So what does industrial data acquisition really mean? Sure, you want the device to be rugged, able to handle hostile temperatures and electrical environments. Of course, the device must be very reliable! Even if there's a voltage glitch or momentary power outage, you really need the device to recover in a well defined state with each I/O set to what you require. Then, how would you communicate with the device... serial, ethernet, field bus of one variety or other?
If we asked a hundred engineers to describe the true industrial data acquisition system I'm sure we'd receive a hundred different responses! So, in an effort to reduce so many variables down to a TOP 10 LIST of considerations, I offer you the following check list:
TOP 10 LIST of Industrial Data Acquisition System Requirements -
1. Inputs protected from broken sensors or field wiring errors,
2. Minimize channel-to-channel, -to-ground interaction with isolation,
3. Uses metal shielding in the enclosure and in the cabling,
4. Use fast and accurate components; 16 bit 100kHz A/D and D/A,
5. Incorporate analog input filters to reduce noise, prevent aliasing,
6. Select a vendor who has the greatest I/O selections available,
7. Make sure the device is designed to operate from -40C to +85C,
8. Require agency certifications such as UL, CSA, FM, and CE
9. Communication ports must be protected to the same degree as I/O,
10. Software "keep-it-simple" and free with samples of C++, Visual Basic, the more support the better!