Armfield Software Series: ArmSoft™
Data logging, Acquisition and Control Software – aSUITE/aLITE/aBASIC/aCORELV – Issue 2
Powerful data entry, data logging, acquisition and control software with a wide range of features is available for many Armfield products.
In many cases, the latest software and interface systems are also available as updates to existing equipment.
|FEATURES (note, not all features are necessarily included in all products)||aBASIC||aLITE||aSUITE||aCORELV|
|USB data interface, which can connect to any Windows computer||•||•||•|
|Open communications protocol enabling customers to construct their own software interface||•||•||•|
|Individual software packages tailored to suit the equipment and experiments||•||•||•||•|
|Graphical representation of the equipment or process||•||•†||•||•|
|Real-time display of sensor readings and calculated values||•||•||•|
|Manual input of measured variables where appropriate (eg atmospheric pressure)||•||•||•||•|
|Digital variables show status of switches, valves, etc||•||•||•|
|Sensor values scaled to show engineering units||•||•||•|
|Calibration screens to enable adjustment of individual sensor scaling||•||•||•|
|Bar chart display of measured variables||•||•||•|
|Data filtering section to smooth fast transients||•||•||•|
|Ability to control hardware where appropriate||•||•|
|Digital controls enable switching of pumps, heaters, etc||•||•|
|Analogue controls enable users to set the level of a control such as pump speed||•||•|
|Software incorporates PID control algorithms to enable closed-loop control||•||•|
|PID parameters can be viewed and adjusted by the user||•||•|
|Oscilloscope page for capture of fast transient events (where appropriate)||•||•|
|Manual and automatic data sampling modes||•||•||•|
|User control over sample rate||•||•||•|
|Tabular display of measured and calculated data||•||•||•||•|
|Facility to add notes to a particular sample||•||•||•||•|
|Flexible graphing facilities for users to plot measured and calculated data||•||•||•||•|
|Automatic scaling and formatting of graph axes||•||•||•||•|
|Graphs update in real-time||•||•||•|
|Detailed help document||•||•||•||•|
|Automatic port recognition||•||•||•||•|
†implemented on some products
Description – Basics and Navigation (Armsoft ASUITE)
On opening Armfield software, the user is taken to the process screen, which generally shows a diagram of the equipment or process. The screen shows readings from the equipment, updated in real-time, in engineering units.
Results are saved in a generic spreadsheet format so can be opened in a wide range of packages for further analysis. The software enables individual data channels to be calibrated. Data can either be input as a table or generated by selecting a known set of conditions.
The software also includes facilities for closed-loop control (where the hardware permits). The software uses a PID control algorithm to adjust an output in response to changes in one of the inputs. For example, a pump speed may be varied in order to regulate a flow rate.
Users are able to view and modify the P, I and D values and change the set point.
Closed-loop control is investigated as part of some experiments (eg PCT40 Process Control) but is also used on a wide range of other apparatus as a way of operating the equipment more conveniently.
Armfield data loggers use a USB interface to connect to any Windows computer. The interface may be built into some products as standard, in which case the software will be supplied with the unit. Other products will use a separate interface, or IFD, which is supplied as an optional extra together with software specific to the product in question.
All current Armfield data logging products connect to the computer using USB interfaces. This is often a separate unit, sold with the software, (eg IFD5, IFD6, IFD7). Other products have the USB interface built into the main equipment, and the software is included as standard with the product. For these products, use of a computer may be essential, or it may be highly desirable as some facilities or data are not accessible without the computer.
The use of USB means that any current or projected Windows based PC can be used. There is no need to open the PC or fit anything inside. Even if all the USB ports are full, expanders are very cheap and readily available. The hardware and software are fully compatible with Windows operating systems.
Computer: A Windows PC (not supplied) running Windows 98 or above with a USB port.