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LanSharc™ Smart Digital Controller
LanSharc™ Smart Digital Controller
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LanSharc™ FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the SDC003

What was the original vision for the SDC003 LanSharc product?
The original vision of the LanSharc was formed from the fusion of three visions:

  1. TMS Sr. Scientist Mark Schiefer's quest for a low cost, highly deployable "infrastructure friendly" data acquisition and analysis box for the industrial market.
  2. Ford Motor Company's Principal Engineer: Noise and Vibration Technologies Manufacturing Engineering: Powertrain Operations, Paul Edie's vision for a low cost, simple, ubiquitous machinery vibration monitor for both product/process improvement and machinery health monitoring. The joint vision then called for an intelligent algorithm resident in the stand alone box that would examine continuous data samples to virtually eliminate false alarms. By analyzing a variety of indicators statistically for variances, rather than employing commonly used amplitude and frequency templates, false alarms are reduced even when machine operating speeds are adjusted or tools are changed. The monitor acts as a sentry, alerting the machine operator to drastic changes in either the manufacturing operation or machine health.
  3. NASA Engineer, Larry Freudinger's vision of ubiquitous networked dynamic sensing.

What are the feature options for the unit?
While the base product has a single dynamic measurement channel, the product can be ordered with up to four dynamic measurement channels with ICP® sensor power. There is also up to four slow speed (<5 Hz) measurement channels for process temperature, pressure or load measurements. Of the two digital inputs, one allows for remote triggering and the other ties directly into the internal high speed counter/timer for tachometer input. A variety of rugged IMI (a division of PCB Piezotronics) accelerometers can be recommended depending on your specific application. Often these accelerometers are supplied with armored cables for additional reliability in the harsh manufacturing environment.

Does the unit work "out of the box?"
On its own, LanSharc is purely a hardware device with a minimal operating system. This is sort of analogous to a PC out of the box running Windows®: it can do a few simple things but the PC really needs specific application software to provide the usefulness of word processing, spreadsheet analysis, etc. Unless a specific application is requested (see next Q/A), the LanSharc is loaded with "monitor" firmware that demonstrates the basic functionality of the unit. The monitor firmware coupled with its GUI interface running on a PC connected via serial port can demonstrate simple time capture, windowing, frequency analysis and band limit detection. A more complete description of the monitor is available in .pdf data sheet form. For the advanced user, the LanSharc developer kit is available and provides the tools and platform for a user to program the device to perform a specific acquisition and analysis routine for a dedicated application.

What development environment is available for the LanSharc?
The are basically three approaches to developing an application firmware and/or software for the LanSharc.

At most fundamental level the LanSharc developer kit provides the documentation for the existing firmware function calls and the guidance to allow development of new functionality within the Analog Device Sharc environment. This is typically the way to gain the most efficiency in the LanSharc acquisition and analysis process. This is typically employed when an application calls for deployment of the LanSharc in quantities of 100's or 1000's.

The second method of development is primarily for creating other GUI's for applications using the existing LanSharc function set. In this case, a library of .dll's and user documentation provide a cut and paste environment for linked code creation.

The third development case is for the user comfortable with the Mathworks MatLab® and Simulink® environments. Strategic partner Sheet Dynamics, Ltd. has introduced an innovative product, DSP Developer for the SHARC platform, which provides graphical development of acquisition and control routines. Coupled with Realtime workshop, the DSP Developer product can automatically generate and compile C code to run on the LanSharc.

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