INERTIA, a powerful add-on for NI VeriStand real-time test software, is specifically designed to help you quickly and efficiently implement real-time control and test applications. Created by National Instruments Alliance Partner Wineman Technology, this complementary software tool enhances the capabilities of the NI VeriStand Real-Time Engine, System Explorer, Workspace, and Stimulus Profile Editor to provide an integrated control and monitoring solution for test cell applications such as dynamometer and servo-hydraulic test systems. INERTIA consists of a prepackaged set of control-specific features for NI VeriStand that includes
- Ready-to-use closed-loop controllers with multiaxis synchronization and amplitude control
- Multimode control support with bumpless transfer between modes
- Tightly integrated test editor with control procedure commands and model execution
- Application-specific tools and UI objects for the NI VeriStand Workspace
- Integrated PID control loop tuning utility
Figure 1. The INERTIA add-on for NI VeriStand provides ready-to-use closed-loop controllers, tuning utilities, and other tools necessary to implement test cell applications.
1. INERTIA for Control Applications
NI VeriStand is a powerful test platform that provides model execution, stimulus generation, data logging, and hardware I/O connectivity in a configuration-based environment. However, to implement control for test cell applications, custom development in NI LabVIEW software or a third-party modeling environment is required to implement the control system. INERTIA is designed for rapidly configuring and deploying control systems by providing ready-to-use functionality for NI VeriStand. With INERTIA’s application-specific tools – such as ready-made control display templates, control groupings, and procedure commands designed for physical control systems – you can get up and running quickly without in-depth programming knowledge. The Stimulus Profile Editor in NI VeriStand offers a lot of freedom in creating low-level test programs to a high degree of specification. The INERTIA add-on builds on top of this tool to deliver a more application-specific profile editor tailored specifically for creating validation and durability test plans that require control functions.
This powerful combination of NI VeriStand real-time test software and the INERTIA add-on control software is well-suited for a wide range of test cell control systems. For example, INERTIA has been successfully deployed in dynamometer and servo-hydraulic control applications such as the following:
- Engine cells, transmissions, and motors
- Actuators, valves, and pumps
- Turbines and gear boxes
- Auxiliary power units (APUs)
- Tire test systems
- Life-cycle durability
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) testing
In general, INERTIA is ideal for any multimode or multiaxis control application that uses dynamometers or hydraulic control.
NI VeriStand combined with the INERTIA add-on is the only platform that allows the integration of motors and drives, servo-hydraulics, and model-based control all on a common hardware and software platform. With this functionality, you can deploy test procedures and methods at the model-in-the-loop (MIL) stage in the design phase and carry out those same procedures all the way to the production floor to save customers both development time and financial cost.
Figure 2. Four-Square Test Rig Modernized With an INERTIA Control System
INERTIA also has multiclient support, which can significantly reduce test cell cost and footprint. With this feature, you can deploy multiple test stations on a single real-time controller with multiple operator workspaces. Each client runs its own, fully independent test profile and control loops on the same controller.
2. Developing Applications With INERTIA
The true benefit of INERTIA is that it builds on and tightly integrates with NI VeriStand core competencies and components to create a streamlined experience for control applications. INERTIA features are installed in the NI VeriStand System Explorer and Workspace for complete system configuration, so you can define input and output channels, PID control loops, and shutdown procedures and alarms. Control mode mapping allows multiple channels such as feedback, output, and control coefficients to be simultaneously changed at run time.
The INERTIA controllers are automatically linked to the INERTIA Stimulus Profile Editor for writing test sequences. INERTIA’s custom procedure commands offer simplified mode control and setup, so you can enable, disable, and change control modes using human-readable commands like “Disable Mode [Load Control]” instead of adjusting numerical values.
Figure 3. Using Bumpless Transfer Between Control Mode Changes
In the NI VeriStand Workspace, INERTIA provides easy-to-use control display templates and GUI objects that are connected directly to the NI VeriStand Engine for executing manual mode transfers, manual setpoint ramping, and more. Plus, you can configure custom pop-up windows for the NI VeriStand Workspace to offer easy test execution and monitoring. Basic commands include running tests with built-in properties, viewing or adding parameters, removing editing capabilities for operator interfaces, and creating custom test headers and templates. Finally, INERTIA features a built-in PID tuning tool with an intuitive, detailed interface for real-time management of loop-tuning parameters at run time.
Wineman Technology’s INERTIA leverages the core strengths of NI VeriStand to offer an integrated, out-of-the-box control package for motors and drives, servo-hydraulics, and model-based control. Choose the INERTIA add-on for a powerful, intuitive set of tools and capabilities to rapidly deploy your control applications and decrease both development time and cost. To learn more about NI VeriStand, view the NI Veristand Getting Started Videos.