What is Data Logging?

Industrial data loggers are devices that are used to record data over longer periods. They’re often more portable compared to data acquisition systems—a feature complemented by their modularity, allowing you to combine different processing units to fit the purposes of your particular applications.

Data loggers are capable of measuring several different parameters simultaneously, depending on their configurations. Whatever the case, you’re more than likely to find a processing unit with ADC conversion and an appropriate sensor to measure its physical properties and transfer the measured values to the data logger or a DAQ system for further processing and storage.

How Does Data Logging Work?

Data logging, as its name implies, refers to an ongoing process of collecting and storing data over time, with very limited real-time monitoring capabilities, such as measuring voltage or current in smaller, more immediate applications.

Industrial data loggers are typically used for logging all sorts of data types, including machine monitoring, environmental conditions, and other data types. Their primary purpose is to capture a detailed record of events, conditions, or operations at incremental periods and store the data for subsequent analysis. Data capture alone is done through various sensors and input methods.

For example, the sensors will measure physical properties such as pressure, light, temperature, etc., and the data logger’s software will log these events and other activities within the system. Once the data is captured, it’s stored in a log file or internal memory storage.

Each piece of logged data usually includes a timestamp that denotes when an error occurred, allowing professionals to understand the sequence of events or patterns that have appeared over time. Some data loggers automatically connect to their data acquisition centers and upload the acquired data for storage.

Benefits of Using Data Loggers

Using industrial data loggers in your application has immense benefits. These devices are regularly used in various fields and applications, ranging from scientific research to industrial operations.

Below is a breakdown of some of the most important benefits of data loggers:

Reliable Data Collections

Quality data loggers have proven to be highly accurate and reliable when it comes to data collection over time due to their ability to continuously monitor and record data. Using these devices in your application eliminates the possibility of human error, ensuring precise data collection and analysis.

They’re also designed to function in indoor and outdoor environments, continuing to provide accurate measurements even in the presence of sand, mud, and water.

Long-Term Monitoring

These devices are designed to collect data without human help, and the autonomous operation eliminates the risk of human error, increasing efficiency. The built-in automation makes these devices ideal for long-term monitoring, as they can store large amounts of data over relatively extended periods.

Increased Efficiency

By recording and storing data, industrial data loggers enable better decision-making and process optimization. Naturally, this results in increased productivity, energy efficiency, and overall optimization of the manufacturing processes, helping reduce the costs associated with manual data collection.

Applications of Industrial Data Loggers

Industrial data loggers (DAQs) are incredibly versatile devices that have found their way into numerous applications across many fields and industries including applications of strain measurement. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the most common applications of industrial data loggers.

Data loggers are extensively used by the manufacturing and automotive industries for various purposes. For example, they’re used by the automotive industry to check the strength and durability testing of the vehicle’s body/chassis.

Other industries rely on DAQs as well; for example, these devices are regularly used for electronic PCB evaluations, temperature data collection along with strain gauge measurements allow for how the shape changes according to temperature.

Types of Data Loggers

In the past, industrial data loggers were typically designed and produced as dedicated standalone data collection devices that would measure one of perhaps several different physical properties. Unfortunately, these devices were more akin to modern data acquisition systems—they’re large, very difficult to use, and not practical for on-the-go applications.

Fortunately, the miniaturization of modern electronics made these devices more compact and much more portable. Many modern industrial data loggers feature a modular design, making them practical and useful as the modular design eliminates the risk of overexertion by simply carrying the device.

Modern industrial data loggers consist of a main computing unit, such as KEYENCE’s NR-X100W multi-input data logger, and a modular measurement unit, which attaches to the central unit and allows measurements of a specific physical property.

KEYENCE provides comprehensive solutions for data acquisition and data recording, as well as several different processing units with a variety of different channels — up to 576 channels, depending on the peripheral processing units used.

FAQs About Data Logging

What Are the Uses of Data Logging Software?

The data logging software is really important in data collection, analysis, and management of said data from various sources, such as sensors and other instruments that might be connected to the data logger and feed in the input signal.

The software usually includes various tools for analyzing the collected data, including features that would help operators and technicians identify trends, patterns, and anomalies within the collected data.

What Is a Data Logging System?

A data logging system consists of a central data logger unit that’s further equipped with a processing unit that receives and processes a certain kind of signal, depending on the application. This system allows users to measure a single or several different properties, including properties that are completely unrelated to one another.

What Types of Measurements Can an Industrial Data Logger Capture?

Industrial data loggers are capable of making a wide range of measurements depending on the processing unit and its appropriate sensors.

These measurements include temperature, humidity, pressure, voltage and current, flow rate, vibration, light intensity, light displacement and derivative measurements, and even radiation. If a sensor can pick up a certain physical property, a multi-input DAQ can record it.

What Is the Potential Use of Data Logging Software in Environmental Monitoring?

Paired with adequate transducers and processing units, data loggers can monitor temperature patterns, air quality, water quality, energy consumption, and so many other measurements. But, the potential for its use generally has very few limitations. Think of it like an advanced tape measure.

To unlock the full potential of your data logging system, consider using KEYENCE's multi-input DAQ. Our data loggers are equipped with advanced features and user-friendly software that can help you streamline your data collection and analysis process.

Contact us today to see how we can help you achieve your measurement goals effortlessly!

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