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Identifying hardware failures in 60s with historical data

We built Symplify™ with the intention of answering any question at any time. In this example, the continuous stream of Tags to disk helped our client identify a failure on their equipment and greatly accelerate the warranty repair process.

Hydrogen power station

Our client in the fuel cell business had been running tests with their equipment for a few months when the Automated Test System (ATS) started reporting failures with some of their stacks. After reviewing the results from their files, they noticed strange patterns that could not be explained by changes in the fuel cell stack components.

Their next step was to contact us help them understand what was going on with the ATS to resume their testing as soon as possible. One of our senior engineer connected with them remotely and looked at the recent result files. Then, they showed our client the TDMS files on disk that continuously stream all Tags values to disk every 100ms. From there, they were able to look into many “private” properties of the power supply along with its reported voltage and current outputs against the requested values.

TDMS Viewer with multiple files from application execution
TDMS Viewer with multiple files from application execution

Our client produced a few screenshots from the previous day’s results and sent those to the power supply manufacturer, expecting to quickly get a RMA number and proceed with the repair. Unfortunately, the manufacturer replied that their power supplies were reliable and the problem had to be elsewhere in the ATS. They gave our client a long list of questions and measurements to take in order to confirm that it was really the power supply.

The flexibility of always having the information easily available

When our client shared that information with us the following day, we pointed out that the results used to be correct so we should look into older data. Within minutes, they were able to produce 3 images from 60, 30 and 15 days earlier that showed the evolution of the power supply’s issue. Those images were the content of the next email with the manufacturer and since it was very convincing. The data was convincing in showing that the power supply was very likely at fault, and the warranty repair process was promptly initiated.

Symplify™, Accelerating Innovation in 60s, 24/7.

Just like for this client, the historical data stored on disk often sits untouched for long periods of time. However, in every project, there is always a time where this information proves highly valuable. Why would you run more tests without it? Start your evaluation of Symplify today.

[Note: Some elements of this story were adapted for this blog post in order to respect our client’s confidentiality.]

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