Understanding the Gaging Device Format Definition

Gaging Device Format Definition

The Format Definition section specifies how a gage is accessed and how the data is parsed into the separate fields. The format definition can contain items such as gage initialization string, whether or not fields are comma or tab separated and character positions for the data.

Format Description

Name (Format Description Name)

Type: ASCII String

Required: Yes

Description: Name is used to access a specific Format Description. Though not enforced, Name should be unique within a specific Gage Interface Type.

Example: Comma Separated

Type (Data Type)

Specifies the record data type such as "ASCII/Text", "BINARY (LSB First)" or "BINARY (MSB First)".

Resolution Bits

Type: Integer Value

Required: Yes - for all Binary Data Types

Description: For non-ASCII data types, Resolution Bits defines the number of binary steps with in the data.

Example: A 14 Bit gage would have 16,384 possible steps (2 raised to the power of 14).

Full Scale Value

Type: Integer Value

Required: Yes - for all Binary Data Types

Description: For non-ASCII data types, the Full Scale Value defines the maximum range of the digital probe.

Example: A Solartron DP5 has a full-scale value or range of 5 millimeters (0.19685 inches).

Record Description

Record Length

Type: Integer Value

Required: No

Description: Specifies the total number of characters that make up a valid record. This length includes all characters including those that make up the Record Start and Record Terminator characters. If Record Length is not specified, record length is not checked.

Example: 15
[The first 15 characters are assumed to be the complete record length.]

Record Start

Type: 15 characters maximum

Required: No

Description: Specifies the character(s) used to indicate the beginning of a valid record. If Record Start is not specified, the start of a record immediately follows the end of the previous record.

Example: <2>
[Record begins with an ASCII value 2.]

Record Terminator

Type: 15 characters maximum

Required: No

Description: Specifies the character(s) used to indicate the end of a valid record. If Record Terminator is not specified, a Record Length must be specified.

Example: <13><10>
[Record ends with carriage return/line feed.]

Field Separator

Type: 1 character maximum

Required: No

Description: Specifies the character used to delimit one field from the next. If Field Separator is not specified, the record format is assumed to be a fixed format. Fixed format data requires character positions to be specified for each data field.

Example: ,
[Fields are separated by a comma character.]

Field Types and Descriptions

Defect/Defective Code

Type: Field Information

Required: No

Description: This is a unique field used for specialized equipment (not common with most gaging devices). It specifies an attribute code to associate to the measurement (for attribute tests).

Literal (NRM, MIN, MAX)

Type: Field Information

Required: No

Description: Many gages send values in different modes (i.e. MIN, MAX, TIR, NRM). Literal is generally used to further validate the record information received from the gaging device.

Reading Number

Type: Field Information

Required: No

Description: Measurement/Value identifies the field that contains the actual gage reading.

Measurement Value A

Type: Field Information

Required: No

Description: Measurement Value A identifies the field that contains the actual gage reading.

Measurement Value B

Type: Field Information

Required: No

Description: Measurement Value B identifies the field that contains the actual gage reading.

Defining Gage Field Information

Field#

Field number is only used when the records contain a field separator character (i.e. comma, tab, space...). The field number value specifies the location of the field within the record.

Start Position

Following the Field Number is Start Position. It indicates the starting character of the data within the field. For records that do not specify a separator, the value is with reference to the first character of the record. If a separator is specified the value is with reference to the first character following the separator.

If a Start Position is not specified, and...

  • a separator is specified, the field is assumed to begin with the first character following the separator;
  • no separator is specified, the field begins at the first character of the record.

Length

Following the Start Position is Length. It indicates the number of characters that make up the field. The length is counted from the Start Position to the last valid character in the field. If no Field Length is specified, the complete field is read.

Command

Following Field Length is Command. It can be used to ignore or validate records. Available commands are:

EQ - Equal To
NE - Not Equal To
LT - Less Than
LE - Less Than or Equal to
GT - Greater Than
GE - Greater Than or Equal to

Special Option(s)

If both Measurement Value A and B are defined then return.

This special option is used only when field definitions have been defined for both Measurement A and Measurement B and primarily with digital probes in a dynamic operation mode.

A dynamic gaging operation is one where the part is moved or rotated with in a gaging fixture. The gaging device reports the maximum and minimum values once the dynamic operation is completed. These maximum and minimum values would be captured as Measurement Value A and Measurement Value B.

Processing options support returning:

Value A - Value as reported in Measurement A
Value B - Value as reported in Measurement B
Difference (A - B) - Difference of Measurement A minus Measurement B (TIR)
Average (A, B) - Average of Measurement A and Measurement B
Sum (A + B) - Sum of Measurement A and Measurement B

Advanced Options

Gage Initialization Command

Type: 31 characters maximum

Required: No

Description: Specifies an initialization string to send to the gage/mux. If a Gage Initialization Command is not specified, no initialization string will be sent to the gage. This command is sent to the gage whenever a new gage is selected for the first time. In Shop Floor SPC, the command is sent each time that a Project file is loaded.

