This blog on Upgrade Test Bench Controls with Dewesoft’s IOLITE System originally comes from our friends at Dewesoft and written by Owen Maginity.
Pratt Miller Engineering, a leader in motorsports, Defence, and mobility industries. They recently undertook a significant upgrade of their hydraulic test stand. Achieved by integrating Dewesoft’s IOLITE real-time Data Acquisition (DAQ) and Control hardware. This move marked a significant step forward in enhancing the capabilities and reliability of their test benches.
Background: The Need for Upgrade on the Test Bench Controls
Pratt Miller’s commitment to engineering excellence necessitates a high level of performance and reliability from their test benches. However, the aging control system of their large hydraulic power unit and flow bench, running on Windows 7, was becoming increasingly unreliable and difficult to service. This spurred the search for a retrofit option. One that was efficient and did not require extensive custom development.
Why Dewesoft’s IOLITE?
The choice of Dewesoft’s IOLITE was driven by Pratt Miller’s familiarity with Dewesoft’s suite of software and hardware. IOLITE offered a scalable, robust test bench controller and real-time DAQ system. Its ability to interface with various components like hydraulic power, relays, programmable power supplies, and third-party controllers. Alongside its analog, digital, and EtherCAT outputs, made it an ideal fit for Pratt Miller’s diverse and demanding requirements.
Controller Hardware Development
Pratt Miller needed a system capable of controlling different types of valves essential for regulating test fluid flow and pressure. IOLITE’s flexibility was showcased in its ability to interface with high-current servo valves, high-current proportional valves, and self-powered proportional valves. The use of external power supplies, solid-state DC relays, and programmable power supplies demonstrated IOLITE’s adaptability in controlling these valves. Additionally, IOLITE’s analog out module could directly control valves with integrated power supplies.
The system was also designed to read signals from various sensors on the test bench. Including flow meters, thermocouples, and pressure sensors, thanks to IOLITE’s versatile STG module. The inclusion of RTD and thermocouple modules enhanced the system’s temperature measurement capabilities.
Software Development and Customisation
DewesoftX, the accompanying control software, offers a graphical interface for easy I/O setup and system configuration. Its built-in math module enables complex control schemes, including closed-loop PID control. The Signal Play plugin, a unique addition to DewesoftX. This is because it allows importing and running predefined profiles for various control channels. Therefore, enhancing the test bench’s versatility.
Future-Proofing and Customisation
The choice of the IOLITE R12 chassis allows for easy integration into a standard 19” server rack. Therefore, consolidating all hardware in a single enclosure. This foresight ensures the system’s scalability, accommodating future expansions and technological advancements.
Pratt Miller Engineering’s upgrade to Dewesoft’s IOLITE system represents a significant enhancement in their testing capabilities. The combination of IOLITE’s hardware versatility and DewesoftX’s software flexibility makes it a formidable tool in the hands of Pratt Miller’s engineers.
So for those in need of upgrading or developing new real-time controller and DAQ systems, Dewesoft’s IOLITE stands out as a comprehensive, adaptable solution. The success of this integration not only cements Pratt Miller’s position as a leader in innovative engineering but also showcases the possibilities of modern testing and development technologies.
Contact Metromatics now to learn more.