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Entries for the 'Manufacturing Automation & Intelligence' Category

DMC at NIWeek 2009

Every summer, National Instruments holds the NIWeek conference in their home town of Austin TX. This year, DMC has three of us attending: Jesse Batsche, Eric Nielsen, and myself. Monday was “Alliance Day”, tailored to NI Alliance Membe...


Arrival at NI WEEK 2009

Darren, Jesse, and myself (Eric N.) arrived in Austin TX yesterday to participate in National Instruments' yearly technology symposium and trade show NI Week 09. The activity started early today with a great keynote presentation. Most notably was...


Remote Machine Monitoring–Connecting to a Modbus Network with Java and Jamod

For a recent project, I had an interesting challenge. It involved a (relatively) simple control system, with an Allen Bradley MicroLogix PLC, and 30 or so inputs and outputs. The challenge was that the customer wanted to be able to access (and potent...


Tips for CAN:  Dynamic Frame Definition with National Instruments NI-CAN

Back in the stone age (i.e. NI-CAN 1.2), us LabVIEW 6 programmers had to write our own parsing routines for dynamically-specified data inside a CAN frame. At the driver layer, we were locked-in to only one layer of arbitration. An oft-overlooked but ...


Recent press releases by NASA show how the agency is realizing the advantages of using Structured Light for 3D vision. A recent NASA Invention of the Year was a hand-held, battery-operated scanner that they use to create surface maps of shuttle ti...


Using FBVEL Gain for PID Servo motion tuning Acroloop

I have been using Acroloop 9000 controllers to control a number of machines where one axis is a high-speed rotary motor that drives a mechanical cam-driven process. During operation of the machine, the motor accelerates from a stop to a constant high...


Using LabVIEW with Windows XP Embedded (XPe)

I recently finished a project that checked for gas leaks on a mission critical system. Any leaks needed to be diagnosed and discovered as quickly as possible. Our solution also had to be mobile and easily carted around the facility. To develop a s...


State Transition to Ladder Diagram Translation

Ladder diagrams are an industrial programming language typically used on programmable logic controllers (PLC). This graphical language mimics a relay logic electrical schematic. For engineers that are not familiar with relay logic, though, ladder dia...


Robotic Vehicle Driver - Success!

Some time ago, the staff of the Advanced Powertrain Research Facility at Argonne National Laboratory asked me if we could create a robotic driver to control speed of a vehicle on their dynamometer. There are off-the-shelf solutions for this task but ...


Matrox Introduces 3D Scanning in MIL 9

Matrox has added 3D scanning tools to the Matrix Imaging Library (MIL), version 9.0. The concept is similar to that employed in single-purpose devices by Micro-Epsilon and SICK. (see Two 3D Scanner tools.) The camera images a laser line from an ou...


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