May 19, 2011

Sx-STG from IPETRONIK – high-speed, eight-channel, multi-input analog measurement module with sensor excitation

IPETRONIK, the world’s leading supplier of mobile measurement technology in the automotive industry, has announced the Sx-STG, a fast, eight-channel multi-input analog measurement module that offers sensor excitation. This compact module was designed for mobile measurement applications that face stringent requirements for reliability, flexibility and high sample rates. It supports the user’s choice of one of three different signals per measurement input: voltage, integrated circuit piezoelectric (ICP) sensors, and Strain Gauge (STG) sensors for measurements on 1/4, 1/2 and full bridge circuits. The eight analog inputs are galvanically isolated, and they cover measurement ranges with twelve unipolar and twelve bipolar voltages from ±0.01 V to ±50 V. They achieve a resolution of 16 bits and can withstand voltages of up to ±100 V. Each input has its own dual sensor excitation, which can be set individually up to a maximum of ±15 V with up to ±45 mA. An 8th-order, 4,800-Hz Butterworth filter that can be turned on and off has been integrated as the hardware filter.

This measurement module offers channel sample rates of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Hz as well as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 40 kHz. Four different rates can be selected per module for this. The output of the measurement data is accomplished via Fast Ethernet at a maximum speed of 100 MBit/s in accordance with IEEE 802.3 via XCPonEthernet (UDP/IP). Due to the use of a dual bus concept (CAN and Ethernet in a single cable), it will also be possible to output the measurement data directly to the CAN bus at a sample rate of up to 2 kHz once system integration is complete. Beyond this, Mx modules and M or SIM modules can be then operated in a chain of systems. The two bus systems are decoupled to the notebook/PC using a special xBus2PC adapter cable. The data format has a 16-bit resolution (word format). Furthermore, the Sx-STG offers additional useful functions, such as adjustment of the offset and target values, shunt checks for evaluating sensor plausibility, supplementary bridge resistors that can be selected via software at 120 Ω, 350 Ω and 1000 Ω, as well as current-surge detection capabilities for the sensor excitation. As an optional extra, the module supports detection of TEDS sensors. The measurement inputs’ wire breakage detection function can be activated via software.

The module is housed in an anodized aluminum enclosure with dimensions of 75 mm x 119 mm x 185 mm (B x H x D) and an IP54 protective rating, and it weighs 1430 g. It operates in the temperature range from –40 °C to +85 °C at a relative air humidity of 5 % to 95 %. The Sx-STG requires a supply voltage of 9 V DC to 36 V DC. If the voltage drops to below six volts, the module is turned off. Power consumption is typically 7.5 watts, and it rises to a maximum of 20 watts under a full load (including sensor excitation). The Sx-STG can be operated both as a standalone measurement module or as part of a system that includes other modules from the IPETRONIK Sx and Mx series. Configuration and measurement tasks are performed using the corresponding drivers and software tools. All settings can be made conveniently via the IPEmotion Windows-based software, for which a special plug-in is available. In this way, users can also take advantage of the latest functions offered by version 1.07 of the IPEmotion software, which was recently released. Mechanical adapters and holding brackets are available as optional mounting accessories.

“The Sx-STG combines the advantages of IPETRONIK’s SIM-STG and Mx-SENS measurement modules in a small, robust housing,” said Harry Störzer, head of application & support at IPETRONIK. “It supports STG applications – such as vibration, acceleration assessments, as well as, Road Load Data Acquisition (RLDA) – with sample rates of up to 40 kHz, and it is the ideal solution for testing vehicle components and car bodies.” 

Since its founding in 1989, IPETRONIK GmbH & Co.KG has had a profound impact on the technology that the automotive industry uses to perform mobile measurements. Today, IPETRONIK is one of the world’s leading companies in this sector. Since 1999, IPETRONIK has been a subsidiary of INDUS Holding AG with headquarters in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. This group includes a total of 42 mid-size companies from different segments of the economy. This provides IPETRONIK with a sturdy foundation and with financial backing for strategic projects and for investments in both new and existing locations. For years now, nearly all car manufacturers have been relying on the high dependability, precision, and availability of IPETRONIK’s products and services. The company’s comprehensive portfolio of measurement modules, data loggers, sensors and software combines modular measurement equipment of the highest accuracy with expertise in analog measurement technology and automotive data busses for commonly used automotive networks – including the relevant communication protocols for control units. By continuously expanding its Consulting/Engineering division, IPETRONIK has increasingly been able to serve as a technology partner with a broad range of services for the automotive industry. These activities focus on vehicle test equipment, including general testing and both on- and off-road test runs, with an emphasis on vehicle air-conditioning and thermal management as well as the development and production of test beds for environmental simulation. At company headquarters in the Southern German city of Baden-Baden, about 100 employees develop innovative solutions that are then produced in Germany. At the location in Duesseldorf, a team of eight specialists develops and supports the IPEmotion software. And in Hamburg, a team of seven designs thermodynamic test beds. To ensure that it fulfills its commitment to provide global sales backed up by local customer care, IPETRONIK operates subsidiaries amongst others in France, Sweden and the US and works together with a growing worldwide network of distributors.

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