The C-More Micro HMI Panel software has a simulation mode. This simulator will allow you to test your project before transferring it to a panel. Testing your application is a vital step in HMI program development. This feature of the software will save you time and money especially if your hardware is not available.
The simulator will display two windows. There is a graphical display of your HMI panel and a simulation control window. The control window will allow you to control variables in the project similar to a PLC.
We will be looking at our program developed last time (Common Control Menu) and use the simulator to mimic how the PLC and HMI Panel will communicate in the field. This will help to detect any problems before we transfer to our panel. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!
Allowing operators of your HMI (Human Machine Interface) panel to easily navigate all of the information available is a vital part of programming. We want to present the information to the operator so they will clearly understand the programmed operation of the unit. Common menus on the HMI panel pages will allow the quick navigation, understanding and control that your operators want. When programming operator interfaces I have always heard to use the KISS method. (Keep it stupidly simple.) Your HMI program interface could contain hundreds of pages containing vital information for operator understanding and control, but you must make it easily accessible and intuitive. This is how you design and program a good HMI panel display.
We will be creating a common screen menu for our C-More Micro HMI Panel using the C-More Micro programming software. Using our previous program created we will be making a background screen to act as our menu system. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!
Previously we put our first program (Video) into the C-More Micro HMI Panel using the C-More Micro programming software. The Do-More Designer Simulator was used with a modified Start Stop Jog Circuit so we can use our HMI screen to control the output as well as the inputs on the PLC. This communication was done via Ethernet with the Modbus TCP protocol.
We will now look at PLC to Panel and Panel to PLC communications. This will allow us to control the screen page number, beeper and back light of the panel from the PLC. We will also get notification of the same as well as key press information from the HMI panel. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!
The C-more Micro Programming Software is a free download from Automation Direct. This is similar to the more powerful C-more Touch Panel programming software. This free HMI (Human Machine Interface) software has features designed to reduce your configuration time. Simply drag and drop the objects from the object bar onto the screen construction area. Configure your PLC tags and click on the objects you want to use. A built in simulator will allow you to review your work on the computer before downloading the project.
We will be installing the C-more Micro Programming Software onto our PC (computer). Updating the software is also very easily done. See video below.
Let’s get started. Continue Reading!
Human machine interfaces (HMIs) are made to display and control operations for our automation solution. Information is displayed in a graphic format. (Graphical User Interface – GUI) The HMI is usually part of the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system.
Communication from the HMI to the control is usually done through a serial (RS232 / RS485 / RS422) or Ethernet (RJ45) method with different protocols depending on the manufacturer of the control. The automation control device is not limited to a PLC. (Programmable Logic Controller) You can communicate also to drives, temperature process controllers, etc. The HMI usually will include several different protocols and port configurations to maximize the amount of control product that it will be able to communicate.
We will be looking at one of the newest members of the C-More Micro Panel HMI devices from Automation Direct. This is the EA3-T4CL. This four inch colour TFT LCD screen offers great features that we will be exploring as we review this product. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!
Data logging is the ability to save and view data from the PLC in a format that we can utilize elsewhere on the network. The Horner APG XL4 has this feature in its design to periodically log registers to removable media. (Micro SD) This data is stored in .CSV (comma separated value) format which is compatible with many computer applications such as Microsoft Excel.
Horner provides one of the easiest methods that I have seen to get data logging. You can log 30 registers in a log group and have 10 separate groups. Each group has its own configurable timer that determines the automatic reading and logging of the variables (registers). The group also has a manual trigger bit that can be set to log the variables.
This all in one controller provides the easiest way to log data. We will look at how to configure and utilize this feature of the PLC. Continue Reading!
We will now look at changing firmware on our Horner APG XL4 controller. The firmware update will give use the newest version of the operating system which adds new benefits to the controller. The firmware update is also required when changing communications between CsCan and CANopen. CsCan is a peer to peer network by Horner Electric based upon the Can network. CANopen is a communication protocol industry standard used in the CAN network.
Changing firmware will remove all programs and settings in the controller. Insure that you have a backup of your information. Please refer to the release notes for the features that will be set with the firmware update. Continue Reading!
Advanced HMI is a powerful, adaptable HMI/SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) development package that takes advantage of Visual Studio. There is no coding required and you can simply drag and drop items onto the page. The best thing is that the software is free. We will look at using AdvancedHMI with the Horner APG XL4 Controller. Using the program on the process tank application we created previously, we will be controlling and displaying information to the network. The AdvancedHMI package will communicate Modbus TCP over Ethernet to the PLC. We will be able to start and stop our process tank and monitor the parameters via the AdvancedHMI window. Continue Reading!
The Horner APG XL4 all in one controller through the Ethernet port can set up a HTTP server. This HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) server can be used for distributed and controlled information presented to and from the controller to the network. The server can have security for the information presented. We use HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language) on the server to create this Client / Server communication. Using the program on the process tank application we created previously, we will be controlling and displaying information to the network. A web browser on a computer, tablet, smart tv, or phone can be used to view and control this information in our Horner APG XL4 controller. Continue Reading!
The Horner APG XL4 all in one controller through the Ethernet port can set up a FTP server. This FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server can be used to move files from the controller to the network. The server can have different security for reading and writing the files. We will use the program on the process tank to move the recipe file and report files to another location on the network. The command line prompt, automated batch file, windows explorer and a free windows FTP client software will be used. Continue Reading!