Simcenter Testing Solutions Introduction to Simcenter Anovis Software

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Simcenter Anovis systems (Figure 1) inspect the production quality in manufacturing facilities.  A Simcenter Anovis system does this by measuring the noise and/or vibration characteristics of a production piece to determine if it meets specifications. 
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Figure 1: Simcenter Anovis system hardware and software.

This article is an introduction to the Simcenter Anovis software and its features. The article has the following contents:
1. Background
2. Simcenter Anovis Software
   2.1 Anovis Signal Processing Program
   2.2 Anovis Signal Analyser Program

   2.3 Test Bench Connect Program
   2.4 Anovis Measurement Setup (AMS) Settings File
   2.5 Anovis Viewer Configuration (AVC) Settings File
   2.6 ASD Anovis Signal Data (ASD) Data File 
   2.7 AME Anovis Metric Data File
3. Flowlets
4. Data Analysis
5. Test Execution

1. Background

There are three typical scenarios (Figure 2) in which a Simcenter Anovis system is used for the inspection of manufactured products:
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Figure 2: Simcenter Anovis systems are used in end of line inspection, non-destructive testing of parts, and in process monitoring.

The inspection testing scenarios are:
  • End of Line Testing: Rotating equipment (motors, engines, etc) with two types of faults: unwanted noise (will last a long time but makes louder than desired noise) or actual problem (gear defect).  More information: Noise and Vibration Based End of Line Testing.
  • Non Destructive: A small impact is performed on production item and the resulting “ding” sound is used to identify the natural frequencies.  If the frequencies shift significantly, this indicates that the part was not made properly. More information: Non-Destructive Component Testing by Acoustic Resonance Analysis
  • Process Monitoring: When parts get assembled (via stamping, connecting, etc) the sound emitted can indicate if the operation was a success.  For example, if a glass part if put in a press to add trim around it, the sound of breaking glass would indicate failure.  Or if an electrical connector is assembled, but the “click” sound is not quite right, the connection may be poor.

A Simcenter Anovis system and its deployment has four main parts (Figure 3):
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Figure 3: The four main components of a Simcenter Anovis system include hardware, software, sensors, and deployment services.

The four main components:
  • Hardware: Anovis Signal Recording Device (SRD), Impact Device, PC, etc
  • Sensors: Microphones, accelerometers, lasers, voltages, and other sensors as needed to measure perform of part.
  • Software: Simcenter Anovis Signal Processing and Analyzer software.
  • Deployment Services: Siemens personnel often assist in the creation and deployment of a Simcenter Anovis system for production quality testing.
These parts are connected and work together as shown in Figure 4:
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Figure 4: Physical connections and layout of a Simcenter Anovis system.

Sensors will automatically record vibration or sound from the production part.  The sensor output is digitized by the Anovis hardware.  The Simcenter Anovis software analyzes the data to determine if the vibration or sound performance is within specification.  This information is passed to the test bench.

2. Simcenter Anovis Software

Software is designed to allow an analysis to be setup from measurement to final evaluation.  No programming required, can be done by mouse click.

The software and its main components are shown in Figure 5:
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Figure 5: Layout of the software components and files used in Simcenter Anovis.

There are three programs used in Simcenter Anovis: 
  • Anovis Signal Processing: Used to run testing, the main program does signal analysis, metric calculation and evaluation.  This software is typically used during test execution during production.  The software runs in the background.
  • Anovis Signal Analyser: Used to edit/create an Anovis test. When creating a test, this is the main program that a end user would interface with.
  • Test Bench Connect: Anovis program that interfaces with Programable Logic Controller (PLC) or the software of a test bench.

Setup and Configuration Files:
  • Anovis Measurement Setup (*.ams file): file that is composed of “flowlets” that define the signals, calculations, and limits used during a test.
  • Anovis Viewer Configuration (*.avc file): The Viewer Configuration file defines a set of displays to be shown to user.

Data File Types:
  • Anovis Signal Data (*.asd file): Raw time signal file.
  • Anovis Measurement (*.ame file): Processed result file, can be spectrum, statistic, or other.

2.1 Anovis Signal Processing Program

The Anovis Signal Processing program (Figure 6) is the main application that is used on the production line.  It acquires the signal via the hardware, processes it, and flags the results against limits/specifications.  
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Figure 6: Simcenter Anovis Signal Processing program is used to execute a test.

If the setup exists, this is the only program that needs to be run besides the test bench connect for performing live production testing. Many times, no user interface is shown, the Anovis signal processing programs runs in the background.  This software is also referred to as Anovis Lite.

For an existing test, a Simcenter Anovis Measurement setup file (*.ams) is loaded.  This is done in the Anovis Signal Processing software by selecting “Measurement Setup -> Load”. To Start a measurement, choose “Measurement -> Start”. 

When started, there is a process in Windows called “AnovTray.exe” which can be seen in the process list of the Windows task manager.

