illustrated. Finally, the specific safety, performance, and engineering design benefits derived from the data will be discussed.