At Process Automation Corporation, our customer, Penn Engineering, asked us to create an application that acquires high-speed analog data on multiple channels, runs custom processing algorithms, and provides deterministic control to operate their new verificable fastener installation tool (VFI).
If we failed to terminate the installation process at the correct point, we would reduce the holding power of the fastener due to incomplete seating or damage due to excessive force. Therefore, we had to calculate the proper stopping point in real time, during the acquisition, as torque and displacement values varied when fastening to materials of different density and thickness. We installed one of the VFI tool applications on the end of a robotic arm in a vehicle manufacturing plant. As a result of the requirements of this application, we sought out a platform that provided a robust, industrial-grade chassis with low weight, high reliability, and a small footprint.