Issue: Dec 2009


Easily Configurable Test and Measurement Systems



Collaboration on Sensor and Data Acquisition Components Improves Connectivity, Networking Capabilities and Measurement Accuracy

by Ron Charles

Honeywell and National Instruments have announced their collaboration on test and measurement systems that offer plug-and-play compatibility between Honeywell sensors and National Instruments data acquisition instrumentation. 

The collaboration makes it easier for customers to set up and configure measurement systems using Honeywell and National Instruments components. By working together on better connectivity, expanded networking capabilities and improved measurement accuracy, the two companies are targeting the most common challenges associated with multi-vendor test and measurement systems.
"Whether customers currently use Honeywell sensor technology or National Instruments data acquisition systems, there are now more options for them to easily integrate test system components," said Phil Geraffo, VP and GM of Honeywell Sensing & Control's Test and Measurement business. "By bringing together the industry leaders in sensing and data acquisition, this collaboration helps our customers save time and money in both selecting and configuring sensors and instrumentation." 

"Our collaboration with Honeywell continues the National Instruments tradition of delivering some of the most flexible test and measurement solutions available," said John Graff, vice president of marketing and customer operations at National Instruments. "By addressing engineers' practical needs for better interconnectivity, dependable networking and improved accuracy, these new tools will enhance productivity in numerous applications and we are proud to be a part of this team effort." 

As part of the collaboration, the companies are working to ensure easier connectivity between National Instruments and Honeywell hardware so customers can easily connect Honeywell sensors to compatibility-tested data acquisition instrumentation from National Instruments. This improved connectivity reduces installation time by eliminating the need for custom cabling. 

Another benefit of the collaboration is enhanced networking functionality, which gives engineers the flexibility to integrate sensors into a data acquisition system via wireless, Ethernet, or USB. This significantly increases test and measurement productivity, especially in cases when engineers continually reconfigure their systems. Additionally, the companies have joined forces to help engineers electronically transfer key sensor information using embedded TEDS (IEEE 1451.4) technology, which maintains data integrity and ensures accurate and reliable readings. 

Specific features and benefits of the collaboration include:

Improved sensor and data acquisition connectivity - By incorporating RJ50 connectors, National Instruments NI 9237 C Series data acquisition modules and Honeywell sensors now mate easily in one step. This tool-less connection eliminates the need for engineers to understand sensor wiring codes and map them to signal conditioning instrumentation, which can significantly reduce delays and errors when connecting sensors to the data acquisition system. The NI 9237 module's on-board power source also eliminates the need for a separate power source. 

Expanded networking capabilities - By connecting Honeywell sensors to a NI 9237 module, customers now have the flexibility to integrate sensors to a data acquisition system via USB for local PC/laptop connections; Ethernet connectivity for local area network connections; and wireless connectivity where cables are inconvenient or uneconomical. 

Electronic transfer of key sensor information - Using TEDS, the NI 9237 module accesses relevant sensor and calibration information programmed onto the Honeywell sensor and automatically configures and optimizes the data acquisition hardware. This eliminates the time required to review both sets of data sheets and calibration certificates. It can also reduce end-user error by eliminating manual setup of the data acquisition hardware and software. 

For more information on the new Honeywell and National Instruments solutions, please visit Honeywell at www.honeywell.com/sensotec or National Instruments at www.ni.com/dataacquisition/honeywell.


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