Driving DAQ Product Development with the Customer’s Voice

Dewesoft is engineering its data acquisition tools for the new rigors of vehicle electrification and autonomy.

Dewesoft’s newest Sirius XHS high-speed data acquisition system includes its DewesoftX "free upgrades forever" software. (Dewesoft)

As the automotive industry pivots toward mobility and its focus on vehicle electrification and autonomy, data acquisition (DAQ) tools are evolving apace. Slovenia-based Dewesoft is in the vanguard of DAQ suppliers with a customer-centric approach to product development. John Miller (below), VP of engineering at Dewesoft’s U.S. facility in Whitehouse, Ohio, recently spoke with editor Lindsay Brooke about his company’s trajectory.

John Miller, Dewesoft

Dewesoft’s website states that your products reflect the voice of the customer. What are customers asking for in terms of DAQ equipment and capabilities today?

A lot of companies go after ‘Faster! Smaller! More rugged!’ Better environmental specs, etc. Those improvements are, of course, important and certainly something we consider in our development. But reflecting the voice of the customer requires a deeper understanding of the customer’s projects and pain points. That’s what our customers are asking us to address through continuous improvements. We update our software four-six times per year, and you can go online and download that at no cost whenever you would like. Once you’ve heard what customers are asking for, you need to spend time to implement those requests. This is where a lot of folks fall short, but we spend the time listening to the customer and changing our products accordingly.

Your equipment has a reputation for being super robust. What is the next phase of durability for DAQ equipment?

It becomes a lot more application specific. ‘Durability’ to one application may mean something completely different to another. The electrification world, for instance, isn’t used to having IP67 instruments because you really don’t measure high voltage under water! [IP67 is an ingress-protection standard, indicating the device has been tested to work for at least 30 minutes while under 15 cm to 1 m of water, among other criteria.] The EV guys’ desire for ‘more durable’ might be environmental specs. Our power analyzers, for example, maintain excellent accuracy while offering instrument operation in a much wider temperature range, for cold or hot weather tests, than compared with other standard benchtop units.

How is electrification influencing your product development?

Dewesoft has always been a strong player in the power market, be it the grid or other types of power. Electrification of vehicles and power tools came naturally to us because we had a lot of those tools already created. Recently we have responded to our customer requests for faster sampling and respective necessary processing capabilities; with electrification some things require really fast sample rates. Our XHS system can sample continuously up to 15 megasamples [million samples] to capture faster transients and measure more advanced power-quality parameters. As a result of pushing the envelope on the hardware side of sampling requirements, we had to do the same on the software side. So now we’re tapping into high-performance graphics cards to help with the processing load requirements to make those power computations at these new higher speeds.

What challenges may be facing NVH test, vibration- and acoustic-analysis DAQ that don’t exist today?

Remove the combustion engine and the vehicle creates a lot less noise. With a decreased noise floor, you’re effectively heightening the senses of the operator. We see this trend as a new opportunity to improve our products in this area.

What percentage of Dewesoft DAQ products are used on the bench in laboratories and test centers, versus those used in mobile applications?

It’s a tough question to answer because all of our units are rugged and relatively small. They can all run off of 9 to 36 volts. So, you can use them on the benchtop or in vehicles. A lot of our customers will do both. They may buy it for a lab-type environment, but they’ll take that same instrument and plug it into vehicle power to use in a more mobile environment.