The automotive market is a highly competitive and complex business. In order to be competitive, vehicles must not only offer comfort and top-notch features at a cost-effective price but also ensure passenger safety. Long before any new model goes into mass production, a long series of sophisticated tests and validations are required at various stages to ensure that the vehicle meets all governmental standards and company performance standards.
Vehicles are often operated under test conditions for weeks or months, which requires logging and archiving massive amounts of data. In addition, in-vehicle tests often require the use of portable test systems, which are ideally compact, rugged, light in weight and free standing. Given the limited space within the vehicle, they typically must operate wirelessly with no connection to a computer. These in-vehicle datalogging systems must be compatible with a wide array of sensors.
The AMETEK/VTI Instruments EX1401 Precision Thermocouple and Voltage Instrument is a compact stand-alone data acquisition system that is an excellent choice for this application. It combines high channel density (16 isolated thermocouple and voltage measurement channels) with an extremely lightweight and compact design that doesn’t compromise on accuracy and performance. It can also acquire data in a stand-alone mode without a physical connection to an external device.
All data can be critical during in-vehicle tests. Typically, if data is lost, technicians will be forced to rerun a test. This not only increases test costs, but delays the development schedule. This is especially true if the test is designed to acquire data during a failure. In this case, the device under test might already be broken or non-functional after the first test. Before the test can be run again, the device under test must be replaced, rebuilt, or reset to the previous condition. That process can often be time-consuming and costly.
Furthermore, it can be difficult to reproduce a failure exactly because the steps necessary to replicate it may be poorly understood or the failure only occurs randomly. Because data loss can sometimes cause serious problems, test data should be backed up whenever possible.
The EX1401 instrument allows backing up test data easily because it supports connecting a wide variety of external storage devices via the back-panel USB data port. The instrument’s built-in webpage provides access to a soft front panel that lets the operator enable the backup data function with a few simple setting changes. Once the datalogging process is initiated, data is automatically stored on all the selected external storage devices simultaneously. At the same time, the connected external storage devices can also be monitored via the instrument’s rear-panel LCD display.
AMETEK VTI Instruments produces industry-proven test and measurement systems. Our 20-year legacy of providing ATE solutions underlines our central philosophy: a test and measurement system is only as good as the signals it receives. Find our solutions in aerospace, power, automation, and other demanding industries. Visit www.vtiinstruments.com for more information.