WUELUG04: Siemens PCTC

For the fourth meeting of the Würzburg LabVIEW User Group (WUELUG), we managed to talk our customer Siemens into opening the doors of their brand-new Power Converter Test Center in Nuremberg. 23 of our members took this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – an outstanding success for our still very young user group!

WUELUG04 Panorama
23 WUELUGers – an awesome crowd!

For the last three years, we’ve been working together with our colleagues from the Transmission Solutions Business Unit of the Siemens Energy Management Division on the LabVIEW software of their brand-new HVDC System Test Center in Nuremberg, Germany (more on that in our case study). It will be “one of the most advanced test facilities in the world” says Mirko Düsel, CEO. Siemens was kind enough to welcome our user group and show us around.

Part 1: Siemens

Julian Lange (Siemens) started off by giving a brief introduction, trying to explain the electrical specifics of the test circuit to a bunch of engineers. As it turned out, most of them actually came from an electrical / electro-technical background, so I was one of the very few who were left behind…

We continued by splitting the group in two and giving a tour of the premises. Everybody got back into the meeting room just in time for the Pizza that arrived at 6pm sharp – really, on the second, I think!

After the Pizza break, Manu gave a review of the VIP 2018 for those of the group who couldn’t attend or haven’t been to that event before.

Part 2: LabVIEW

Benjamin Hinrichs (Siemens) continued with two short presentations on practical topics that have been keeping us quite busy: Working with LabVIEW FPGA and managing code in git / GitLab. Both presentations highlighted specific pain points that we encountered along the way, and how we solved them – or at least which workarounds we were able to come up with.

The format of these two small presentations – short, concise, practical – seems to work quite well with larger crowds. I think we’ll work towards getting more of that kind of content for our next meetings. Maybe even a 5×5 or 7×7?

The last presentation of the day was myself talking about how we developed as a team in those three years. I explained what we learned along the way, which techniques we applied and which processes we adopted in order to become better team developers.

And how we’re trying to keep motivated as a team 🙂

Introducing the hampel-soft badging program for successful branch-mergers

Unlike almost all other times that I presented, this time it wasn’t my fault that we overshot our timeframe. With all the other presentations taking longer than planned, I only got to start at 18:59 – with 1 minute left until the planned end of the meeting. Thankfully, all of the members were ok with overshooting a little, and I also tried to keep it as brief as possible.

We closed up with discussing how to conduct our next meetings: Which topics would be of interest, how should we deliver them, where should we meet next.

Summing it up

23 people going out of their way, spending their spare time meeting #labviewfriends and talking software. How great is that?

Evolution: From 10 to 16 to 23 participants

A big thank you goes to:

  • all participants who travelled to Nuremberg
  • Florian and Thomas (both NI) for joining us!
  • Martina and NI for sponsoring our refreshments!!
  • our Siemens hosts Thomas, Ben und Julian!!!

Regarding our schedule, we will keep the quarterly cadence. The next meetings will probably take place:

  • April in Würzburg at SKZ / Christian Kolb
  • July in (Würzburg?) at (us?)
  • October in Bamberg at UG Systems / Thorsten Harfst

If you’re interested in what we’re up to, go to bit.ly/WUELUG and register. We hope to see you there! 

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