Industrial Controls

AVID designs custom solutions for the leading providers of Industrial Automation and Processing controls.

From high volume module design, to single custom control panels and devices, our IP and harsh environment design capabilities make us the go-to design partner for the most demanding applications. Our core areas of design include:

Process Control


  • Controller modules
    • PID
    • FPGA/ DSP coprocessors
    • Industrial network interfaces
  • I/O modules
    • Analog & Digital modules
      • Low current 4-20mA
      • High precision 24 bit
      • Low noise
  • Network modules
    • Industrial Networking
      • HART/ Wireless HART
      • Profibus
      • Modbus
      • Ethercat

Request a Design Consultation

Work directly with seasoned engineers with proven electronic design techniques & technologies to reduce costs and get your design to market faster.

Complete our brief form to get started. We try our best to follow up within 24 hours of receiving inquiries.

Submit a Request

Case Studies


HART-Enabled Interfaces

Industrial Communication DevicesProject:
HART-Enabled Interfaces

Application
Industrial Communication Devices

Customer Need
The HART industrial communication protocol is the most prevalent digital communications interface used today for smart transmitters and actuator devices. This digital communications allows plant operators to retrieve additional information from the field devices for maintenance, asset management, diagnostics, and normal process monitoring. Plant personnel have the need for portable devices that communicate via HART. Additionally, many older plants cannot take advantage of smart transmitters and field actuators as the control systems are not HART-enabled. These interface devices allow plant personnel access to this enhanced data.

AVID’s Solution
AVID has helped our client become the standard HART interface against which all other HART devices are measured. Using a highly customized discrete solution for the HART front end with an advanced ASIC for the protocol has allowed our customer to deliver HART interfaces with serial, USB, and Bluetooth connection to laptops and PDAs. Participating in the HART standard’s committees has allowed us to not only develop products, but also contribute to the standard and compliance requirements. More recent development has been in the Wireless HART area where we have participated in the draft standard. We have completed a Wireless HART adaptor design which allows existing HART devices to communicate over the new wireless HART network. Innovations in low power design and power management have resulted in a loop powered device with 1V insertion loss. Additionally, the product has been designed for compliance with hazardous location requirements. The housing provides for mounting to the spare port of a smart device.

Value Added or Technologies Applied

  • Participation in the Wireless HART Standards Committee and Working Groups
  • Product Specification
  • Product Packaging and Device Interface. Material Selections Compliant with Standards
  • Hardware, Firmware, and Mechanical Design and Documentation. Advanced Antenna Design
  • Prototype and Validation
  • PC Application and Device Drivers
  • Engineering Build for Agency Test and Field Trials
  • FM, ATEX Submittal and Support
  • Production Test System Development
  • Manufacturing Support
Optical Inspection System

Optical Inspection SystemProject:
Optical Inspection System

Application
Bottle Production

Customer Need
An optical inspection system that quickly identifies product flaws on a high-speed production line. Our customer developed proprietary techniques to detect these flaws by using the reflected light intensity. The final system required tightly packaged electronics for the optical source and the detector, which could accurately and reliably sense these variations in the reflected light intensity. Customer Intellectual Property implemented in a FPGA was to be incorporated in the design.

AVID’s Solution
Maintaining a consistent light source was crucial to the proper detection of these flaws. This involved tight regulation of the LED current using closed loop PWM control techniques. As several light sources from different directions were used, any single LED needed ON/OFF control based on system timing. The optical sensing circuit required special care during the component selection and the PCB layout phases to minimize the system noise while still achieving the required amplification and bandwidth required by the high-speed system. The system packaging required the design to be implemented on several small boards, which interfaced together to complete the assembly. Proper partitioning was critical in order to keep the low level signals localized and away from noise sources. Careful layout along with simulations, analysis and refinement of the analog circuitry was required to achieve the system performance objectives.

Value Added or Technologies Applied

  • Part Selection / System Partitioning
  • Hardware and Firmware Design
  • Prototype and Validation
  • Engineering Build for Evaluation and Field Trials
  • Low-Volume Initial Production
  • Prototype and Validation
  • Production Test System Development
  • Manufacturing Support and Product Life Cycle Management
Automated Production Tester

Automated Production TesterProject:
Automated Production Tester

Application
Spark Plug Production Line

Customer Need
A production tester of spark plugs which can be programmed for over 100 different product models and interfaces to a PLC used to control the production line. Both PLC feedback and visual pass-fail indication was required.

AVID’s Solution
The primarily pass-fail measurement for spark plugs is impedance. This measurement is made by firing a high voltage across the plug, measuring instantaneous voltage and current, and calculating the impedance. This impedance is compared to an acceptance range defined by the model. AVID created a tester which develops 1000VDC and provides all required isolated measurement circuitry. A user interface with LED and LCD displays was designed for monitoring the tester operation and results, configuration and setup, and tester calibration with common bench instruments. A serial protocol was implemented which triggers the test start from the PLC and provides the test results back to use for product binning.

Value Added or Technologies Applied

  • Hardware, Firmware Design
  • Mechanical Packaging
  • Prototype and Validation
  • Production Test and Periodic Calibration Procedures, Fixtures
  • Tester Production and Life Cycle Support
Distributed Temperature Control System

Distributed Temperature Control SystemProject:
Distributed Temperature Control System

Application
Production Process Control

Customer Need
Our customer supplied custom designed and thermal blankets which were fitted to piping in process plants. Previous installations by our customer required a central temperature controller with home run wiring to connect RTDs and AC controls to thermal blankets used to maintain process pipe at required temperatures. The goal was to develop a low cost distributed system that performed stand-alone control and eliminated long wiring. User installation and setup needed to be simple.

AVID’s Solution
AVID developed a single channel temperature controller which provides ON/OFF AC control to the thermal blankets. Since AC is needed at the blanket anyway, a short pig-tail wire was all that is required. A separate short connection to a local RTD connects via pre-wired connector. The controllers are designed to daisy-chain from a single User Interface Panel. Device addressing is automatic. A common off-the-shelf CAT5 cable provides power and communications to the chain. Up to 40 controllers can be chained together. The User Interface allows setup of a multi-zone system, monitors the system operation and alarms, and provides the ability to interface to a computer for data logging or other database functions.

Value Added or Technologies Applied

  • System Specification / System Architecture
  • Hardware and Firmware Design for Local Controllers and User Interface
  • Industrial Design and Mechanical Packaging
  • Prototype and Validation
  • Production Test System Development
  • Manufacturing Support and Product Life Cycle Management

REQUEST ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For additional information on AVID's Services or to request a design consultation, please contact us today!

Contact Us