Design News, April 2013

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Design Hardware & Software PICOLINO ROTARY PUMP AND COMPRESSOR An Illustration in Innovation Source: National Instruments Powerful, compact and quiet, the Picolino rotary pump and compressor offers big performance in a small package. • Quiet and pulsation-free • Oil-less for long life • Pressure or vacuum confgurations Wind turbine monitoring application written with NI Data Dashboard for LabVIEW, running on an iPad. A far cry from needle or LED indicator. • Maximum pressure to 14.5 psi/ 1.0 bar • Maximum vacuum to 25.1 inHg)/ 150 mbar were hampered by rudimentary user interfaces. This situation severely limited the amount of information that could be conveyed to operators and technicians. In fact, not long ago, user interfaces were purely mechanical, before automation and computer-based human machine interfaces (HMIs) existed. HMIs Go Virtual Virtual Instrumentation propelled computer-based HMIs into the commonplace. This allowed embedded designers to have more flexibility in the types of data displayed. These advances in monitoring software also set new expectations for intuitive interfaces and interface designs. Previously, user interfaces were very difficult to create. Embedded designers drew each indicator and control — drag-and-drop UIs did not exist. Not only did embedded designers draw each pixel, but also the controls did not include functionality — engineers had to hand code the capabilities of each control. For example, a control did not have built-in knowledge of data types, so users had to decide at design time, rather than at run time, which data format they wanted, and they had to work through any format incompatibilities ahead of time. Fortunately, the trend toward more capable, functional, and easier to design HMIs continued. Embedded systems are extremely complex, and successful design engineers have been evolving design practices and tools to accommodate these new complexities for decades — many adopting a graphical system design approach. This evolution loaded more needs on the user interface front for monitoring embedded applications, and the new approach migrated from traditional instruments and legacy software applications with fixed user interfaces. The data they presented and the controls available for users were defined to cover all of the capabilities of the particular hardware or software and not any one specific use case. Conversely, modern software design tools such as National Instruments' Design News | april 2013 | w w w. d e s i g n –51– For more information on the innovative Piocolino rotary pump and compressor, go to Improving Lives through InnovationTM

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