Wireless phones and Internet have infiltrated our daily lives, supplying convenience, mobility, and freedom from constricting cables. Because wireless technology has achieved such success, it makes sense to apply this concept to any device that would benefit from wireless operation. The L.S. Starrett Co. (Athol, MA) has modeled its wireless data collection system with this in mind.
"We are excited about the new system technology," says Jeff Wilkinson, general manager of the company's advanced technology division. "Manufacturers finally have access to a reliable system that is simple and robust, permitting accurate and portable data collection."
Comprised of three main parts, the DataSure system includes end nodes that connect to the electronic tools, a gateway that plugs into a PC, and routers that extend the product's range. A single router has a range of 100 ft; however, users can add routers to extend its range.
The management tool time stamps and logs each measurement as it is received, maintaining an organized database. Furthermore, a signal is emitted to indicate that the host computer has received the data. In the event that a measurement can't be transmitted, the system stores up to 10 readings and continues resend attempts until the reading is processed. An additional system safeguard includes a constant battery status display for each element in order to avoid disastrous battery failure surprises.
The system is suited for the manufacturing floor, metrology lab, or any environment in which measurements are taken using electronic metrology tools. The firm heralds the efficacy of the system amid the everyday hubbub of a manufacturing floor.
One such chaotic issue affecting operation on the floor is that of EMI. Though EMI can factor into the system's equation, the problem is solvable, according to Starrett. The monitor application enables users to identify which routers are hopping frequently, an indication of EMI. This knowledge can then be used to track down the single source of the interference.Compatible with most major brands of electronic measuring tools, the system is designed for use with PCs equipped with Windows XP Professional. The data management tool operates within the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser, and can export in a variety of formats, including Excel.
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