National Instruments

Labwiew is a software package by National Instruments. The software uses a PC to communicate to thousands of devices. Almost every device has a driver available for it: power meters, USB I/O, analog, etc.

An application is developed using the developer and then executed using a runtime. Multiple free runtimes are available to support Windows, along with 64-bit Mac and Linux systems.

The software uses a graphical programming environment, where data and signals are connected using wires. Wires can contain boolean values or multiple types of data. This allows programs that handle large amounts of data to be shown in a simple flow chart diagram.

Programs and sub-programs are called ".vi," which can have multiple user defined inputs and outputs.

Front panels are fully configurable from simple pushbuttons to complex panels with multiple images, gauges, and graphs, which are all very simple to create and include in a project.

We have been programming using Labview since we were established, starting with version 8.2. TN-Solutions owns a license of Developer Suite along with the Vision development module. We provide support for older versions while remaining up to date with new versions as they are released.

National Instruments also has multiple plug and play hardware devices available that interface quickly to the programming and have speeds that are in the low microseconds to picoseconds via FPGA racks.

Along with interfacing to discrete I/O, high speed analog and PLC's, the software also supports vision images. Images can be:
-Acquired using multiple brands of cameras (along with their own frame grabbers and smart cameras) via USB, Firewall and/or GigE
-Modified and enhanced with already developed tools
-Used for locating and measuring parts within the image
-Used for looking for patterns and geometric shapes
-Used for decoding multiple bar code types
-Saved and read in multiple format types

This can all be done extremely quickly by utilizing parallel processing in the dual and quad-core processors that are available today.

The developer suite includes modules that communicate to many different database types, including Microsoft Excel. Modules exist for emailing to pop3 secure and unsecured accounts along with connecting to Outlook and sending information via an exchange server.

The software can also use active-X and .net drivers. TN-Solutions has a high speed active-X driver that can communicate to Allen Bradley PLC's via ethernet, requiring no RS-linx, and on average can transfer a block of data within 10 milliseconds.

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