10/28/2004 - Pete Zogas, senior vice president of sales and marketing at National Instruments, presented the keynote address to top automotive engineers at Automotive Testing Expo North America 2004, an event focused exclusively on automotive testing and evaluation. In the address, Zogas stressed the strategic importance of creating a flexible test platform, from the design stage through manufacturing. He outlined essential characteristics of a successful test platform, including openness of the software and hardware platforms, support of industry standards such as CAN and the ability to easily integrate and adapt to disruptive technologies.
“Today’s automotive components are evolving rapidly as technologies continue to converge. For example, even the simplest mechanical automotive devices now include some kind of electronic element,” Zogas said. “Without a flexible test platform that addresses measurements, automation and control through all phases of development, test becomes the bottleneck in the process. Test should not be a pacing element, but should instead act as a strategic element throughout the product life cycle.”
Zogas explained that a successful test platform pulls together diverse system components to create an open, flexible environment that offers more efficient, streamlined integration through all stages of the design process. An open virtual instrumentation platform with modular hardware and flexible software facilitates seamless integration of emerging industry standards such as CAN and smart TEDS (Transducer Electronic Data Sheet) sensors, as well as new component technologies such as FPGAs and DSPs.
Open platforms also are ideal for test engineers wanting to incorporate modeling and simulation data into their applications to create smarter test systems and for design engineers wanting to integrate test data into their models to make them more robust.
“From design validation to manufacturing test of components and subsystems, an open, flexible platform streamlines the product life cycle,” Zogas said. “Using a single platform for measurements throughout the design process saves integration time, lowers cost and shortens time to market. The end result is a system that is more modular, efficient and scalable.”
The more than 300 companies participating in Automotive Testing Expo North America 2004 are discussing topics ranging from test rigs and test simulation equipment to quality and durability testing. Last year’s event attracted more than 5,000 attendees from 21 countries. Automotive Testing Expo offers a forum for focusing on the newest technologies that shape and improve vehicle safety, durability, reliability and quality. For more information on Automotive Testing Expo, readers may visit www.testing-expo.com.
About National Instruments
National Instruments (www.ni.com) is a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation – a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists in industry, government and academia approach measurement and automation. Leveraging the PC and its related technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs through easy-to-integrate software, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, and modular hardware, such as PXI modules for data acquisition, instrument control and machine vision. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,100 employees and direct operations in 41 countries. In 2003, the company sold products to more than 25,000 companies in 90 countries. For the past five years, FORTUNE magazine named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.
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