‘Laboratory Sample Aliquotter’ Software Architecture Redesign
Working jointly with Origo Technology, LLC, we re-architected the software for an automated laboratory sample aliquotter product. The scope of the project was to allow for greater flexibility in the overall software execution as well as to allow for an easier deployment methodology during production. The two major components in the system that required re-architecting were the Host computer software that monitors the process and the NI Compact RIO executable that controls the process. We implemented a sophisticated control architecture that allowed for manual control of the hardware as well as fully automated control via sequence files. These sequence files added a layer of flexibility that allows the end-user to customize the system to their specific needs. In addition we used a simplified TCP/IP interface for data transfer between the Host and CRIO. Using this new communication interface also opens the possibility of replacing the host PC with a Windows based tablet in the future.
To improve and simplify the manufacturing process we also employed the use of a customized version of NI’s Replication and Deployment (RAD) software. The custom RAD executable vastly simplifies the setup and configuration of new CRIO units being installed in systems and ensures they are all identical when leaving the contract manufacturer. In addition this utility allowed service technicians to quickly upgrade units in the field and verify functionality of the system.