QMT Features: September 2007
Sensor paradise
A new dawn has arrived with EVE, a completely integrated, out-of-the-box solution for measurement, test and analysis across a wide range of industry sectors. By Brendan Coyne.

Stress beam testing at the USA based Innovative Testing Services
using MTII's EVE data acquisition system.
Courtesy of MTI Instruments
“You have to get one of these!” that’s what Peng Lim, CEO of MTI wants every customer who buys an MTI Instruments next generation measurement system to say to all their friends and colleagues.  Lim is enthusing about EVE, the latest development from the Instruments subsidiary of MTI. EVE is a system that combines precision non-contact measurement technology with complete data acquisition and analysis “It is a complete solution providing fully integrated measurement, allowing the user to combine measurements as they wish.” says Bob Kot, VP and general manager of MTI Instruments.

Based in Albany, NY, USA, MTI Instruments develops and manufactures measuring devices for a range of industries including aerospace, computer, medical and automotive. MTI Instruments is experiencing fast track growth with profitable sales revenue of $7.7million in 2006, up 27% over 2005 and is on track for further 15% growth in 2007.

MTI Instruments’ new product, EVE, is expected to make a significant contribution to this growth. "This is the most important product launch in five years for this company," said Bob Kot. "EVE addresses a market much larger than any other market MTI has addressed in the past."  According to market analysts, Frost & Sullivan, this market is forecasted to reach nearly $1 billion by 2009, and, in the sector EVE is addressing, sales are forecasted to grow at an annual rate of 13.4%. These growth projections don’t include the applications market for this product,” says Bob Kot, “These offer further growth opportunities in the medium to low complexity application areas across a wide range of industries. To illustrate, we are currently beta testing applications across the printing, construction, materials testing labs and defence industries.”

“EVE is designed to help users solve complex measurement problems by providing precision non-contact measurement, advanced data acquisition, data analysis, touch screen user interface, and intuitive operation.” says Bob Kot. “ EVE is 100% compatible, out-of-the-box, with virtually all sensors from other manufacturers along with the entire line of MTI Instruments' precision non-contact displacement sensors providing a complete solution to customers.”

"EVE is the culmination of research with end users, system integrators and distributors and representatives in our sales channel," said Gordon Reid, senior director of sales and marketing. “On our research visits, we had a lengthy and detailed check list of questions to help us define the new product specification,” said Bob Kot, “But we quickly found there was a consistent message in what they were telling us, which was, they wanted everything in a box. They wanted a complete system--not just components. And they didn't want to have to do any programming or integration. Manufacturing companies no longer have the people with the skills sets and time to get to grips with system integration, programming and application of measurement technologies to their processes. They also wanted flexibility and value for money - more for less.” Continuing the theme, Gordon Reid, said,  "Our product development research indicated a strong desire for these requirements including flexibility, processing speed, analysis capabilities, and ease of use. We have exceeded these requirements with the introduction of EVE, a complete measurement system.”

Featuring an auto-discovery of sensor inputs, EVE is able to accept data from multiple analogue and/or digital channels (up to 14 sensor inputs and 8 digital inputs/outputs) allowing numerous variables to be measured and correlated in real-time. Results can be displayed real-time in graphical or numerical form. Data can be stored internally, on USB memory sticks or transmitted via Ethernet to any IP address on a particular network. EVE works with MTI Instruments sensors but can also be incorporated into its competitors’ systems. It has a 60-gigabyte hard drive, uses a Windows operating system and an Intel processor and can store an unlimited number of application and test configurations. Controlled via a 6.5inch touch screen, EVE employs an intuitive approach to operation and programming.  The system can take measurements, such as speed, displacement, temperature, airflow and vibration and has hundreds of applications.

Eve utilizes a powerful concept called a "recipe".  A recipe defines the ingredients, their amount and the exact manufacturing or test process - identically, every time.

 Designed for ease of use and interpretation of results, the user can configure the system based on their needs and save the recipe for future use. It advises what input channels have been installed. It lets the user combine measurements as they wish, display the information as they wish and log the data as required. - without the selection of software code - through simple touch screen selections. The recipe guarantees exact replication of tests and dramatically reduces set-up time. Specific knowledge of software is not required as EVE's user interface guides the operator through set-up and use. It documents and validates the tests and ensures compliance. “A test engineer doesn’t want to program. He wants to design a protocol, then test and save as a fully traceable recipe so he doesn’t have to re-write. EVE supplies downloadable generic recipe models, fully traceable, which are easy to program and customise. Typically, it takes half a day to create a recipe, depending on application. Thereafter, to re-write, or modify it can take just a few minutes, again, depending on complexity. It is an intuitive approach to programming and test which frees up the engineer’s time,” says Don Welch, director of engineering for MTI Instruments.

Helping to guarantee system accuracy and reliability,  EVE has a complete self-test recipe built in.

"We believe EVE is the first system that incorporates precision non-contact dimensional measurement technology within a complete and scalable data acquisition system," said Robert Kot, ” It is configurable for virtually any configuration. EVE has been designed from the ground up to satisfy the demand from industry for a solutions approach to test and analysis.”l
Bob Kot’s email: bkot@mtiinstruments.com


European distributor is QGS: www.qgs.co.uk
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