Test and measurement software such as Labview is a great solution - it eliminates the need to do low level programming and once you become conversant in it - you can achieve a lot in a small amount of time. Back in the day I did a lot of IEEE (GPIB) programming as a Certified Testpoint Application Specialist - I was a test engineer for a semiconductor company. Being able to write programs that allowed remote data monitoring was huge back then and invaluable today.
I agree. Today's lean product development environment must be as efficient as possible in order to quickly get quality products to market on time and on cost. Basic theoy is the foundational starting point of good design.
On the filp side, unintended failure modes in these user interfaces could be present, so thorough user validation testing should be performed before release.
The opening paragraph reminds me of what Tesla said about Edison;
If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search... I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.
This is a trend where we should see very strong growth. The ability to create virtual interfaces for monitoring almost any aspect of machine performance is getting easier with new tools. Thanks for the article. Excellent.