A test procedure cannot be edited or changed by the Anovis Signal Processing software.  This can only be done in the Anovis Signal Analyser software.

2.2 Anovis Signal Analyzer Program

The Simcenter Anovis Signal Analyser software (Figure 7) is used to create or edit a measurement setup. 
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Figure 7: The Simcenter Anovis Signal Analyser software is used to create and/or edit a measurement setup.

To create a setup, choose “File -> Setup -> Create”.  To edit a setup file, “File -> Setup -> Open Setup”. The setup is made from the configuration and connection of “flowlets” which are covered further down in this article.

When Anovis Signal Analyzer is started, there is a process “AnovMain.exe” that runs in Windows.

2.3 Test Bench Connect Program

Manages communication between Anovis and Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) of the test bench.  This is not only used to communicate when to start and stop the test, but quality data metrics are also transferred to the quality system employed in factory.

2.4 Anovis Measurement Setup (AMS) Settings File

Describes how the data is acquired (hardware settings, calibration values, pulses per rev), how it is stored (local disk or network), what metrics (functions or single number statistics) are calculated, and what limits to evaluate the data against. The settings are contained in “flowlets”.

The default storage directory for the AMS files is C:\ANOVIS.2\config.

2.5 Anovis Viewer Configuration (AVC) Settings File

A “viewer” is used to visualize data in the Anovis analyser.  After a viewer is created, it can be stored in a Anovis Viewer configuration (*.avc) file.

To create a viewer and see data, either a test run needs to be completed, or an existing Anovis measurement result file (*.ame) file should be loaded.  Then choose “Configuration -> Viewer connection…” as shown in Figure 8
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Figure 8: To create a data viewer in Anovis analyzer, choose “Configuration -> Viewer connection…”.

A list of available data (i.e., buffers) and existing viewers is shown.  Turning the “Hide Empty Buffers” option on is a good practice.

Used to visualize results.  Make windows/displays called “Viewers”. Connect to a buffer, right click “Add viewer” as shown in Figure 9.
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Figure 9: To create an Anovis data viewer, right click on the data buffer and choose “Add Viewer-> 

There are multiple types of viewers.  “Lines” will create a two-dimensional XY graph as shown in Figure 10.
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Figure 10: A “Lines Viewer” of an order spectrum.

Other types of viewers are available.  A sonogram viewer is shown in Figure 11:
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Figure 11: Sonagram viewer, one of the possible view selections.

From the main menu, choose “File-> Save Viewer Settings as….” to create a Anovis Viewer Configuration (AVC) file based on the current view.  

2.6 ASD Anovis Signal Data (ASD) Data File 

Raw time signal data file is stored in an Anovis Signal Data (*.asd file). To use the file in another software package, the ASD file can be exported to an ATFX file format, which is an open file format from the ASAM (Association for Standardisation of Automation and Measuring Systems) organization. 

Using the ASD files recorded during a production test, the production run can be re-analyzed to calculate additional metrics or change the analysis settings. This is helpful if it is desirable to look for faults that were not previously known or identified.

By default, ASD files are stored in the directory: C:\ANOVIS.2\data.

More information about exporting ASD files to ATFX format here: 
•    ASAM Organization Data Standard: 
•    Simcenter Anovis: Export to ATFX File Format

2.7 AME Anovis Metric Data File

The Anovis Metric file (*.ame) contains calculated functions and single number results. Functions include orders, frequency spectrums, modulation envelopes, filters, etc.  Single numbers include maximums, minimums, means, crest values, etc.

By default. AMS files are stored in the directory: C:\ANOVIS.2\data

3.  Flowlets

A measurement setup (AMS) consists of a collection of connected “flowlets”. Flowlets are small pre-existing modules of code that perform a specific task.

The Simcenter Anovis software comes with a library of flowlets that can perform different tasks.  Flowlet tasks include: calibration, rpm calculations, order spectrums, etc.  Users connect these flowlets together from the library to perform a measurement task as shown in Figure 12:
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Figure 12: Series of flowlets starting with calibrated input and ending in order spectrum analysis.

Flowlets avoid the need for writing detailed code to create and execute a test. By connecting these pre-made widgets together, complex tests sequences from acquisition to analysis can be made without having to do programming.

Flowlets are deeply tested during a software release, so instead of ad-hoc code for a project, flowlets fulfill quality management requirements of a tested and verified software.

All available flowlets are documented in a 300+ page PDF located in the directory C:\ANOVIS.2\doc.  An example of documentation is shown in Figure 13:
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Figure 13: Flowlet documentation PDF included with Simcenter Anovis software.

Flowlets include functions for: Calibration, Conversion of Pulses to RPM, Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), Order Spectrum, Cepstrum, Order, Modulation, Loudness, Filters, Envelopes, Classifiers, Tolerance Schemes, and more…

After creating or opening a setup in the Analyzer software, the user selects individual flowlets from the library and connects them together.  This is done in the Configuration menu as shown in Figure 14
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Figure 14: Flowlets are created and combined together from the Configuration menu to Simcenter Anovis analyzer software.

