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Simplifying development and debugging of automated test systems

23 May 2018

NI announced the release of its InstrumentStudio software for NI PXI modular instruments.

InstrumentStudio improves the live, interactive use model for modular instruments and makes debugging while running tests more intuitive. Engineers in the aerospace, automotive and semiconductor industries benefit from a more effective workflow for test system development. 

InstrumentStudio evolves the concept of single-instrument soft front panels into a unified, multi-instrument environment, so engineers can capture screenshots and measurement results in one view from their suite of instruments. InstrumentStudio can also save project-level configurations for specific devices under test that can be repurposed later or shared with colleagues. This efficiency is key for testing high-mix devices and provides test repeatability at a convenience to the engineer or technician.

At different stages in the product design cycle, test engineers often waste valuable time correlating measurements between similar tests that ultimately use different hardware. And in production test, engineers who need to debug on the manufacturing floor may invest in separate hardware either for monitoring their tests or debugging their automated test equipment.

InstrumentStudio addresses these challenges by exporting configuration files to programming environments that reproduce settings, thereby simplifying measurement correlation. Additionally, test engineers can monitor PXI instrument behaviour by running InstrumentStudio while test sequences execute in parallel, streamlining the debug process. Through these seamless interactions with programming environments and test sequences, InstrumentStudio becomes an important part of a comprehensive software workflow and helps engineers maximise their investment in PXI instrumentation.

“For two decades, test and validation engineers have reduced their total cost of test and brought products to market faster using modular instruments on the PXI platform,” said Luke Schreier, vice president of product marketing at NI. “InstrumentStudio makes using NI PXI instruments even easier – from initial product discovery to system debugging – all with intuitive connections to programming environments and test sequencers. It’s a valuable tool in unlocking the full potential and usability of your bench or automated test rack.”

To meet demands like testing higher complexity DUTs and shorter timeframes, engineers need tools tailored to their needs that they can efficiently use through their workflow, helping them to meet their exact application requirements. InstrumentStudio is the latest addition to NI’s software-centric platform that features products tailored to needs within distinct stages of their workflow – products that have been adopted in whole or in part by more than 300,000 active users. With LabVIEW engineering system design software at its core and TestStand test management software handling overall execution, this workflow helps to improve the productivity of test and validation labs across many industries. Each piece of the workflow is also interoperable with third-party software to maximise code/IP reuse and draws on the LabVIEW Tools Network ecosystem of add-ons and tools for more application-specific requirements.

InstrumentStudio is included with the purchase of an NI PXI instrument. Engineers can also download the complimentary software from ni.com for use with existing NI products. For more information, visit ni.com/instrumentstudio


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