Process for Creating a Standard Hardware and Software Platform

Large organizations can have many test systems. As the number of products created increases the possibility of increasing test stands also increases. A universal tester that can “test everything” is typically not a good idea. Too many people have tried and failed at creating a universal tester. A standard test platform is a great idea for reducing the cost of testing. Creating a standard platform means selecting instrumentation and tools that can be used across...

Process for Updating Legacy Testers

Introduction One simple truth that test and automation engineers know well is that technology is always changing and advancing. Even the most state-of-the-art system today will be obsolete tomorrow. Obsolescence is caused by a number of factors, but regardless of the cause, if you don’t closely support your system, it will eventually become outdated and it will need to be updated. That being the case, it is important to have a good strategy for updating...

Adapting Old Systems to New Requirements

Old Systems Old systems often stick around for a reason. Since they’ve been around for a while, everyone knows how to use them. They know the quirks, they know how to set it up, and if something goes wrong someone has likely seen it before and knows what to do about it. After years of using the same system it can be difficult to see the benefits of an intense and costly upgrade. To learn...

Uncommon Signals for ECU/LRU Testers

In making ECU and LRU testers, we come across a lot of common signal types; then there's the rest. While almost every high channel count system has one or two signals that are fairly unique, even the uniques begin to fall into some common buckets after a while. These signals usually represent 10% or less of a given system, though nearly 100% of systems have something more custom than not. It goes without saying that...

Common Signals for ECU/LRU Testers

In making ECU and LRU testers, we come across a lot of common signal types. We estimate that these common signals make up at least 80% of every such system. Here's what we see, where we tend to see it, and how we commonly approach acquiring or generating it. (These are expressed from the tester's point of view. Our input is your ECU or LRU's output.) Analog Inputs What is it? An analog voltage or...

Data Acquisition Timing Strategies

Engineering data that is properly collected will help you make better decisions in the design, integration, and testing stages of your system. Timing and synchronization are a very important aspect of collecting valuable data. Some of these strategies are general purpose, but others and specific to NI DAQmx.

7 Common Mistakes Made When Replacing the Hardware for a System Update

Mistake #1: Trying to match hardware spec for spec The most common way to replace hardware is to follow the intuitive first step--check the specifications of the hardware that needs to be replaced and look for hardware that most closely matches. The problem with this method is that systems most often need an update due to the hardware being out of date or nearing obsolescence. If you try to match specifications, your closest match will...

How Standardization Improves Your Test Systems

A standardized test system is different from the impractical, universal system. The universal system claims to be able to do anything and therefore has to do everything. That is incredibly expensive and not an effective option. A standardized test stand uses a common code base, user interface, and hardware interface. This creates a standard platform for core functionality and allows for customization through software modules and hardware instrumentation to match the needs of the system...

Simulation to Minimize Development Risk

You have a legacy control system that needs to be updated to new hardware and software while maintaining the same behavior as the old system. Building a system that simulates the environment of the legacy system can help. For example: if you are creating a new control system for a rocket launch facility, you would create a system that simulates the rocket and the launch facility. The simulation system can verify that the new controls...

9 Benefits to Working with Expert Contractors on your Test or Control System

Avoid pitfalls We have experience with many different systems at Endigit. Many of them have included helping customers recover from devastating pitfalls. and can recognize them before they make a major impact on the project. By avoiding those pitfalls, you can avoid weeks or months of development time by not going back and fixing problems that have propagated through the entire system. Understand capabilities Though there is documentation on almost all hardware and software to...