TriboScript: Eliminating the Complexities Associated with Tribological and Mechanical Testing Software

Table of Contents

Introduction
Script Writing
TriboScript Software
TriboScript Major Features
    Block
    Operator Mode
    Expert Mode for Script Writing
    Designer Mode
    Partitioning of Test Script Parameters
    Import Script
    Check Script
    Hardware Summary
    Standard Test Scripts Library
Conclusion

Introduction

Bruker’s industry-leading universal materials testing platform, the UMT TriboLab™, uses sophisticated proprietary software to accurately control and run its numerous test modules for an extensive range of tests. However, this advanced software is somewhat complicated and takes time to master. These initial complications can now be prevented with Bruker’s new TriboScript™ user interface, which makes test script handling faster, easier, and more intuitive for both experienced and novice users.

Script Writing

The UMT TriboLab system is designed to handle different types of test protocols and operates a variety of test modules. It provides experienced users and researchers with the flexibility to design and carry out highly specialized, complex, and customized testing tasks. However, a single software platform would make it difficult to operate such a huge system. To resolve this issue, Bruker has created TriboScript software to improve ease of use and combat the learning curve usually associated with customized test sequences.

TriboScript simplifies and enhances users’ script handling to perform tests with the TriboLab mechanical tester. A drag-and-drop methodology is used to prepare test scripts. As soon as the scripts are created, they are exported to the TriboLab system, and then the tests are run. The entire process is made more reliable and intuitive through the TriboScript™ user interface.

TriboScript Software

The TriboScript software is utilized for preparing, editing, and finalizing test scripts. Figure 1 shows the main window of TriboScript. The software’s ribbon control includes three tabs: Home, File, and View. By using the File tab, users can easily create, open, save, and exit out of the scripts. The menu options in the File tab are shown in Figure 2. The Home tab icons are typically utilized for TriboScript operation, such as File, Insert, Edit, Options, and Mode (Figure 3).

Figure 1. TriboScript window displaying a test script in Operator Mode.

Figure 2. TriboScript window displaying the File tab menu.

Figure 3. TriboScript window displaying the Home tab menu.

Through the Mode option, users have categorical access to recipe editing and test scripts as either an operator or as an expert creator. Expert Mode is protected by a password and provides users with complete access to all functions of the TriboScript™ user interface. It also helps to prepare a block for a recipe or create a recipe that can carry out a difficult task. In the Operator Mode, the recipe is kept in a simple form that shows only the minimum options required to run the test. Users can use Operator Mode to change certain test parameters, such as load, speed, time, etc., that are already divided during the preparation of script in Expert Mode. Such a partitioned recipe can be easily run by operators or novice users.

Users can tap the View tab to set up the visual appearance of the TriboScript window, including such parameters as Language, Theme, etc., shown in the Properties Panel. Figure 4 shows the Menu options of the View tab.

Figure 4. TriboScript window displaying the View tab menu.

TriboScript Major Features

In addition to a better user experience, the TriboScript™ user interface includes unique features that provide several testing benefits.

Block

A block is a predefined collection of steps and sequences configured for a certain application. A new block can be created or an existing block can be edited by users. The Block Library contains all of the available blocks. Users can open a new block in the designer area by clicking on “New icon” in the ribbon control and then choosing the ”New Custom Block” option.

Users can also choose the ”Create New Block” option from the context menu by right-clicking in the Block Library. The Advanced View can be added with Steps and Sequence, and the Partitioned View can be added with Exposed and Partitions Properties. Any predefined block for a particular application can be customized by editing the block. Block editing can be carried out either from a script or from the Block Library, but this step can only be completed in Expert Mode.

The block properties displayed in the Properties panel can be used to edit the block description, name, and icon. If users want to delete a block from the Block Library, they can do so by choosing the Delete option provided in the Context menu. Users can also export a block and to save it as a file for later use. To export a block, they can select any block available in the Block Library by right-clicking on it, choosing Export Block from the Context menu, and then finally saving the block file via the save-file dialog. However, a block can be imported to the Block Library by choosing a block file, right-clicking on it, and then choosing Import to Block Library from the Context menu.

