Intertek’s Production and Integrity Assurance team in Manchester regularly tests materials to destruction in a controlled, corrosive environment. They needed to replace their existing system with a new system that would operate reliably 24 hours a day for many weeks, monitoring the strain applied to sample materials in a test rig. The new system was to include hardware for strain conditioning and software for data acquisition, display and recording. Temperature data was also to be acquired, displayed and recorded.
The challenge was to meet the client’s very specific requirements for how information was to be recorded, prioritised and displayed.
The system had to be replicated over many test rigs and had to include novel features such as automatic and continuous checking of all gauges to ensure their correct operation throughout any test. The hardware was to connect through USB, which meant that the system had to have the ability to recover from any USB disconnections and power failures and resume operation without loss of data.
After determining the different user views of the software and the necessary user controls, we built several test screen-views using LabView. After a series of reviews, a set of screens was agreed. These were to form the user interface.
Automatic gauge monitoring was achieved via a hidden shunt calibration check at regular intervals. This monitored the functionality of each gauge. Data acquired during the short shunt calibration was to be discarded.
The client was extremely happy with our proposals and awarded us the project. We then developed the functioning software and used our existing Micro-Analog2 FE-MMB hardware to provide a complete system.
Shown here are some screens from our software and images of the hardware.