National Instruments is adding two new products to its popular NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) technology range, including a reconfigurable Camera Link frame grabber for demanding embedded vision applications and a motion module for the NI CompactRIO platform. The NI PCIe-1473R frame grabber is a PC-based embedded vision board that combines field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology with a Camera Link interface to help engineers create high-performance embedded imaging and inspection applications. The NI 9502 brushless servo drive C Series module includes six new custom NI motor options, directly from the reconfigurable CompactRIO system to address advanced motion control challenges. NI is also releasing six three-phase brushless servo motors.
The NI PCIe-1473R frame grabber is suitable for advanced inspection and imaging applications requiring image preprocessing and high-speed control, such as medical imaging, web and surface inspection and high-speed sorting. Engineers and scientists can program the new frame grabber's onboard FPGA with the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module for custom image processing and analysis in real time, with little to no CPU intervention. The frame grabber combines the onboard FPGA with a high-bandwidth 850 MB/s Camera Link bus, which supports a range of Camera Link configurations up to 10 taps and 80 bits. The NI PCIe-1473R also supports Power over Camera Link (PoCL) to power cameras directly, with no additional cables or external power supply. With such features, the frame grabber is an off-the-shelf product that enables high-performance imaging applications to be created without engineers having to spend substantial amounts of time and money to develop custom designs.
With the addition of the NI 9502 motion drive module for CompactRIO, engineers can now power brushless, stepper or brushed servo motors directly with NI C Series modules to provide a compact, highly customisable system for integrating motion into advanced control, monitoring and test systems. The NI 9502 offers 4A continuous/8A peak current and multiple commutation modes. To complement the module, NI is also releasing six three-phase brushless motors that are specifically designed for maximum performance and direct connectivity with the NI 9502. With these features and more, the NI 9502 helps engineers implement proprietary custom drive control algorithms at the FPGA level through LabVIEW FPGA, eliminating the need for custom firmware from a drive manufacturer.
Pascal Wattellier, an Automation Products Coordinator at Serimax, an international full-service welding solutions company, comments: "With its superior I/O and motion control capabilities, along with the flexibility and reliability of its onboard FPGA, the new NI CompactRIO system helped us to create a high-performance embedded monitoring and control system that matches our rigorous requirements. The CompactRIO system was the only commercially available solution that we could use to integrate motion control, I/O measurements, and HMI functionality within one system."
An integral part of the NI graphical system design approach, NI RIO technology combines LabVIEW system design software with commercial off-the-shelf hardware to simplify development and shorten time to market when designing advanced control, monitoring and test systems. NI RIO hardware, which includes CompactRIO, NI Single-Board RIO, R Series boards and the PXI-based NI FlexRIO, features an architecture with powerful floating-point processors, reconfigurable FPGAs and modular I/O. All NI RIO hardware components are programmed with LabVIEW to give engineers the ability to rapidly create custom timing, signal processing and control for I/O without requiring expertise in low-level hardware description languages or board-level design.