Manufacturing lines consist of numerous decoupled systems for automation, control, measurement, machine monitoring, and many other functions. Historically, these systems have stood alone -- both from each other and from company enterprise networks. Each system performed its function in relative isolation -- controlling the conveyor system, monitoring compressor bearing vibration, performing end-of-line electronics functional test, and so on.
Pulling together these systems can deliver significant benefits to manufacturers -- easier integration through the use of industry standards, greater enterprise access to manufacturing operations information, and advanced diagnostic information from devices for predictive maintenance, to name only a few. Thus far, no one has optimized connecting automation and control systems to test and measurement systems to exploit the resulting advantages. In particular, higher speed measurement techniques, such as those used in end-of-line electronics functional test or machine monitoring systems, can help improve efficiency and quality when results are fed back into assembly and automation subsystems.
National Instruments and Siemens are now working together to better integrate the domain of automation with the domain of measurements. Siemens is among the world leaders in automation and control systems across a variety of industries. National Instruments PC-based and network-based measurement solutions are used for industrial applications ranging from general-purpose data acquisition to end-of-line electronics functional test. The cooperation between Siemens and NI will span a wide variety of applications, so that engineers can make more sophisticated measurements on their processes and feed that information back to their control systems. With this information, they can make better decisions that ultimately improve their overall manufacturing quality and efficiency.
This white paper gives an overview of the products and the application areas in which Siemens and National Instruments are working to better integrate solutions for automation and measurement. This document also includes a practical example of how a user would integrate the companies' products.
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