PXISA President's intro: Global acceptance of PXI...

Author : Bob Stasonis | President of the PXISA

01 May 2019


Greetings fellow T&M professionals! I'm Bob Stasonis, recently-elected president of the PXISA. I want to thank outgoing president, Loofie Gutterman, for his efforts in increasing acceptance of PXI over the last 15 years. I have big shoes to fill, so let’s get to work!

This viewpoint was originally featured as the intro to EPDT's 2019 PXI for T&M supplement, included in the May 2019 issue of EPDT magazine [read the digital issue]. Sign up to receive your own copy of EPDT each month.

I assume that most of my readers already know what PXI is, and the benefits of implementing PXI in their test strategy. This is, of course, the result of 20 years of innovation by our members, and letting industry know of these innovations through active marketing.

But there are two underlying endeavours by the PXISA (PXI Systems Alliance) and its members that help to virtually guarantee our success. Firstly, there are the ongoing efforts of the PXISA technical committee to implement new features to ensure PXI addresses current testing needs – and ensuring that all these improvements remain backward-compatible with past generations of PXI products. The most obvious of these developments is the inclusion of hybrid slots on PXI Express (PXIe) chassis, which allow test engineers to use standard PXI modules and have them work together with the latest PXIe modules.

Secondly – and actually more of a strategy – is the fact that we have two major T&M players in the PXISA. Keysight and National Instruments are market leaders and innovators. Their presence in the market gives customers confidence that PXI is well supported across a variety of testing applications. They also lend credibility to smaller players like Pickering Interfaces, because they embrace the interoperability of PXI so that all members can ’play’ nice together.

Now, as we look to the 21st year of PXI, the PXISA is looking to grow its market awareness in Asia. While PXI already has a presence, there are clearly many engineers hungry for information about PXI, and to learn about test applications where PXI was integral to test strategy success. And unlike much of North America and Europe, these engineers are encouraged to go out and learn.

Addressing this PXI knowledge ‘vacuum’ is the PXI Show (www.pxishow.com), a focused trade show and technical conference started by Pickering Interfaces, with the support of the PXISA, in 2014. It’s a travelling roadshow, with four one-day events in four separate cities: in 2019, PXI Shows will be held in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Xi’an. 12 to 15 exhibitors show their products and give a 30-minute presentation on an application where PXI products have excelled. Each exhibitor has a 12-foot table to display its products, so all companies, big or small, have a similar presence.

Bob Stasonis, PXISA President
Bob Stasonis, PXISA President

What’s always satisfying to me is that we always receive more registrants than we have seats for! For example, we usually have room for 200 attendees in Beijing, but we regularly have well over 300 registrants So clearly, we are meeting a need.

Recently, an aerospace company near Beijing approached me with a proposal to found a Chinese branch of the PXISA. They are asking the PXISA to help them because there is a mandate from the Chinese government to help Chinese companies develop PXI and PXIe instrumentation. This branch is in its very early stages, but we look forward to helping Chinese companies create PXI market awareness and demand.

So what does this Chinese PXI expansion mean to UK test engineers? Well, the PXISA feels that new companies making PXI products results in new module choices, and either new or enhanced support of test applications. Also, it will make UK-based test companies like Pickering Interfaces work harder to keep ahead of the new competition! So: new choices that improve performance and/or lower your cost of test.

As new companies join, we will publicise them in our PXISA Newsletter. So if you are not a subscriber, contact Executive Director of the PXISA, Bob Helsel, at bobhelsel@pxisa.org – and also be sure to email your suggestions to Bob, and he will distribute them to members.

I think the key takeaway from this column is that even though PXI is 20 years old, it still has a long life of new products and applications. We have a long way to go!

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