ICON Technologies Services

Analysis, Management, & Distribution of Technical Data

Data storage, data analysis, and data distribution are integral to any measurement and automation process, and should be an important part of system design. All too often this is not the case, and your valuable data ends up being managed via an ad-hoc collection of pre-existing procedures, Windows file management functions, and less than adequate software applications.

ICON Technologies can supply measurement and automation systems with fully integrated data management. We can also streamline procedures for managing the data generated from your existing measurement and automation systems.

 

Data Storage

Start by choosing a data storage format that best meets your data management needs:

  • Store or read data as simple text, as html/xml, in TDMS or other industry-standard binary formats, or your own custom binary format. The TDMS format combines efficient binary storage of multi-channel data with an xml searchable header that contains data attributes and other qualifying information, and is a good all-round choice for file-based data storage.
  • Data can also be stored and retrieved from any industry standard ODBC or ADO compliant database such as MS Access, Filemaker, SQL Server, Oracle and others. ICON Technologies recommends Filemaker as an easy-to-maintain database that suits the needs of many small to medium enterprises.
  • Don't want the overhead of maintaining a database, but need a more structured way of managing data files? National Instruments' DataFinder Server Edition gives network users searchable access to a common data store, containing multiple data files, in multiple formats.

Data Analysis

The de facto standard for data analysis in many measurement and automation systems is to save the data in a spreadsheet readable format and post-process it using Excel (or similar application). ICON Technologies' PAC- or PC-based systems have the power and flexibility to analyse large amounts of data from a variety of sources, as it is acquired. This means you can:

  • Run custom algorithms for advanced control or "smart" datalogging right at the point of measurement.
  • Intelligently decimate raw data at the point of acquisition. This minimises local storage requirements, and decreases the volume of data that may need to be retransmitted to remote network hosts in a distributed system.
  • Automatically generate and print web-viewable or paper reports at the end of a test, close of shift, or any other recurrent reporting period.
  • Extract and combine data from one or more legacy systems into a single data store.

If you still have a need to post-process data, ICON Technologies can create a custom software application dedicated to your analysis requirements. Alternatively, if you want a configurable data analysis and reporting tool, but your needs have outgrown Excel, ICON Technologies recommends National Instruments' Diadem data management application.

 

Data Distribution

If your Measurement and Automation System is a node on a LAN, WAN, or wireless network, ICON Technologies can offer a range of data distribution, network integration, and remote maintenance options:

  • Remotely monitor or control the HMI of any measurement or automation node from a networked PC or laptop.
  • Connect the measurement or automation node as a client/server or master/slave to industry-standard network protocols such as OPC or Modbus.
  • Make raw and processed data available to networked users via a web browser, using industry-standard web server and ftp technologies.
  • Email/SMS notification of status and alarm conditions to a designated user or group.
  • Remote system diagnostics, and remote upgrading of the installed software application.

Real-World Applications

To see details of relevant projects go to the Projects Page, and select "Analysis, Management, and Distribution of Technical Data" from the "Project Type" popup menu.