Example: <2><2><13>S<ID>[SN]<0>
[Initializes Solartron Probe assigning ID to specified probe Serial Number]

Measurement Initialization Command

Type: 31 characters maximum

Required: No

Description: Specifies an initialization string to send to the gage/mux prior to reading the gage. If a Measurement Initialization Command is not specified, no initialization string will be sent to the gage. This command is the first in a series of commands that can be sent to the gage/mux prior to reading the gage. It can be used to put the gaging device or interface into a proper operation mode for the characteristic being monitored. For example specifying either static or dynamic modes of operation.

Example: <2><2><2>F<ID>
[Sets Solartron Orbit Difference Mode (TIR)]

Measurement Start Command

Type: 31 characters maximum

Required: No

Description: Specifies an initialization string to send to the gage/mux prior to reading the gage. If a Measurement Start Command is not specified, no initialization string will be sent to the gage. This command is the second in a series of commands that can be sent to the gage/mux prior to reading the gage. It is intended to be used to tell the gage/mux to begin taking measurements in a dynamic mode of operation.

Example: <0><2>O<0>
[Starts Solartron Orbit Difference Mode (TIR)]

Measurement Stop Command

Type: 31 characters maximum

Required: No

Description: Specifies an initialization string to send to the gage/mux prior to reading the gage. If a Measurement Start Command is not specified, no initialization string will be sent to the gage. This command is the third in a series of commands that can be sent to the gage/mux prior to reading the gage. It is intended to be used to tell the gage/mux to stop taking measurements in a dynamic mode of operation. If a Measurement Stop Command is specified, the operator will be required to press the Read button in InfinityQS twice and the InfinityQS Data Entry option, Continually poll gaging device for reading, should be disabled.

Example: <0><2>H<0>
[Ends Solartron Orbit Difference Mode (TIR)]

Measurement Read Command

Type: 31 characters maximum

Required: No

Description: Specifies an initialization string to send to the gage prior to requesting data. This command is the third in a series of commands that can be sent to the gage/mux prior to reading the gage. If a Measurement Read Command is not specified, no initialization string will be sent to the gage.

Example: R1<13>
[Sends the characters "R" and "1" followed by an ASCII 13 (Carriage Return)]

Measurement Post Command

Type: 31 characters maximum

Required: No

Description: Specifies an initialization string to send to the gage after a valid gage reading. If a Measurement Post Read Command is not specified, no string will be sent to the gage after a valid reading.

Example: T1<13>
[Sends the characters "T" and "1" followed by an ASCII 13 (Carriage Return)]

Measurement Request Command

Type:31 characters maximum

Required: No

Description: Specifies a string sent by the gaging device to indicate that a measurement is being requested. After receiving this command from the gaging device the Gage Server will wait a specified time (Meas. Delay) and send a Measurement Read Command to the gaging device. If a Measurement Request Command is not specified, the gaging device will not be checked for a Measurement Request Command.

Example: F
[Checks for an "F" terminated by the Record Terminator characters]

Measurement Command Delay (ms)

Type: Integer Value

Required: No

Description: Specifies the length of time (in milliseconds) to wait after sending one of the Measurement Commands before continuing. Measurement Command Delay is generally only necessary when sending a command to the gage (i.e. Measurement Read Command to request a measurement) or when clearing the communication buffers (Clear Communication Buffers Before Reading Gage) prior to taking a measurement.

Example: 100
[Specifies a 100 millisecond delay]

Measurement Read Timeout (ms)

Type: Integer Value

Required: No

Description: Specifies the maximum length of time (in milliseconds) a gage/mux is to be interrogated for a valid reading before aborting the attempt. Measurement Read Timeout can be used when sending a command to the gage (i.e. Measurement Read Command to request a measurement) to request a measurement. The Gage Server will continuing checking for a valid reading from the gage interface for the specified number of milliseconds. As soon as a valid value is found it will be returned without further delay.

Example: 100
[Specifies a 100 millisecond delay]

Clear Communication Buffers Before Reading Gage

Description: Clear Communication Buffers Before Read Gage is used to specify whether or not the communication buffer should be cleared (flushed) prior to requesting data from the gaging device. This option is often used when a Measurement Read Command has been specified. Doing so ensures no data remains in the communication buffer that may be misinterpreted as a valid reading.

Clear Communication Buffers After Valid Gage Reading

Description: Clear Communication Buffers Before After Valid Gage Reading is used to specify whether or not the communication buffer should be cleared (flushed) after a valid reading has been detected. This option is used clear the communication buffers of superfluous information that might be misinterpreted as a gage reading during the next gage read.

Configuration Example 1 - Value Only

The following line is a record received from a gage/mux.

1.2345<cr>

The data type is ASCII/Text. Each record consists of a value terminated by a carriage return.

The format definition is defined as follows:

  • The data Type is ASCII/Text as with most gaging devices.
  • The Record Terminator is designated by <13> the ASCII values for a carriage return.
  • The Measurement Value A is specified as Field# 1 (the only field).

