National Instruments Enhances Software Packages And Reference Material

Computer-based measurement and automation software packages from National Instruments (NI; Austin, TX; 800-258-7022) now include OPC client software. The improved packages, LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI, and ComponentWorks, now deliver plug and play connectivity throughout the manufacturing enterprise. NI has also introduced a new online program for providing reference information about these software tools.

Improvements To Software
About OPC
Software Specs
Reference Material
NI Background

Improvements To Software (Back to Top)
With the interoperability of OPC and the dynamic development environments of LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI, and ComponentWorks, manufacturers can bridge dissimilar networks and access essential manufacturing data from areas as diverse as the factory floor and the boardroom.

NI products deliver seamless access through OPC to production data, which empowers employees throughout the manufacturing enterprise by improving productivity, reducing costs, and increasing profitability. Linking the NI software programs with disparate field devices, manufacturing automation, and business systems through an industry-standard OPC client provides timely access to information that manufacturers can use to make more informed decisions.

About OPC (Back to Top)
OPC, an open industry standard, connects industrial devices and networks to manufacturing control systems and software. OPC is based on Microsoft Windows distributed Internet applications (DNA) architecture for manufacturing technologies including component object model (COM), distributed COM (DCOM), and ActiveX.

OPC defines a set of standard objects, properties, and methods for measurement and automation applications. An OPC server provides a standard interface, so that OPC client applications can control devices and manage data from industrial devices and manufacturing applications in a generic fashion. OPC client software can therefore communicate with any OPC server, independent of the particular hardware device or application handled by the server.

In addition, DCOM enables an additional level of functionality for OPC, so that a client application can use objects located on other networked computers. Therefore, an HMI or Scada software package can exchange information with OPC servers that are running on any computers on the network.

Software Specs (Back to Top)
LabVIEW is a highly productive graphical programming environment that combines easy-to-use graphical development with the flexibility of a powerful programming language. LabVIEW offers an intuitive environment, tightly integrated with measurement hardware, that thousands of engineers and scientists use to quickly produce solutions for data acquisition, data analysis, and data presentation.

LabWindows/CVI is an integrated ANSI C environment designed for engineers and scientists creating measurement and automation applications. With integrated I/O libraries, analysis routines, and user interface tools, LabWindows/CVI delivers everything needed for building advanced test and measurement systems. Whether building automated test systems, monitoring applications, or laboratory experiments, LabWindows/CVI simplifies development tasks.

ComponentWorks is a collection of 32-bit ActiveX controls designed for scientists and engineers building measurement and automation systems. ComponentWorks combines the power and flexibility of standard development tools, such as Microsoft Visual Basic and Visual C++, with the instrumentation expertise of National Instruments. ComponentWorks adds the necessary tools to these environments to provide complete development solutions for computer-based measurement and automation applications.

Reference Material (Back to Top)
National Instruments has also created an online library that features a selection of books pertaining to computer-based measurement and automation. The library provides listings of computer-based measurement and automation books available in Japanese, French, German, and Spanish, as well as direct links to online application notes and product manuals.

In conjunction with the development of the National Instruments Online Library, National Instruments has joined the Associates Program in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany. This will allow visitors to the National Instruments Web site to purchase reference material from Amazon.

NI Background (Back to Top)
National Instruments, a supplier of computer-based measurement and automation products, manufactures and sells software and hardware products. When these are combined with industry-standard computers, the software can streamline test, measurement, and industrial automation applications.

For more information, call National Instruments at 512-349-5090 or 800-258-7022.