To setup a measurement, first use “Configure flowlets…”.  Once the flowlets are identified, use “Connect flowlets…”.

After a set of flowlets have been defined, parameters (i.e., settings) can be change on each individual flowlet. For example, the maximum order and order resolution can be set on the “Order analysis” flowlet as shown in Figure 15:
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Figure 15: Click on an individual flowlet in the left side tree of the Anovis Analyzer to change settings/parameters.

In the Anovis Signal Analyzer software, settings are changed by clicking on the individual flowlet listed on the left side of the screen in the tree. A menu with with the settings for the flowlet appears.

In the flowlet menu, not only settings can be changed, but other information is available.  For example, clicking on the “i” button lists the inputs and ouputs to the flowlet (Figure 16):
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Figure 16: Clicking on the “i” icon in the flowlet settings menu shows the inputs and outputs to the flowlet. 

After configuring the flowlets as desired, everything is stored in the Anovis Measurement settings (*.ams) file.  Choose “File -> Setup -> Save setup as…” to store the flowlet arrangement as part of the measurement setup file.

4. Data Analysis

To execute a test that can sort good parts from potentially bad parts, data needs to be collected, analyzed, and classified.

After loading a set of Anovis Metric data (*.ame) files, an analysis and van associated viewer can be created.  Just like in visualization, select “Configuration -> Viewer connection…”. When the viewer menu appears, instead of loading a specific viewer as described previously, press the “Analysis” button in the lower left corner of the menu (Figure 17):
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Figure 17: Start the analysis of data from the “Viewer connection…” menu by selecting “Analysis” in the lower left corner.

In the resulting display, right click and choose “Class Editor” as shown in Figure 18:
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Figure 18: To perform data analysis, right click in the display and choose “Class Editor”.

In the class editor, there are several tabs along the top of the menu.  Anovis metric data (*.ams file) are loaded into each tab as shown in Figure 19.
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Figure 19: The Class Editor has different tabs for each class.  Data corresponding to each class is loaded separately under each tab.

The idea of the classes is that data from acceptable parts versus unacceptable parts will be loaded into separate classes. This creates a view with a statistical histogram of the data as shown in Figure 20:
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Figure 20: Using the “Class editor…”, the corresponding data is assigned a separate color (red and blue on right side).

A histogram, along the right side of the display, indicates the statistical spread of the data.  This gives a visual indication as to what the limits should be set to distinguish acceptable parts from others.

Besides statistical data, spectrums and other types of data can be visualized after performing the classification (Figure 21):
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Figure 21: Spectral classiciation data.  Colors (red and blue) reflect the different class selections.

The same classification color scheme (in this case red and blue) is carried over.

5.  Test Execution

When executing a test, start either the Anovis Signal Processing software or the Anovis Analyzer software.  Both software programs can run a test, but the Anovis Signal Processing does not allow any changes or editing of the settings.

If running Simcenter Anovis Signal Processing:
  • First a measurement setup (*.ams file) must be loaded.  This is done under the first menu entry “Measurement Setup -> Load”.
  • Select “Measurement -> Start Measurement” to run the test.
If running Simcenter Anovis Analyzer:
  • Load a setup (*.ams file) by selecting “Measurement Setup -> Load” or F10 key.
  • Choose a view (*.avc file) under “File -> Open Viewer Settings”.
  • Select “Measurement -> Start” to run the test.
Then the test is started! The results are shown in Figure 22 below!
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Figure 22: Running test in Simcenter Anovis Analyzer.

To stop the measurement in Simcenter Anovis Analyzer:
  • Choose “Measurement -> Stop” or F11 key.  
  • To fully exit, select “File -> Exit”.

To stop the measurement in Simcenter Anovis Signal Processing:
  • Choose “Measurement -> Stop Measurement”.  
  • To fully exit, select “Measurement Setup -> Exit Application”.

Often for production testing, Simcenter Anovis Signal Processing is run without any graphical interface shown. It executes the test and sends data over to the product quality system.

While Anovis is running, a logging is performed.  In the system tray, look for the “Notepad” icon. Clicking on the notepad icon shows the log files.  
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Figure 23: Click on the Notepad icon in the system tray to see the Simcenter Anovis log files.

The results of all operations performed by the Anovis software are recorded in the log. 

In the log viewer, some lines are highlighted in different colors: 
  • No Color: General information about the software 
  • Cyan: Debug information 
  • Green: Succcessful operation 
  • Yellow: Warning 
  • Red: Unsucccessful operation 

Questions? Email (Americas) or (Europe and Asia).

Related Links

KB Article ID# KB000130646_EN_US



Associated Components

Simcenter Anovis