Integrating PTP Sequencer to deliver a cost-effective and highly scalable LabVIEW software solution in a very short time so that Pi Innovo could reuse its existing NI test equipment and have a fully working system in a matter of days.
In high-performance road vehicles, automotive components are subject to harsh conditions; severe vibrations and extreme temperatures are caused by the close proximity to the engine bay. As such, ICE systems and their associated electronic peripherals are required to endure many years of demanding operation without failure. Rigorous testing that condenses the equivalent of several years of harsh operating conditions into just a few days is required to qualify the components for long-term use.
Pi Innovo, world-class specialists in electronic solutions for the automotive and transportation markets, approached Product Technology Partners Ltd. (PTP), an NI Silver Alliance Partner, to design and deliver a bespoke LabVIEW software solution for existing NI PXI hardware. The company needed a new vibration and temperature approval testing system for automotive audio equipment within a tight timeline.
Pi Innovo had an existing NI PXI chassis fitted with various modules, including radio frequency (RF); audio signal generation; programmatic power supply control; switching matrices; and USB multiport control. Up to five devices under test (DUTs) were connected in parallel, each requiring a USB connection to the host, in addition to an RF signal for the antenna input.
The PXI power supply, switch matrix, and USB connectivity modules sequentially connected to each of five wired DUTs, and the PXI-5671 2.7 GHz RF vector signal generator produced controlled analogue and digital radio signals to test audio device functionality. The devices were subjected to controlled temperatures and long periods of vibration, before being booted up in sequence to test USB communications, FM radio, DAB, and Sirius functionality, for continued system integrity.
The software design consisted of several levels. With the top-level test executive software built using LabVIEW, a test operator can configure and operate the system, which calls into a library of wrappers that provide extended functionality, such as report generation and status feedback. The individual test modules, written using LabVIEW, perform the bulk of the testing work, relying on several cohesive APIs that provide dedicated interfaces to the hardware.
To assist with DUT diagnosis, manual test applications, also created with LabVIEW, can call and operate any of the tests outside of the automated sequence.