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  • Automation/DAQ Block Diagram (& General) advice wanted

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by Kealan, Nov 3, 2013.

    1. Kealan

      Kealan New Member

      Oct 2013
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      Hi all,
      I'm a final year Computer Aided Engineering & Design student and I'm working on an Automation process for my final year project, It's a continuous liquid level & temperature control process.

      Basically, I want a datalogger setup so future students can make changes to the setpoints and plot the responses, and use the plots to derive process & controller gains, time constants, etc for their Control Engineering module.
      The HMI is too old a model to log variables, and the PLC code to log is horrible, so I want to use an Arduino to log to an SD card. Different areas of the system have different data types, and analog/digital signals, so before getting stuck in I want to draw a proper block diagram including the connection types and data types along each wire. I'm planning on including this into my final report also, as the existing documentation isn't great.

      I threw together a quick block diagram last night in powerpoint, this is it:

      Obviously it's quite crude, but from just doing this I've realized I'll need a much better approach than drawing boxes in power point and dragging them around the place!
      Is there any tips / methodology to drawing a proper block diagram?
      Should I just colour code the lines for the different data types or should they be annotated / ballooned ?
      I've no experience with anything like this so if anyone has any tips at all they'd be much appreciated.
      On that note, if anyone has any experience of some do's/don't's with Arduinos / Datalogging in general I'd appreciate any help!
      I need to log Temperature, Level, Their respective setpoints, and the proportioning valve's position (the 0-10V) one along with a time-stamp, so I'd imagine it's a relatively simple task

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