Short Courses in Engineering Measurements
and Data Acquisition
You know the importance of engineering test data in the product development process. Valid data is crucial. Errors in measurements can be costly and lead to design errors, program delays, wasted time and materials, even recalls and litigation. Midwest Dynamics understands the importance of making sure your data is valid and properly analyzed. To that end, we offer several comprehensive short courses in measurement engineering, data acquisition, and signal processing.
Together, our courses thoroughly cover the entire measurement process from understanding and selecting sensors,to setting up data acquisition systems, to collecting data in the field, and analyzing the data in the office. You will also receive in-depth training in strain gages and will be taught how to design, build, and calibrate your own custom strain gage force transducers from the actual components of your vehicles and machines. With nearly 30 years of major OEM experience and expertise in the areas of durability, fatigue, in-field data acquisition, wheel force transducer design, laboratory testing, and CAE correlation, we know how data is used throughout the product development process and have tailored these courses to serve your measurement engineering needs.
Given the highly automated “turn-key” data acquisition and analysis systems being sold in the marketplace today, it is easy to take your measurements for granted. However, we would argue that with increased automation, it is more important than ever to know what is going on behind that complex software interface. You need to understand how your system is operating and how those software settings affect your data. We teach you to think critically about engineering measurements and emphasize those timeless fundamentals that are crucial to the successful utilization of any transducer or digital data acquisition system.
These courses are specifically designed for the test engineer and senior technician, but CAE engineers, design engineers, and engineering managers would equally benefit from this training.
Course Goals and Objectives
1) Develop a working knowledge of commonly used sensors and transducers in terms of principles of operation, design, performance, and application to specific measurement problems.
2) Understand, interpret and apply transducer specifications and calibration information.
3) Learn the theory and operating principles of strain gages and the Wheatstone bridge, including bridge output, calibration, thermal response, and the influence of lead wires.
4) Understand signal conditioning and digital data acquisition system architecture.
5) Learn how to properly record data using digital data acquisition systems, including the selection of sample rates, anti-aliasing filters, full scales, resolution, etc.
6) Study fundamental digital signal processing and data validation techniques.
7) Use digital filtering to successfully solve problems that require integration and/or differentiation of digitally recorded data.
8) Apply course concepts to the task of recording engineering data in the field.
9) Learn how to design, build, and calibrate strain gage based load transducers (bending, shear, torsion, and axial) and apply the concepts to create custom transducers and instrumented components.
10) Use Mohr's circle to calculate multiaxial stresses from measured strain gage rosette data. Learn how to calculate bridge outputs for custom designed load transducers.
Two-Day Course in Sensors, Instrumentation,
and Digital Data Acquisition
Course Content: Day 1
Tranducers and Sensors
Concepts and Definitions
Accuracy, Precision, and Resolution
Natural Frequency vs. Frequency Response
Selection of Sensors for Various Measurements
Transducer Construction and Implementation
Live Comparison of Piezoelectic vs. Strain Gage Load Cells
Accelerometer Mounting Methods
Understanding Signal Conditioning
Signal Conditioning Types and Responses
Frequency Response and Phase Shifts
Live Characterization of Analog low-pass Filter
Using and Configuring Slip Rings
Data Acquisition System Architecture
Course Content: Day 2
Digital Data Acquisition and Analysis
Signal Types Commonly Encountered in Practice
Time Domain vs. Frequency Domain Analysis
FFT, Leakage, Windows, FRF
Application of Filters to Signal Analysis
Integration and Differentiation of Signals
Recording Signals with Digital Systems
Sample Rate Selection and Prevention of Aliasing
Data Acquisition in the Field
Challenges of Recording Data in the Field
Test Planning and Preparation
Capturing the Duty Cycle
Customer to Test Correlation
Tips for Collecting Field Data
Validating Data in the Field
Two-Day Course in Strain Gage Measurements
and Custom Transducer Development
Course Content: Day 2
Build Custom Strain Gage Load Transducers
Design of Multi-Axis Load Transducers
Calculation of Bridge Output for Various Designs
Selection of Materials
Calibration Techniques and Fixtures
Crosstalk Correction Techniques
Course Content: Day 1
Strain Gage Measurements
Strain Gage Physics
Bridge Output Calculations
Understanding and Preventing Lead Wire Errors
Strain Gage Selection and Installation
Strain Gages for Stress Analysis vs. Transducers
Wiring and Soldering
Excitation Voltage Optimization
Calibration Errors Due to Lead Wires
Using Rosettes for Stress Analysis
Calculation of 3D Stresses from Measured Strains