Digital Instrumentation 101
Digital instrumentation used for test and measurement provides faster data input and output, and more robust analytics. Interface offers several types of digital instrumentation devices that transform load cell and strain bridge input into digital data output in numerous protocols and bus formats.
Instrumentation that utilizes analog output has long been the standard in the industry. As new requirements for use cases and applications grow, test and measurement engineers and professionals find digital instrumentation advantageous because of the lower cost, easy integration and scalability. They also like the advantage of daisy-chaining multiple sensors together on a single cable run.
Advancements in sensor technologies coincide with growing demands to gather more testing data. This is seen through the use of multi-axis sensors, along with requirements for multi-channel instrumentation that can integrate into existing systems already designed with specific digital connections and protocols, as highlighted in using Interfaces BX8 with our 6-Axis sensors. Change is also coming with a strong desire to utilize instrumentation that can easily work within cable free environments or in remote locations.
In addition to improving speed of data output, digital instrumentation offers an abundance of benefits. This is primarily due to the digital signal, as they are less susceptible to noise and are more secure. Digital instrumentation typically has built in error detection. Digital signals are best for transmitting signals across longer distances or when you need to allow for simultaneous multi-directional transmissions. Many people like the ease of integration, both into existing networks as well as with other testing devices.
Types of Interface Digital Instrumentation
- Indicators and Bidirectional Indicators
- Portable and Programmable Indicators
- Battery Powered Indicators and Bidirectional Indicators
- Single and Multi-Channel Transmitters
- Controllers and Programmable Controllers
- USB Output Modules
- PC Interface Modules
- Sensor to USB Output Converters
- Data Acquisition Systems
- Wireless Instrumentation
Connection options available for Interface Digital Instrumentation include, RS232, RS485, RS422, Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth, and Ethernet Protocols. The types of data output protocols available include ASCII, Modbus, CANopen, DeviceNet, Profibus DP Modbus/TCP, Ethernet TCP/IP, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT and several others. See the complete list of connections and protocols in our Digital Instrumentation Overview.
Top selling digital instrumentation models from Interface, with many available in various protocols:
- INF4-RS485 Two, Three, and Four Sensor Weight Transmitter and Indicator
- INF4-Ethernet IP Two, Three, and Four Sensor Weight Transmitter and Indicator
- INF4-Modbus TCP Two, Three, and Four Sensor Weight Transmitter and Indicator
- INF1-Ethernet IP Single Sensor Weight Transmitter and Indicator
- INF1-Ethernet TCP IP Single Sensor Weight Transmitter and Indicator
- INF1-EtherCat Single Sensor Weight Transmitter and Indicator
- DIG-USB USB Output Module
- SI-USB4 4 Channel USB Interface Module
- 9320 Battery Powered Portable Load Cell Indicator
- 9325 Portable Sensor Display
- 9325-NU Portable Sensor Display
- BSC4A Multi-Channel Bridge Amplifier and PC Interface Module
- BX8-HD44 BlueDAQ Series Data Acquisition System for Multi-Axis Sensors with Lab Enclosure
- 1280 Programmable Weight Indicator and Controllers
- 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Controller
Do you have questions about the type of instrumentation that will support your application? You can see more of the solutions by visiting our instrumentation selection guide. Here are six questions begin evaluating your instrumentation options:
- Where are you going to connect your sensor technology and how?
- Do you need to store your data?
- Do you prefer an analog or digital output device?
- Are you going to plug-in your instrumentation or use hand-held, wireless or Bluetooth connectivity?
- How will your data output be displayed?
- How many channels do you need for your project or program?
For additional help with instrumentation, please contact our application engineers.
Digital Instrumentation for Force Measurement
Ultimate BlueDAQ Software Guide for Interface Instrumentation
Interface Instrumentation Definitions
Instrumentation Selection Guide
Advancements in Instrumentation Webinar
Interface Instructional on Instrumentation Event