A briefcase hardware design for data acquisition training

Weican Xiao, Andrew Joseph Dorton, Mohsen Azizi, Johannes Martin Eidnes, Branden Owen DeVries, Austin M. Ostipow, Richard Lee Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper describes the collaboration between Michigan Technological University and A&D Technology Inc. to develop a hardware briefcase for training purposes with data acquisition and control software. A&D Technology currently provides in depth iTest software training for their customers. However, there is no related hardware training component. A&D Technology wishes to provide a more in depth training experience using relevant hardware. The hardware training component would present customers with real world scenarios that may occur when using the software. Therefore, faculty and students have designed a briefcase with discrete and modular I/O for hardware training purposes to be used in conjunction with the iTest software. The briefcase is mobile and can be brought to customer locations for training. The hardware briefcase communicates with the iConnect data acquisition hardware through a computer with corresponding software. Components in the hardware briefcase include: Beckhoff Modular I/O, various discrete I/O such as push buttons, switches, and indicator LEDs. Another feature of this design is the incorporation of a stepper motor and timing belt system with a proximity sensor to detect rotations of the timing belt. The briefcase also includes a heater, fan, and thermocouple combination for analog data acquisition and control. The thermocouple data can be obtained from a thermocouple module as well as an analog input module. Thus, it allows conversion from a voltage signal to a corresponding temperature value. A training manual is being developed, which will contain labs involving analog and discrete I/O, enabling a user to develop problem solving skills and further enhance experience with the iTest software. The training manual is designed to be a heavily engaging activity. The first lab is an introductory lab designed to familiarize the user with the iTest software and the hardware briefcase. As the labs progress, the user will have to use problem solving skills to become familiar with the iTest software and iConnect hardware. The last lab is a troubleshooting lab that simulates what a customer might face in industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 24 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event124th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Columbus, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2017Jun 28 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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