Test & Measurement

DMM and DAQ simplify & enhance test setup

17th April 2018
Mick Elliott

A 6½-digit Bench/System Digital Multimeter, the Keithley DMM6500, and DAQ6510 Data Acquisition and Logging Multimeter System have been launched by Tektronix These new instruments combine the simplicity of a “pinch and zoom” touchscreen interface for easy and faster test setup and at-a-glance monitoring and display with the power of 15 different measurement functions, wide measurement ranges and multichannel measurements.

Today’s engineers continue to need performance, accuracy and flexibility from test instrumentation. But as time-to-market windows shrink simple, intuitive interfaces and fast operation are needed.

For its latest 6½-digit multimeter and data acquisition offerings, Keithley delivers a new level of simplicity providing a 5in (12.7cm) touchscreen display with graphing, pinch and zoom, cursors, and statistics for greater insight into measurement trends and waveform characteristics ¾ saving time with setting up, monitoring, and executing measurements.

“The time is long-past where engineers should be forced to grapple with complex or cluttered user interfaces just because they are engineers and ultimately can figure it out,” said Mike Flaherty, general manager, Keithley Product Line at Tektronix. “Instead, by delivering test instruments that simplify the complex, we’re letting our customers focus on what’s really important – the products they are trying to design or ship out the door -- rather than trying to figure out how to use their measurement tools.”

The DMM6500 6 ½-digit Bench/System Digital Multimeter supports 15 different types of measurements including capacitance, digitising voltage or current waveforms, and temperature from thermocouples, thermistors, and resistance temperature detectors (RTDs). Waveforms and transients can be captured with the 1Msample/s, 16-bit digitiser so that more measurements can be performed with one instrument and engineers can study more complex load current profiles from wireless devices such as IoT devices.

The multimeter’s sensitivity helps design engineers make measurements on low power products. DC current sensitivity is 10pA and resistance sensitivity is 1µΩ.

Accuracy is rated at 0.0025% for one year and includes two-year specifications for longer calibration cycles and lower cost of ownership.

With the growth in low-power devices, driven in part by the Internet of Things, engineers increasingly need to make lower level measurements than in the past.

The multimeter’s 5-in. (12.7cm) touchscreen display simplifies instrument setup with readily accessible swipe screens and minimised menu depth for fast, in-depth data analysis with “pinch and zoom” simplicity.

Touchscreen cursors make it easy to characterise measurements with statistical data such as peaks, average, minimum values, and standard deviation over portions of a waveform or over the whole waveform.

Up to seven million readings can be stored in the DMM.

If more than a single channel is needed, an optional 10-channel scan card or a 9-channel temperature card can be plugged into the rear of the instrument. The DMM6500’s standard interfaces are LAN/LXI and USB-TMC.

Optional user-installable interfaces with six programmable digital I/O lines include GPIB, RS-232, and TSP-LINK.

To enable test engineers to easily upgrade hardware in legacy test systems with minimal-to-no changes in test codes, the DMM6500 has emulation modes for the Keithley model 2000 6½-digit DMM and the Keysight 34401A 6½ -digit DMM.

Unique to Keithley is test script (TSP) software that allows a DMM6500 to execute a test with minimal intervention from a PC. This reduces the number of command communications between PC and instrument to save test time. This internal intelligence allows a DMM6500 to perform custom operations and customize the display for specific needs such as operator instructions.

The DAQ6510 Data Acquisition and Logging Multimeter System addresses the needs of environmental test, failure analysis, and quality control engineers who need to quickly set up tests on a statistically significant sample of products.

With its touchscreen display, the instrument simplifies setup, execution, monitoring, and analysis of multichannel-measurement systems, which can now be completely set up from a single display.

With previous data logging instruments, engineers running long term tests have been unable to assess how well a test is proceeding.

The DAQ6510 solves that problem with a status display which, at a glance, will tell the engineer whether any channel measurements are outside of limits or if measurements have over-ranged.

The engineer can correct a problem and minimise lost test time rather than having to wait until the end of a test to discover any problems.

Built-in plotting functions allow users to display up to 20 different plots from 20 channels in one graph and easily drill down using pinch and zoom controls and then conduct further analysis using cursors and statistical functions.

All of this setup, execution, monitoring, and analysis can be done on the instrument without the need for a PC.

To test a statistically significant number of devices, the instrument can be combined with 7700-series Plug-In Switch Modules to test as many as 80 devices in one test system.

With 12 plug-in switch modules including multiplexers, multiplexers with cold junction compensation for thermocouple temperature measurements, a matrix switch module, a control module, digital I/O module, and GHz switch modules, the DAQ6510 delivers the flexibility to build nearly any type of multichannel test system.

It has the same interfaces and test script processing capability as the DMM6500 to give engineers the ability to select the optimum interface and to customize instrument measurements and displays.

For test engineers who prefer using a PC, setting up an automated test is greatly simplified with the new KickStart 2.0 coding-free instrument control software.

Both a DMM control application and a data acquisition and logging application are available.

Both instruments are available now globally.


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