There’s often a big buildup before lottery drawings. That’s particularly true
in the National Instruments booth at National Manufacturing Week, where lottery
payoffs come with surprising frequency.
Visitors get a real behind-the scenes peek at the lottery system, since the
buildup of the lottery machine that dominates NI’s booth occurs in public
demonstrations of the LabView tools used to create a Pick Three lottery machine.
During ongoing presentations, NI engineers demonstrate the steps taken to build
a lottery machine, ranging from controlling the motors that move the ball
carrier to the vision system that displays and determines the numbers of the
three balls that are selected.
Presenters go through the steps needed to build a lottery system, turning on
the motor that rotates the tumbler, then opening slots so balls fall through.
Finally, a vision system gives attendees a readable look at the balls which
determine whether they’ll leave the booth with prizes such as a memory stick or
even a PDA loaded with NI’s LabView software. The system on display was
built using LabView, demonstrating the techniques that let real-world operators
go from initial design through manufacturing setup with the same tool. This
eliminates mistakes and eliminates the training time engineers often need to
learn design and manufacturing software.
Elsewhere in the booth, visitors can see an educational tool called Elvis, as
well as a demonstration of ways that design engineers can check the performance
of prototypes and simulation software, making sure that the two work together to
provide accurate predictions about the performance of real world products.
NI’s lottery system is fully automated,
but people still run the
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For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.