Configuration Example 2 - GageTalker

GageTalker Corporation's Digital GagePort NT default printer mode output is defined as follows:

NNNN,##########,MMMMM,PP<cr>

Where:

  • NNNN
    [Four digit reading number field. This field increments individually for each port number.]
  • ###########
    [Ten digit reading field with embedded decimal place and minus sign if necessary.]
  • MMMMM
    [Five character mode field. This field is filled with spaces unless the GagePort is operating in dynamic mode. In dynamic mode, the reading labels MIN, MAX, TIR and AVG appear in this field.]
  • PP
    [Two digit port number. This is the number of the individual gage port.]
  • <cr>
    [Records are terminated with carriage return.]

The format definition is defined as follows:

  • The data Type is ASCII/Text as with most gaging devices.
  • The Record Terminator is designated by <13> the ASCII value for a carriage return.
  • The Field Separator is specified as a comma.
  • The Multiplexer Channel Number is specified as Field# 4.
  • The Measurement Value A is specified as Field# 2.
  • The Reading Number is specified as Field# 1.

Configuration Example 3 - Mitutoyo Mux 10

MITUTOYO Corporation's MUX10 is defined as follows:

01A+12345678<cr>

Where:

  • character 1
    [0 - always]
  • character 2
    [1, 2, 3 - channel input number]
  • character 3
    [A - always]
  • characters 4-12
    [Gage measurement with floating decimal point. The spaces from the ± sign to the first significant measurement value are filled with zeroes.]
  • character 13
    [<cr>, carriage return - ASCII 13]

The format definition is defined as follows:

  • The data Type is ASCII/Text as with most gaging devices.
  • The Record Length is specified as 12.
  • The Record Terminator is designated by <13> the ASCII value for a carriage return.
  • The Multiplexer Channel Number is specified with a Start Position of 2 and a Length of 1.
  • The Measurement Value A is specified with a Start Position of 4 and a Length of 9.

Configuration Example 4 - Royce Instruments

Royce Instrument's MB550 Short Formatis defined as follows:

NNNNN,########,UUUUU,CC<cr><lf>

Where:

  • NNNNN
    [Five digit reading number field. This field increments for each test performed.]
  • #########
    [Eight digit reading field with embedded decimal place and minus sign if necessary.]
  • UUUUU
    [Five character unit field. This field specifies the units of the measurement.]
  • CC
    [Two digit code value.]
  • <cr><lf>
    [Records are terminated with a carriage return.]

The format definition is defined as follows:

  • The data Type is ASCII/Text as with most gaging devices.
  • The Record Terminator is designated by <13><10> the ASCII values for a carriage return and line feed.
  • The Field Separator is specified as a comma.
  • The Defect/Defective Codeis specified as Field# 4.
  • The Measurement Value A is specified as Field# 2.
  • The Reading Number is specified as Field# 1.

Configuration Example 5 - Gage Connections (Foot Switch Activated)

Gage Connection multiplexer's supports both a computer command to read a specific channel number. In addition the Multiplexer can be configured to send a request for measurement commend to the computer whenever the foot switch is activated.

Their comma separated value mode is defined as follows:

NNNN,##########,MMMMM,PP<cr>

Where:

  • NNNN
    [Four digit reading number field. This field increments individually for each port number.]
  • ###########
    [Ten digit reading field with embedded decimal place and minus sign if necessary.]
  • MMMMM
    [Five character mode field. This field is filled specifies the mode of operation. The normal mode is specified as NRM. In dynamic mode, the reading labels MIN, MAX, TIR and AVG appear in this field.]
  • PP
    [Two digit port number. This is the number of the individual gage port.]
  • <cr>
    [Records are terminated with carriage return.]

The format definition is defined as follows:

  • The data Type is ASCII/Text as with most gaging devices.
  • The Record Terminator is designated by <13> the ASCII value for a carriage return.
  • The Field Separator is specified as a comma.
  • The Gage Initialization String is specified as F2<13>. This string is sent to the gage multiplexer during the initialization process. The effect of which is to put the multiplexer in foot switch activated mode.
  • The Measurement Read Command is specified a R[CH]<13>. This string is sent to the gage multiplexer to request a reading be returned to the computer. During the actual operation the [CH] will be converted to the channel number of the multiplexer for which a reading is requested. This conversion will be done prior to sending the string to the multiplexer.
  • The Measurement Request Command is specified a F<13>. This is the string that the multiplexer sends indicating that the foot switch has been pressed.
  • The Meas. Delay is specified as 100 indicating that the software will wait for 100 milliseconds after receiving the Measurement Request Command before sending the Measurement Read Command. The software will also wait for 100 milliseconds after sending the Measurement Read Command before expecting the data stream from the multiplexer.
  • The Clear Communications Buffers Before Reading Gage is checked to insure that the buffers are cleared out before sending the Measurement Read Command.
  • The Multiplexer Channel Number is specified as Field# 4.
  • The Literal is specified as Field# 3. Additionally the literal value is required to be equal to NRM as specified by the Command EQ NRM.
  • The Measurement Value A is specified as Field# 2.
  • The Reading Number is specified as Field# 1.






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