Operator Mode

Bruker’s TriboScript™ user interface comes with Operator Mode as the default option. This option enables a designed script to instantly run a test on TriboLab. While users would be able to use the script to alter its partitioned test parameters, the Operator Mode does not include most of the unnecessary menus of control and test parameters. In the Operator Mode, users can execute the following tasks:

  • Open, create, or save scripts
  • Export and import blocks
  • Add blocks from the Block Library to a recipe
  • View and edit a block’s properties
  • View the partitions and exposed properties
  • Edit the values of exposed properties

Expert Mode

It is possible to design a test script in Expert Mode from an existing block or script, or a new one can be made from scratch. The password-protected Expert Mode has everything required to prepare a complex test script. In addition to the functionalities found in Operator Mode, users can perform the following tasks:

  • View steps and sequences in the script
  • View and edit properties of steps and sequences
  • Edit an already existing block in the recipe or library
  • Import a portion of a script or a full script

The core of the script is the block structures. Blocks can be easily edited or altered to shape a script to carry out basic or highly complex sets of operations to effectively conclude the intended tests. In Expert Mode, users can introduce a block to the design area by dragging and dropping the block from the Block Library. When users are in the Designer Mode, only then the Components panel will be active. This panel shows Step, Sequence, and Partition components that can be added to a script design by drag-and-drop process.

Designer Mode

The most advanced mode in TriboScript applications is Designer Mode. To enter the Designer Mode, users must first be in Expert Mode and be editing a block from a script or from the Block Library. In Designer Mode, users can perform the following tasks:

  • Insert steps and sequences to a block
  • Delete steps and sequences from a block
  • Add partitions to a block
  • Expose new properties to a partition
  • View and edit properties of steps and sequences
  • Export the current block to a block file
  • Save the current block to the Block Library
  • Import a script to the current block

Partitioning of Test Script Parameters

The partitioning feature is provided in both Designer and Expert Modes in the Component panel. This feature helps streamline the script for the operator and also enables the designer to reveal only the pertinent or most basic parameters required to run a certain test. Partitioning also protects other complex options from the user, maintaining the clean and simple appearance of the script.

Import Script

Through the Import Script feature, the TriboScript Recipe Editor is backward compatible with the scripts produced with the UMT software. Users simply click on the Import Script icon provided in the ribbon control to show a file browser dialog. Once the script file to be imported has been chosen, a pop-up menu where users can choose the node/nodes to be imported to the exisiting block or recipe will appear.

Check Script

This feature tracks all the errors present in the script file. It checks hardware options and the integrity of the script’s XML content, and also shows a dialog with particulars of the logical errors, if any.

Hardware Summary

Users can click on the Load Hardware icon provided in the ribbon control to load hardware options files. On doing so, they will be asked to close all of the open scripts prior to loading a new hardware options file. The status bar displays the name of the presently loaded option file. Hardware details in the options are displayed by the hardware summary. This hardware summary should be checked by users to make sure that the script will work suitably with the hardware on which it is written.

Standard Test Scripts Library

The TriboScript software includes a library of ASTM standard test scripts that are typically utilized for mechanical and tribological testing of materials. The standard test scripts can be employed in their current form, but if required, users can alter the partitioned test parameters in these scripts.

Conclusion

Bruker’s UMT TriboLab universal materials testing platform is a sophisticated tool designed for mechanical and tribology testing. It is now available with TriboScript software to enable better and more intuitive script writing. Through the software’s Expert Mode, experienced users can prepare scripts that can execute customized or complex tasks while maintaining the original universal design. Featuring a simple layout, the Operator Mode can be used by any user and eliminates the need for understanding complex script writing processes. Irrespective of the user’s experience, scripting and conducting tests is now a simple and easy process with the combination of TriboLab and TriboScript software.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Bruker Nano Surfaces.

For more information on this source, please visit Bruker Nano Surfaces.

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