National Instruments: Creating the Tools That Drive Innovation

Innovation in the technology space often leads to growth. That’s great if you’re a tech company. But if you’re the company that makes the tools that enable other companies to develop those innovations, that’s even better. Such is the case with the National Instrument Corporation.

National Instruments (NI) products facilitate virtual instrumentation and automated measurement—two vital ingredients in the recipe for the mass production of cutting-edge “smart” devices. As the demand for new smart devices tied to the Internet of Things (IoT) increases, engineers need a digital platform that enables them to manufacture the fruits of their labor at a faster rate. National Instruments products, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) they operate in, allow engineers to work with greater efficiency.

In essence, National Instruments creates the tools that drive innovation.

Not bad for the Austin, Tx based company that began as a part-time endeavor out of a garage.

National Instruments Products at a Glance

Headquartered in Austin, TX, National Instruments has developed a wide range of tools crucial to the smart device manufacturing chain. Their most notable advancement has been the integration of a graphical user-interface into the testing and control phases of product engineering. In other words, what the Windows and Mac operating systems did to home computing, their NI platform did to the manufacturing process.

National Instruments products include software such as LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI, TestStand and Multisim. Their hardware offerings include VXI, VMEbus, interfaces for GPIB and I2C, and real-time embedded controllers such as Compact FieldPoint and CompactRIO.

From industrial internet of things devices to smart cars, National Instruments products help tech companies innovate.
Alexander Davern, CEO National Instruments on What Makes Them Different

As their software is an open platform that works with modular hardware, they’ve helped scientists and engineers test, measure, and control systems that reduce food spoilage in factories, detect pathogens in the body to diagnose patients, program autonomous vehicles for the blind, and build vast networks for wireless connectivity.

National Instruments products play an intrinsic role in the development of smart technology.

The NI Platform and the Industrial Internet of Things

Amazon and Apple may have fleshed out the Internet of Things with Alexa and Siri, but it was National Instruments who truly made the Industrial Internet of Things hum. By enabling their hardware and software to talk with infrastructure instead of through applications, manufacturing can be remotely managed at lower costs. During the course of this mini-industrial revolution, National Instruments has collaborated with tech giants like Intel, Cisco, HP, Analog Devices and Xilinx.

The NI Platform, which is the IIoT’s foundation, has four key benefits:

  • Productive Software. National Instruments software consists of a wide range of available options, including LabVIEW and TestStand, which translate programming ideas into reality. They help reduce project development phases, improve system performance, and deliver business insights based on data collected and analytics.
  • Flexible, Modular Hardware. NI’s hardware ranges from high-performing radio frequency instrumentation to low-cost measuring devices. Their capacity for flexible input/output allows engineers to reconfigure hardware according to their project requirements. This means they don’t have to buy new equipment when there are changes to the project.
  • Seamless Integration. National Instruments hardware and software are flexible and compatible. This allows engineers to customize control systems more easily and according to their needs.
  • Openness and Inter-Operability. Third-party tools can be added to the NI Platform to create an even faster and efficient system, depending on the complexity of the project.

On the Leading Edge of the Tech Space

National Instruments products continue to push the boundaries of innovation.

One initiative is to provide the tools that make 5G technology possible. This will allow not only faster phone and computer downloads but also the full IoT implementation. The deployment of 5G would profoundly impact real-time interaction, as well as the way businesses work all over the world. Networks with 5G technology will further actualize AI, machine learning, and the automation of a vast range of activities.

National Instruments’ financials reflect their position on the leading edge of the tech space.

Their total revenue for the second quarter of this year yielded to $341 million—a commendable jump from the $312 million revenue the company gained in their first quarter. Evidently, their progress and gain for the year have just begun. In fact, their guidance—an indication or educated guess of a company’s future earnings—for their revenue estimate for the third quarter is in the range of $325 to $355 million.

National Instruments Products—Fueling a New Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution may have reshaped the textile industry, and society as a whole, but it has nothing on National Instruments. By creating the tools that drive innovation, the company has fueled the New Industrial Revolution—and made life easier for engineers and consumers alike.

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