All posts in LabVIEW Tips

LabVIEW Web Vis

Modern Business Need Data Across the Organisation Web interfaces to engineering software applications is a key requirement of modern applications. Control, test and monitoring applications that perform specific tasks in an engineering business, used to focus on that task and store their data locally. The primary user of the application would benefit from the tasks performed and the data acquired.  However, other stakeholders in the business would find it difficult to access this information. One of the main benefits of Industry 4.0 is the free availability of manufacturing data throughout an organisation, to aid decision making at all levels. For […] Read more

February 2018 LabVIEW User Group Review

Metis Automation hosted the North West LabVIEW User Group at sensor City Liverpool on February 5th, 2018. During this fun and educational event LabVIEW developers from all over the North West met to discuss their current challenges and learn from the sessions. Time Critical Communications for Industrial Robotics Peter Whiteley, Metis Automation presented a fascinating session about the progression of a project involving remote control of an industrial robot. He explained how the software had developed to meet harsh environmental challenges found when operating the robot in remote areas. He explained the solution that we finally implemented involved using UDP […] Read more

LabVIEW Sub VI Design

Any large LabVIEW application should be using well-designed sub vi’s to build reliable, manageable software. To ensure that a LabVIEW sub vi design is consistent across projects and developers, we like to use some standard design principles. This means that when looking at sub vi’s across the entire project, they all conform to a standard design. Thus, making it easier to focus on the specific function. LabVIEW Sub VI Design – Block Diagram Alignment I always try to ensure that my input controls and output indicators are horizontally and vertically aligned on my block diagram. Horizontal alignment of Controls and […] Read more

LabVIEW Libraries

In my opinion, LabVIEW Libraries are one of the biggest productivity improvements in LabVIEW. Consequently, most of our template code is organised into LabVIEW Libraries (.lvlib) or Packed Project Libraries (.lvlibp). These, therefore, allow developers to easily package, distribute and organise code modules. For Metis Automation, a typical library is a fully functional code module. That is, a queued message handler that does one specific task e.g. acquire DAQ inputs, log data to disk, or communicate with a hardware device. It may also just be a group of sub vi’s that do a specific function. Once packaged into a library, […] Read more

Managing Large LabVIEW Applications with LabVIEW Projects

At a recent North West LabVIEW User Group, I presented my experiences of managing large LabVIEW applications. I covered how to help keep your LabVIEW projects organised and manageable, using a series of tools within LabVIEW. Firstly, let me answer the question of what the challenges are that developers are facing when creating large applications. Also, how are these are different to smaller applications? With a small application, there is typically a limited set of inputs, outputs and logic within the program. This can be managed by a single developer, in a simple structure like a state machine or event […] Read more

LabVIEW Developer Days Manchester

Local LabVIEW Developers gathered together in June for National Instruments LabVIEW Developer Days Manchester. The NI team of Jason, Peter, and Charlotte, accompanied by Metis Automation’s Technical Director Martin Griffiths, hosted a collection of sessions aimed at the more advanced user. LabVIEW NXG The recently launched LabVIEW NXG 1.0 featured in several sessions at the LabVIEW Developer Days, with its exciting new development environment. This included a dedicated session on web development with LabVIEW. There is a limited feature set released in LabVIEW NXG 1.0 and National Instruments have put together an assessment tool to help you decide if it […] Read more

Keeping Accurate Time with NI CompactRIO

For a recent long-term data logging application, we needed to ensure the reported data included an accurate time stamp so that it could be compared to data from other independent systems. Over time any system clock can drift away from actual time. Depending on the hardware and operating system in use this can be seconds per day, which soon adds up over weeks and months. A common solution to this is to connect to external internet based time servers and use their time to correct the local clock. These are called servers Network Time Protocol (ntp) servers. Option 1. Periodic […] Read more

Re-sizing LabVIEW UIs

In a previous blog post, I covered 3 tips to make better looking LabVIEW UIs. It’s great to make a UI that looks good, but what happens if it’s used on a different sized monitor or your user re-sizes the screen? You need to make sure that the UI still looks good and that everything is displayed proportionally. In the last blog post, I covered quick tips for making re-sizing easy in LabVIEW – the use of docked splitters to automatically re-size controls or to dock command buttons in one place. An example of this is splitting a UI into 2 […] Read more

3 Steps To Better LabVIEW UIs

There is a large value to creating customised LabVIEW User Interfaces, in that operators and managers view them as professional applications and can have less resistance and frustration when using a well-designed software application. There are some simple steps, and some more complex when customising your LabVIEW application. Step #1 – Customised Controls and Indicators I use a graphics editor (Inkscape) to create custom .png icons for buttons and strings. You can easily import custom icons into LabVIEW controls and indicators. Use the Classic palette whenever possible, Simple String, and Flat Buttons are the most easily customisable, as you can […] Read more

Test Stand User Interfaces

Test Stand is an ideal tool for managing test sequences; test limit management; reporting and database result logging. A surprising number of installations use the default Sequence Editor User Interface (UI) to run production tests. Test Stand Sequence Editor UI Test Stand Sequence Editor It is easy to run sequences from the Test Stand editor, however it is a highly complex UI,designed for the software developer, not for operators. LabVIEW UI with Test Stand Controls There are several Test Stand controls within LabVIEW and two example VI’s to give you a starting point for creating a custom UI. Example LabVIEW […] Read more