Virtual instruments provide significant advantages in every stage of the engineering process, from research and design to manufacturing test.
Research and Design
• In research and design, engineers and scientists demand rapid development and prototyping capabilities. With virtual instruments, you can quickly develop a program, take measurements from an instrument to test a prototype, and analyze results, all in a fraction of the time required to build tests with traditional instruments.
• When you need flexibility, an scalable open platform is essential, from the desktop, to embedded systems, to distributed networks.
• The demanding requirements of research and development (R&D) applications require seamless software and hardware integration.
• Whether you need to interface stand-alone instruments using GPIB or directly acquire signals into the computer with a data acquisition board and signal conditioning hardware, LabVIEW makes integration simple.
• With virtual instruments, you also can automate a testing procedure, eliminating the possibility of human error and ensuring the consistency of the results by not introducing unknown or unexpected variables.
Development Test and Validation
• With the flexibility and power of virtual instruments, you can easily build complex test procedures.
• For automated design verification testing, you can create test routines in LabVIEW and integrate software such as National Instruments TestStand, which offers powerful test management capabilities.
• One of the many advantages these tools offer across the organization is code reuse. You develop code in the design process, and then plug these same programs into functional tools for validation, test, or manufacturing.
• Decreasing test time and simplifying development of test procedures are primary goals in manufacturing test. Virtual instruments based on LabVIEW combined with powerful test management software such as TestStand deliver high performance to meet those needs.
• These tools meet rigorous throughput requirements with a high-speed, multithreaded engine for running multiple test sequences in parallel. TestStand easily manages test sequencing, execution, and reporting based on routines written in LabVIEW.
• TestStand integrates the creation of test code in LabVIEW. TestStand also can reuse code created in R&D or design and validation.
• If you have manufacturing test applications, you can take full advantage of the work already done in the product life cycle.
• Manufacturing applications require software to be reliable, high in performance, and interoperable.
• Virtual instruments based on LabVIEW offer all these advantages, by integrating features such as alarm management, historical data trending, security, networking, industrial I/O, and enterprise connectivity.
• With this functionality, you can easily connect to many types of industrial devices such as PLCs, industrial networks, distributed I/O, and plug-in data acquisition boards. By sharing code across the enterprise, manufacturing can use the same LabVIEW applications developed in R&D or validation, and integrate seamlessly with manufacturing test processes.