National Instruments has announced the release of NI-DNET 1.5, the latest driver software for plug-in NI DeviceNet interfaces. In addition to providing high-level, easy-to-use functions for rapid application development, this upgrade introduces two significant new utilities, the DeviceNet Configurator and the DeviceNet Analyser. These two tools provide National Instruments DeviceNet users with the functionality they need to easily develop a solution for DeviceNet network control.
The new DeviceNet Configurator is a powerful tool with electronic data sheet (EDS) support that, when used with the DeviceNet interface, can search a DeviceNet network to determine information about connected devices, automatically load related EDS files, read and write device parameters and change a device MAC ID. This improves system integration by making it easy for engineers to configure and program different devices on the DeviceNet network.
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Another major upgrade provided with NI-DNET 1.5 is the DeviceNet Analyser. The analyser monitors network activity and interprets controller area network (CAN) messages according to the DeviceNet protocol. Engineers can use the analyser to display certain types of messages through powerful filters and find options, as well as retrieve the message statistics within the analyser. This makes the analyser extremely effective for network troubleshooting, device development and learning the complicated DeviceNet protocol.
DeviceNet interfaces make it easy to add advanced functionality such as signal processing, math, machine vision or high-speed analogue measurements to an existing PLC system. For example, an engineer can use an industrial PC or an NI PXI chassis, together with National Instruments LabVIEW and DSA boards, to add machine condition monitoring of an expensive piece of equipment in an industrial environment. Engineers can use the DeviceNet interface in slave mode to integrate with the PLC system, making it easy to send important data, such as machine health, to the controller and signal the PLC system to act accordingly.