Easily integrate piezoelectric signals into your own applications

Written by: Kistler Instruments Ltd | Published:

Piezoelectric measuring technology offers an extremely wide high-resolution measuring range making it a highly attractive choice for research, development and laboratory applications. No matter whether you need to measure force, pressure, torque or acceleration: Kistler's solutions support simple integration of piezoelectric sensors in CompactRIO™, the real-time control and data acquisition platform from National Instruments.

Piezoelectric sensors feature an extremely wide and high-resolution measuring range; their rigidity makes them ideal for highly dynamic processes, and they can even be used at extreme temperatures. For force measurement, a piezoelectric sensor covers up to three measurement ranges as compared to strain gage technology. This means – to take one example – that a single sensor can accurately measure forces ranging from a few newtons to one meganewton.

Easily Integrated into NI CompactRIO™

With Kistler's Type 5171A charge amplifier module, users can now benefit from the advantages of piezoelectric measurement technology directly in the CompactRIO™ real-time control and data acquisition platform from National Instruments. Until now, piezoelectric sensors required external amplifiers that had to be supplied and configured separately. The digitization of the voltage signals required additional analogue input channels in the data acquisition module. The measuring range of the new charge amplifier module is subdivided into four sections, from ±1,000 to ±1,000,000 pC. Direct 24-bit digitization in the charge amplifier module improves the signal quality and signal noise.

Generating Process Models

Kistler's Type 5171A charge amplifier module for CompactRIO™ is currently deployed in various research projects. In this example it is used on a five-axis milling centre to generate process models automatically via a highly complex control system. In this case, the module handles the acquisition of process forces. Frequency dependent pre-processing and a monitoring function (implemented directly in the FPGA) ensure effective protection for the tool, the machine tool and the measuring system, by means of a rapid feed reaction or an emergency stop in case of disruptions to the process. Direct integration has led to a substantial reduction in development outlay, thanks to the elimination of the communication and control lines needed to control and parameterize the charge amplifier (and the software modules required for them).

Maximum Flexibility for Research and Development

Kistler's versatile measuring equipment can be used for a wide range of research, development and laboratory applications. Whether the situation calls for mobile data acquisition, process monitoring or smaller-scale test bench systems – the Kistler flexible modular portfolio offers a wide variety of applications.

The full article may be downloaded from the Kistler web site at http://tinyurl.com/KIL-5439-12-15

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