DSA Blog


G-Wizdom Blog

Welcome to the DSA Blog!

Welcome to the world of G-Wizdom, where we offer a wise and whimsical perspective on Graphical System Design and Automation Engineering.

The culture of Automation Engineering is a world unto itself — complex, multi-disciplinary and quirky. Don’t be surprised if, here, within the domain of G-Wizdom, you recognize personalities, scenarios and perspectives you encounter on the job every day.

Visit us frequently, or subscribe to this site, for periodic light-hearted and insightful comic strip releases, including expert testimony on best practices that are certain to improve your efficiency, quality and understanding in Graphical System Design and Automation Engineering.

ISA Tech Expo Review


On April 17, 2018, Our Founder & CEO, Richard Brueggman, along with Cindy Starr-Stewart, Automation Systems Engineer, attended the ISA Tech EXPO. This is the longest running Automation Expo in all of New York, it is also the only one in the western half of the State. The Expo has been growing with double digit percentages for the past 5 years, and this year was even better due to the new location by the downtown waterfront.

The International Society of Automation (ISA) sets the standard for those who apply engineering and technology to improve the management, safety, and cybersecurity of modern automation and control systems used across industry and critical infrastructure. For engineers, technicians, and management engaged in industrial automation, ISA is the trusted provider of standards-based foundational technical resources, driving the advancement of individual careers and the overall profession. The Expo brings the right people together to create the technologies of the future and share best practices with the next generation of automation professionals.

The most rewarding part of the Expo was getting the opportunity to talk with attendees that visited our booth, and share our knowledge and experience on how we solve scientific & automation engineering problems through laboratory automation, embedded product design & development, manufacturing automation & test automation. And this was the first industry event we attended after becoming a Gold Tier Partner with Parsec Corporation. So, the attendees were very interested in how we help manufacturing operations run more effectively, using real-time data powered by TrakSYSTM.

We are looking forward to next years Tech Expo!

To Train or NOT to Train?

G-Wiz 54It is true that some applications can be developed using LabVIEW without training. National Instruments has provided features that help you assemble the most common functions that their hardware is intended to perform. The phrase “Acquire, Analyze, Present” is often used to summarize those operations. The built-in functionality covers many typical use cases for NI hardware.

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Remember…You Get What You Pay For!

G-Wiz Strip 51

I have seen many project opportunities that were “lost” due to the customer choosing the lowest bid without taking into consideration the costs involved to maintain the application or the skill level of the developer. I used quotes on the word “lost” because we often see these types of projects make their way back to DSA in order to fix the problems the original “lowest bid” developer could not solve.

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Where’s the Beef?

G-Wiz Comic 56

Queued State Machine, Queued Message handler, Master/Slave, Producer Consumer, Channeled State Machine … (the list goes on) are design patterns often used to develop applications in LabVIEW. They each have their own features and no single design pattern is correct for every situation and application. Choosing the appropriate design pattern or creating a customized variation is key to developing a robust application that will meet the requirements and grow as the application grows over the years.

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Exploiting LabVIEW Libraries

Have you ever viewed a LabVIEW VI Hierarchy and become frustrated with not being able to locate a VI you needed to open?

Do you have large applications composed of similar modules but fear jumping, with both feet, into the learning curve of LVOOP?

Did you ever try to duplicate a sub-VI at the start of a new set of functions and find yourself deep in a nest of cross-linked VIs, or save a VI only to realize that the most suitable name has already been used?

Then using LabVIEW Libraries may be useful to you (see Figure 1)!

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