As vice president of R&D for core PXI and distributed control at National Instruments, Robert Canik is responsible for the global development and strategic direction for GPIB, VXI, and PXI controllers, chassis, and core modular instruments; NI CompactRIO controllers and backplanes; motion control; industrial and serial communications; and NI FieldPoint products. Canik joined NI in 1985 and served as director of R&D for instrument and distributed control for 10 years before his promotion to vice president in 2008.
At the start of his career with NI, Canik designed several GPIB and VXI interface products and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). In 1993, he assumed management of the company’s GPIB product line and led a significant increase in product line margins as revenue grew. Similarly, when he took on responsibility for the company’s PXI platform products in 1998, he drove a major improvement in quality while shortening the time to market for controllers and chassis. During this time, he doubled PXI chassis margins.
Additionally, Canik chaired the IEEE working group that developed the HS-488 extension to the IEEE 488 specification. As a member of the VXIbus Consortium, he helped develop the VXIbus specification and design guidelines. He has also driven or facilitated the development of multiple processes at NI including recruiting and new product introduction (NPI), where he improved NI development practices by leading the hardware NPI team. He helped develop the role of technical lead to improve the quality of NI designs by taking advantage of the company’s more senior designers’ experience while accelerating newer designers’ technical growth through design reviews. Canik also developed a business model and process to improve the NI third-party reselling process. In addition, he is the inventor or coinventor on five patents.