Flexible Evaluation Workflows with FEVALYS Sequencer

"Test data analysis with FEVALYS and NI DIAdem: attractive, fast, simple."

- Dr.-Ing. Matthias Salmen, FEV Automatisierungssysteme GmbH, Produktmanagement - Information

The Challenge:

Friday late afternoon - The customer wants a revised test evaluation. All results of the last 2 weeks must be reevaluated. Names have to be adapted, further calculations must be inserted and additional data must be integrated. Flexible data evaluation is required. Easy and fast to configure without requiring deep programming knowledge.

The Solution:

The FEVALYS sequencer extends the NI DIAdem functionality by a scalable application of flexible evaluation workflows. Individual tools of the NI DIAdem toolbox can be assembled and adapted to sequences using FEVALYS actions quickly and without expert knowledge. Complete sequences can be executed directly via the FEVALYS QuickStarter and can be exchanged in the team, the project or with customers.

Motivation

Test evaluation, in particular, often requires last minute adjustments. Due to the experimental character of the tests, measurement data is usually available at a late stage. Often only little time remains for the adaptation of the evaluation and the evaluation experts are possibly not within reach at that moment.

 

The user might be faced with a BlackBox and uses pre-made evaluations. Which can, however, only be configured to a limited extent. Or he might be faced with a ToolSet, and has full access to all parameters and functions of the evaluation. But he might need expert knowledge then to be able to make short term adjustments.

 

Requirements

FEVALYS is a product of FEV Software and Testing Solutions. It is especially designed for the analysis of test data. In the development of FEVALYS two important aspects have guided the realization of this evaluation tool:

 

Scalability

FEVALYS addresses different user groups with their own requirements: the test bench operator performs the experiment but has little knowledge about the evaluation processes; the project engineer plans and evaluates the tests and must also be able to make short term adjustments to the evaluation; the tool expert creates complete evaluation templates and makes these available to the project engineers and test bench operators. The goal of the FEVALYS development is to provide a scalable user interface for creating, editing and applying test evaluations for user groups with individual needs.

 

No Programming Knowledge

While the tool expert feels comfortable in a scripting language like VBS, the test bench operator might be afraid to break something and the project engineer would like to be able to edit sequences in the evaluation template without having to program himself. Especially in the level between BlackBox and ToolSet the project engineer needs a possibility to define evaluation processes without programming knowledge.

 

Flexible Evaluation Workflows with the FEVALYS Sequencer

Evaluations can often be divided into a linear sequence of evaluation steps. A simple creation, configuration and use of evaluation workflows is required. The user is supposed to be able to program without having classical programming knowledge. This is achieved by the approach of the FEVALYS sequencer, in which individual evaluation actions are summarized in a sequence with an easy-to-understand processing order. Similar to a to-do list, the project engineer can compile individual evaluation steps (actions such as Browse for File, Load Data, Calculations, Load REPORT, Create PDF, Export Results) into a freely editable sequence. Sequences may also call sequences again, which makes re-usability of a series of steps possible. The user may also link the execution of actions to conditions or may define a repeated application of actions to a list of data sets.

 

 

Open Toolbox

The FEVALYS sequencer positions FEVALYS as an open toolbox between BlackBox and Toolset. This is made possible by the FEVALYS sequencer based on the extensive toolset from National Instruments DIAdem. The sequencer provides two user interfaces for this purpose.

 

Individual sequences are started directly via the QuickStarter. The user sees a filtered list of start sequences and is supported by interactive actions such as, for instance, "Browse for File" and "Delete Dataportal With Msg". The individual actions of the sequence can then be added, configured and managed via the editor. The user also has full access to the DIAdem resources by integrating Scripts, DataPlugins, Calculation Libraries, Reports and Views directly into the evaluation sequences.

 

The QuickStarter enables test bench operators to have simplified access to pre-defined evaluations, while project engineers feel at home in the sequence editor and tool experts exploit the full potential of the DIAdem toolset.

 

Let's look at the following example. The operator uses a prepared sequence which first empties the data portal, then asks the user for test result files, loads the contained data, then executes selected calculations, and finally displays the results in a report. Even if DIAdem considers quantities, wrong unit symbols might have been used within the raw data, or channel names might have different identifiers than expected in the calculation catalog. If this is recognized to late, a repetition of the evaluation with corrected channel names and units will be necessary. Often, customers may then request additional data exports with the corrected calculation results. With the FEVALYS sequencer, the evaluation can be adapted quickly and easily. In the existing sequence, additional actions for name mapping, unit conversion and data export are inserted with a few clicks. Due to the simple interface, even the inexperienced user can quickly adapt his evaluation and repeat.

 

The FEVALYS sequencer is now part of the FEVALYS standard function range. Further information about FEVALYS is available through the FEV Hompage (www.fev.com). If you want to see for yourself, register in the FEVALYS Download Center and get access to the free 90 day FEVALYS trial version.

 

Summary

FEVALYS is an open toolbox with scalable access for users with different needs. With the new FEVALYS sequencer, flexible workflows can now be created. FEVALYS benefits from the extensive NI DIAdem toolset.

 

Author Information:

Dr.-Ing. Matthias Salmen
FEV Automatisierungssysteme GmbH, Produktmanagement - Information
Brehnaer Str. 3
Landsberg 06188
Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 241 5689 858
Fax: +49 (0) 241 5689 7858
salmen@fev.com

Figure 1. Scalable access for both experts and inexperienced users with the FEVALYS Sequence QuickStarter and Editor
Figure 2. Adapt your own evaluation sequences quickly and flexibly with the FEVALYS sequencer.
Figure 3. Test data analysis with FEVALYS and NI DIAdem: attractive, fast, simple.