Application Development Case Studies
CASE STUDY #1: Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition for Four-in-One Smart Utilities Plant
Aim: To develop a supervisory control and data acquisition software platform for a novel four-in-one smart utilities plant prototype.
Solution: We used the NI CompactRIO for the five subsystems, and employed its modular chassis to connect to the analog and digital I/O easily. LabVIEW also supports many ready libraries, from both NI and user custom made ones to support industrial communication. Here, we made use of NI’s Modbus library to integrate with the third-party Modbus devices. Nimble Focus Consulting worked closely with the user during the design phase, providing consultation on the best NI hardware selection and sensors integration, as well as user workflow for software requirements. We also supported the user throughout their development and test to ensure a successful commissioning.
NUS researchers develop 4-in-1 smart utilities plant custom-made for tropical climate
Four-in-one utilities plant for the tropics
Figure 1: System overview
Custom Driver Development Case Studies
CASE STUDY #1: Prototyping a Light-based 3D Printer
Aim: To investigate resin properties under different light conditions for a 3D printing manufacturing process.
Challenge: To integrate a Digital Light Processing (DLP) device as the light source for the prototype. The DLP does not have ready LabVIEW drivers, only a dynamic linked library (DLL). The data types used by the DLL are relatively more complex and cannot be readily called in LabVIEW.
Solution: We created a wrapper DLL that interfaces to the DLP’s original DLL, and then packaged the wrapper DLL calls as a VI library that can be easily used in LabVIEW. This lets the DLP be integrated easily with the rest of the hardware within the LabVIEW environment.
Figure 1: Overview of the prototype setup
Figure 2: Interfacing to the DLP’s original DLL via a wrapper DLL
Figure 3: The custom LabVIEW library built upon the wrapper DLL
Code Review and Migration Case Studies
CASE STUDY #1: Code Conversion for Legacy System
Aim: To safely and reliably upgrade users from legacy LabVIEW versions, so that their systems still work smoothly with replacement hardware.
Challenge: The user is running a data acquisition and control application in LabVIEW 5.1 on his old computer running Windows 98/XP. Due to computer upgrades, he now needs to run his application on a new computer running Windows 7; however, LabVIEW 5.1 is too old to be supported on this OS, and the NI data acquisition hardware driver’s version is too old to be supported on his new computer either.
Solution: We helped the user perform the code conversion to the current LabVIEW version (201x) and upgraded his drivers. In addition, we checked through each VI to ensure none was broken. In cases where there were unsupported code elements, Nimble Focus Consulting evaluated them and had them replaced with modern equivalents.
More case studies coming soon.