Finding little secrets to make your car go just a teeny bit faster than everyone else is what wins championships and sets records. Imagine the edge given a drag racer who can tweak fuel flow right before a race.
Texan Trevor Stripling discovered he could use InduSoft Web Studio to monitor and tune his car in real-time as he roars down the track. Competing drivers record data to prep their cars for the next race. Stripling used this edge to set a world record.
Data acquisition (DAQ) in a race car is nothing new. “Just about everybody has data acquisition,” he says, “but it’s all static.” Stripling’s team records data during a race, and then analyzes it afterward to fine tune the engine for the next run. “The key to my success is that I can control the tuning of the car in real time, thanks to InduSoft Web Studio,” Stripling praised.
Like many process control systems, the DAQ system connects to higher-level management software—in this case, a laptop computer in the race car trailer. “In the past, we had to get the laptop out of the trailer, connect it and download the run data, then convert, analyze and graph it,” says Stripling. “With InduSoft Web Studio’s scripting and database connectivity and Maple System’s USB communication ports, we now just touch a button on the screen and a script goes out to the PLC, gets all the log data, converts it to engineering units, and loads it into a database on a USB thumb drive. We simply take the thumb drive to the trailer and plug it into the laptop where all the run data is analyzed and graphed in Excel. We are currently working on adding a wireless USB card to the HMI so we can wirelessly access the run data.”