Case Studies

LabVIEW CAN Monitoring and TDMS File Logging

Posted in Application Development, LabVIEW, Oil and Gas Engineering, Test & Measurement Automation, User Interface Design


DMC was approached by a client who wished to improve the usability and competitiveness of their drilling rig equipment. They requested an application which would display important rig data in real time on a large and attractive user interface, generate reports from a data log, and have multiple language capabilities.

Customizable report generation

User interface design with embedded video

Multiple language and units display


DMC programmed a LabVIEW application on a Windows industrial PC to monitor and acquire data from the drilling rig’s CAN bus.  DMC enabled a low-cost USB CAN device, which does not support Channel API, to parse CAN data against a database file through Frame to Channel Conversion API.

The program not only displays the relevant CAN information for immediate operator feedback, but also has a live video stream integrated into the user interface using a VLC Media player plugin. The user interface allows operators to enter information which is tied directly to the CAN data, including project name, specific operation, and pipe number. The software continuously records all CAN data to TDMS files for later review and report generation. DMC provided a language framework to view these reports and the user interface in both English and Russian.

In order to preserve all drilling data, DMC implemented a data logging solution which starts automatically if the operators fail to indicate that data acquisition should begin. The software continuously analyzes the CAN bus, even when drilling data is not set to be recorded. If the program determines that drilling is being conducted, then it will automatically open a new project file and begin logging data to a TDMS file.

Learn more about DMC's LabVIEW Programming Services.

Customer Benefits

  • Flexible reporting interface which allows customizable table and graph reports to be generated for specified ranges of time from data files
  • Adjustable user interface language and unit settings/scalings
  • Large and appealing UI design which matches existing interfaces
  • Embedded video display on the UI
  • Prevents loss of data by automatically initiating data logging if drilling activity is detected