Building Intelligent Ethernet-Based Distributed I/O Systems with National Instruments LabVIEWThe growth of Ethernet as an industry standard has greatly improved the capability and integration of networked measurements, remote monitoring, and distributed control applications. In both manufacturing and test, engineers continue to find new ways to take advantage of this PC-based technology to build individual test stations or machines. These measurement and control systems use Ethernet to connect to management, data, and quality systems. As companies start to integrate disparate hardware with the common Ethernet link, they find that having flexible, open software becomes key. Many hardware options in test and manufacturing today have their own individual software. Sometimes it is inaccessible externally, and other times accessible only through low-level programming languages -- or at the other extreme -- high-level Web browsers. While these options are acceptable when using hardware as a single network node connected to a computer, they can become unmanageable when the system reaches tens or thousands of networked nodes.
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