Strain Measurement Instrumentation:
Many commercial and experimental transducers
utilise resistance wire strain gauges to measure the small changes in physical form that
result from the application of physical loading. Transducers for the measurement of
pressure, tensile, rotational and compressive force, angular displacement and acceleration
are all commercially available and the field measurement environment demands portable
readout systems that retain the accuracy of laboratory instruments with practical operator
CADEANCO manufactures a range of readout devices
for both single and multi-channel applications to cover all of the basic measurement
configurations of resistance wire strain gauge circuits. All of these readouts
employ the same proven design components and our designs can be adapted to
accommodate unusual or experimental measurement applications.
Data Logging Systems:
The collection of data has become a science in its own right and there are many
commercial data logging systems for the myriad of sensors available. CADEANCO and
its network partners have over 25 years of practical experience in the design, manufacture
and application of data acquisition systems, many designed for unique or unusual
applications in the mining and geotechnical field. These include IP67
Systems for both
submerged and buried installations as well as OEM Systems that are intrinsically safe and
approved for use in petroleum and coal mining applications.
By combining our field experience and design
techniques, we can generate a solution to almost any data acquisition problem and then
complete the design cycle by producing an integrated hardware and software package
tailored to your specific requirements.
Materials Testing Systems:
A great number of laboratory testing applications require the determination of
the properties of samples taken in the field for both investigative and quality assurance
purposes. CADEANCO has designed and manufactured measurement
systems to determine the strength of rock core samples and incorporation of
microprocessor technology into these systems greatly reduces operator workload for
recording of sample data. The integration of the measurement system with personal
computers ensures the integrity of test data which is available for processing immediately
without having to be copied into spreadsheet applications.
Measurement of in-situ loads, especially roof
loads of underground excavations such as mines and tunnels, has been made easier through
the development of strain gauge load cells.
CADEANCO can supply two basic cells to suit both conventional roof bolt (26mm ID) and high
strength cable strand bolts (17mm ID) load measurement applications. These cells are
manufactured using NC machining techniques which produces a repeatable loading performance
curve. Each cell has a matched spherical-seat washer to remove asymmetrical loading
and give a true indication of axial load on the tension member. Both cells share a
common physical specification and can be read using either the multi-channel IS2000
readout with FBC Interface or the single channel LCM1 readout.
The measurement of sample displacement under
varying load conditions is a basic requirement of many laboratory test procedures.
CADEANCO can design, manufacture and install custom displacement
measurement sensors using a variety of transducers to suit most specifications.
We are also able to integrate sensors with signal conditioning systems to provide a
convenient manual or automatic data presentation interface.
Microprocessor Instrumentation Systems:
The rapid development of microprocessor technology over
the last six years has given these tiny components much of the processing power of full
desktop personal computers of only a few years ago. CADEANCO and its alliance
partners have been utilising these advances to develop systems that carry out their
measurements as close to the point of application as possible, thus reducing errors in the
measurement process and recording data without the need for operator intervention.
Such systems are able to record data in a reliable and repetitive manner, ensuring
that variances due to the operator are minimised. This capability has provided data
trends on background parameters such as tidal influences to be monitored and corrections
to target data to be made for more precise results, a task impossible to perform with
manual data monitoring.
Although automated data logging systems have been
employed for many years, this new generation of systems allows the measurement to be
calibrated over its range for a corrected data output directly in engineering units.
This technique can be utilised for local display of data on multi-line alphanumeric
displays which can also provide preferred output dimensions, simple instructions,
warning signs and on-line help to the operator.
The microprocessor also allows instruments to be
run by remote control from a personal computer connected via an RS232 or RS485 serial
interface. This active interface enables data to be recorded directly to data
files, included into existing databases or appended to screen charts if required. In
addition to dispensing with manual recording of output data, the remote control facility
ensures operator safety during hazardous sample testing.
Rack-mount Instrumentation Systems:
Many laboratories employ instrumentation systems housed in 19" rack-mount
modules that enable complete systems to be moved around the sample testing area as
CADEANCO has developed a selection of electronic
sub-systems that can be readily housed in rack-mount cases to create custom
instrumentation solutions for almost any particular need. We can design the layout
of front and rear panel components to your specification and oversee all aspects of the
design including mechanical drafting, panel metalwork, custom screen-printing and
integration of the rack components into the existing testing environment.
Modules manufactured for customers have included
power supplies, stepping motor controllers, signal patch panel boards, temperature
controllers and communications interfaces as well as signal conditioning modules for
displacement transducers, pressure transducers, LVDT transducers, DCDT transducers and
strain gauge circuits.
CADEANCO uses LabVIEW
Virtual Interface software supplied by National Instruments
exclusively for the design of Windows software used to communicate with its intelligent
instrument devices. This state-of -the-art software has all of the features required
to design an instrumentation system within the computer, communicating to the testing
environment through the existing serial interfaces or via proprietary interface cards
available from National Instruments. All controls and indicators are available to
the operator on the monitor display and control outputs can be changed by dragging the
displayed knobs and dials to the required values with the computer mouse.
The Virtual Interface (VI) allows instrumentation
systems to have an unlimited life as software can be amended or extended to include new
features as required. Similarly, operator safety can be enhanced by astute design of
the interface to prevent hazardous sequences of events to occur, while operator error is
greatly diminished by removing access to unimportant or distracting panel functions at
critical phases of the test process. When combined with the versatility of
microprocessor controlled testing hardware, the LabVIEW Interface makes possible
additional features such as password protection to selected system functions, high speed
data recovery and remote access via landline, radio and GSM telemetry.
Automatic Settlement Monitoring Systems:
In August 1996, CADEANCO and its alliance partners were
approached by the Airport Authority Hong Kong to design an automatic instrumentation
system to monitor settlement measurement devices installed in the reclaimed landfill
material forming the expanded island of Chek Lap Kok. This man-made island of 1248
hectares was created to carry the new Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and was the
largest civil engineering project ever proposed to that time. By November 1996,
construction of the platform was complete and a prototype of the Automatic Magnetic
Extensometer Controller (AMEC) system to monitor both magnetic extensometers and vibrating
wire piezometers was presented to the Geotechnical Engineering Section for their
approval. The design of the platform was the first of its kind and there will
continue to be considerable interest in its performance for the first five to ten years of
its operational life. Instruments were installed in clusters at twenty-five selected
sites across the platform and these were read manually during the construction phase of
the project. Once the airport infrastructure began to take shape however, access to
these sites became more difficult and will be severely restricted once aircraft are using
After presentations and discussion with a number
of Hong Kong based instrument companies, approval for the system was finally granted and
the first instrument was installed in April 1998, continuing in stages for the next three
months. The specification called for battery powered instrumentation that could
operate unattended for extended periods of time, submerged in up to 2m of water. The
original design was amended after an evaluation of the initial data and continues to
provide high quality data that will contribute to the evaluation of design parameters for
future reclamation projects throughout the world.