A recent survey1 of test and measurement engineers revealed that nearly 20 percent of the total cost of most data acquisition applications is spent on hardware setup and configuration. From installing and configuring the data acquisition hardware to connecting the sensors, setting up a data acquisition system can take days and even weeks, depending on the complexity of the application. With the recent release of Sensors Plug&Play hardware and USB data acquisition systems, National Instruments offers several tools to reduce this often overlooked setup time and cost.
Sensors Plug&Play technology is based on the IEEE 1451.4 smart sensor standard that enables analog sensors to automatically identify and describe themselves to data acquisition systems by embedding electronic data sheets on the transducer. National Instruments recently released several Sensors Plug&Play devices, including the NI SCXI-1314T bridge-based smart sensor terminal block. You can use this tool to plug a smart analog sensor into your data acquisition system and electronically import all of the sensor's parameters (such as calibration and sensitivity) into your software application. This dramatically reduces setup time and improves measurement accuracy by eliminating the need for manual entry of the sensor's parameters.
While Sensors Plug&Play hardware reduces sensor setup time, USB data acquisition devices extend the same plug-and-play benefits to the entire data acquisition system.
With the release of the NI SCXI-1600 USB data acquisition module, National Instruments has reduced the amount of time engineers must spend setting up their data acquisition systems by more than 75 percent. Because the NI SCXI-1600 is designed for use with SCXI signal conditioning modules, it gives you the ability to create a completely customized USB-based data acquisition system tailored to your application requirements.
The last and most critical component of all National Instruments plug-and-play data acquisition systems is the driver software known as NI-DAQmx. More than 150 person years of development went into creating NI-DAQmx, and the result of that effort is a driver software package that you can use to quickly configure data acquisition hardware and easily scale, linearize, and calibrate sensor measurements. NI-DAQmx helps you quickly import sensor data from smart sensors and automatically detects and configures all plug-and-play data acquisition hardware, providing a single, easy-to-use configuration interface for your plug-and-play data acquisition system.
The combination of Sensors Plug&Play hardware, the NI SCXI-1600 USB data acquisition module, and NI-DAQmx driver software provides a complete plug-and-play data acquisition system from sensor to software. By reducing the hardware setup time, NI plug-and-play data acquisition systems can dramatically reduce the overall cost of your measurement applications.
Multi-Functioning: The SCXI-1600 USB Data Acquisition
Module enables users to create a Plug-and-Play sensor and high-voltage