VI Technologies' solution was to create a distributed, modular, object-oriented software application using LabVIEW to provide a scalable, flexible, and reliable system. They utilized four NI CompactDAQs, distributed throughout the building, each connected to the devices closest to it. The VI Technologies team wrote software to control the pumps and valves and acquire the signals from the sensors. All the cDAQs were connected wirelessly to a PC located on the ground floor which handled the coordination of all the CompactDAQs and their associated hardware for control, monitoring, and data logging.
Due in part to the fact that the system is so distributed, there are a lot of subsystems that Aliaxis's customers are interested in looking at a time. VI Technologies developed a framework to flexibly and modularly view each subsystem in the tower in a configurable way on the UI.
Nearly every engineering project has unexpected hiccups that the team needs to be able to flexibly work around. In assembling this system Aliaxis's mechanical team discovered that the pumps were not working as expected, and a new pump model had to be purchased. Due to the software architecture's object-oriented approach containing a hardware abstraction layer around the pump, this switch was easy and did not produce delays in the schedule or increase the software budget.
VI Technologies was able to deliver the software on schedule and integrate the hardware in three days. The system has been in daily operation since delivery in 2017.