DMC worked with a leading manufacturer of temperature control units to create drivers and an end-user application in LABVIEW to interface with their newest high-accurate constant temperature bath controller. The company wanted to improve user experience by adding further functionality to their stand-alone unit and DMC delivered a thorough solution. The client requested an easy method for end-users to interact with their controller via computer, including quick and easy connection, controlling temperature set points, and monitoring the system and log history from the controller.
DMC offered a two-tiered approach for experienced and less technical users. For LabVIEW developers of all levels, low and mid-level drivers were created to facilitate easy integration of the unit into an existing system. For example, if a laboratory technician desired to synch temperature measurements with other system instruments already controlled via LabVIEW, they could drag and drop a “Quick Read.vi” into their code. They now have the flexibility to control communication parameters, temperature data, and define error handling. Diver code follows National Instruments’ recommended guidelines for third-party drivers.
For less technical end-customers, DMC wrote a custom state machine application that allows the user to instantly connect with a unit. Through a clean and simple interface, users first choose one of the four available communication modes to interface with the controller. Once connected, the application continuously displays current temperature values while a prominent interactive plot allows users to choose what temperatures to graphically display. Other functions include setting temperature set points, changing alarm limits and reading system status. Users have the ability to create logs of their temperature history, both dimed and free-running. Users may also choose their desired sample rate and select which channels to record. Data is stored locally on the host computer in an efficient TDMS datalog file. Throughout the datalogging period, users may still control and query as needed.
Computer integration allows the unit to be networked and monitored remotely, essentially making a smart-device out of a traditionally stand-alone unit. Other microprocessor-controlled devices that store data digitally could greatly benefit from this scheme; data can transferred remotely and controlled easily via a central system. These products will have expanded uses once a LabVIEW driver library is developed including greatly improved ease of integration by engineers. DMC is happy to develop all levels of applications for your product, saving time by translating confusing communication syntax into clean, modular LabVIEW functions.