Tag Archives: hmi training

Horner XL4 Math Instructions

Math instructions in the Horner APG XL4 OCS all-in-one controller are broken down into Basic Math Operations and Advanced Math Operations.
Basic Math Operations include the following:
Math Equation Element, Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide, Modulo, Square Root, Absolute Value
Advanced Math Operations include the following:
Power of X, Base 10 Logarithm, Power of e, Natural Logarithm, Sine, Cosine, Tangent, Inverse Sine, Inverse Cosine, Inverse Tangent, Convert to Radians, Convert to Degrees, Scale

We will be looking at the expression and scaling math functions. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 Compare and Move Instructions

Compare and move instructions in the Horner XL4 OCS all-in-one controller can be very powerful. We will be looking at how to use these instructions. Combining these two instructions to build a sequencer, we will apply this to an application example. Our application will be a simple traffic light. The HMI screen will show a picture of each of the lights. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 Timers and Counters

Timers and counters are used in the majority of PLC programs. We will not look at how timers and counters can be programmed in the Horner XL4 OCS all-in-one controller. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 User Interface

We will now look at the Horner XL4 user interface. The HMI (Human Machine Interface) part of the XL4 all in one controller will be what the operator views. We will look at the features of the display and learn how our program will control what the display will show. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 Numbering System and Addressing

We will now look at the Horner XL4 numbering system and addressing. Data is stored into different memory type locations called registers. The registers can be either bits or words (16bit). Multiple registers can be used together to store a 32 bit value. (Double word) This all in one controller has several additional registers to handle some of the HMI communication. Let’s look at all of the areas in the controller. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 Establishing Communication

We program the Horner XL4 OCS all-in-one controller by using Cscape. We will now use our Cscape software to establish communication. Last time we customized Cscape with icons to make it easier to find, communicate and control the unit. There are two different ways to communicate to the XL4 OCS controller, Ethernet and Serial. There are several different methods within these two ways that the XL4 will communicate. The Cscape software package will communicate both of these ways. We will look at establishing communication using Ethernet, USB (Serial) and Serial RS232.Another two serial ways to communicate would be RS485/RS422 (Serial) and CAN Bus (Serial). These two methods allow multiple controllers connected to the communication network. This is similar to Ethernet. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 Cscape Software Setup

The Horner XL4 OCS all-in-one controller is programmed using Csape. Cscape (Control Station Central Application Programming Environment) We will now setup the Cscape software so we can easily communicate and program our controller. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 Installing the Software Cscape

The Horner XL4 OCS all-in-one controller is programmed using Csape. Cscape (Control Station Central Application Programming Environment) This single programming software package is designed to be easy to use and maintain. We will now install this programming package onto our computer. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 System Hardware

The Horner XL4 OCS is an All-in-one controller. This means that this modern unit combines a logic controller, operator interface, I/O and networking all into one package. This OCS (Operator Control Station) family was first released in 1998. New features to the line-up have been added over the years. Today the OCS family has a very competitive advantage as you will soon see.
Programming is done with a single programming software package. Cscape (Control Station Central Application Programming Environment) is designed to be easy to use and maintain.

This series on the Horner XL4 all-in-one controller (PLC) will go step by step through learning how to use this innovative unit. Continue Reading…

Deploying an AdvancedHMI Project

Deploying an AdvancedHMI project on the industrial floor sounds like an easy task, but there are a few things that you should consider. The HMI (Human Machine Interface) user interface will run on a computer. The industrial environment is one in which temperature, dust, electrical noise, etc. are always present. This can also be combined with workers wanting to play with the new computer. We will look briefly at the hardware and software items that will make your install more reliable and user friendly in the field.

The hardware that you deploy in the field should match the environment that you expect it to work in. Computers come in many shapes, sizes and price points. Here are a few items that you may want to consider.

  • Fanless Computer – This will keep the dust out but temperature may be a problem.
  • Monitor – Location and type – Do you need touch screen?
    Keyboard and mouse – Washable?
  • Enclosures – If you are in a wash down environment then an enclosure is a necessity. Sometimes these enclosures are worth more than the contents in them.
  • UPS – The uninterruptable power supply will usually serve two purposes. It will act when power is removed so the computer will be able to shutdown correctly. The UPS will usually also act as a power conditioner. Most power has surges on the line and this can be amplified when in the industrial environment. The surge suppressors in the UPS will protect the computer.
  • Program backup – Have multiple copies of the software saved in different places. You never know when the unexpected will happen. (Fire / Thief etc.) This includes the backup disks for your operating system as well as the programs (versions) that you are running on the computer. (AdvancedHMI, Visual Studio)
  • Documentation of the backup (Hardware / Software) – Ensure that you have documentation of the hardware and software versions that you are using. I would also include where everything was purchased. This way if records are missing we can track this down through the supplier.

The software that we have on the production floor should be robust. This means that we should know what happens if thing go wrong. Backups as mentioned above should happen on a regular basis. Memory is inexpensive so backup your files regularly. We usually use a networked computer to automatically back up the production files each day. The following is a list of items that you should pay attention to when deploying a computer on the production environment.

  • Turn off windows update – Windows is great at keeping itself up to date. However this can cause programs to stop working. When dealing with an AdvancedHMI deployment we set windows to ‘Download updates but let me choose whether to install them’. It can take several minutes for windows to update. You want to be sure that the machine being controlled will not be affected.
    AdvancedHMI Deployment 010-min
  • Security – Set permissions – When setting up your windows computer for the factory floor, do not give the account that boots up and logs on automatically Administrator Privileges. It should be set up as a Standard User. This will prevent unauthorized software being loaded onto the system.
    Internet Explorer comes standard on any new computer with windows 8.1 or older. No other browser is present out of the box. It is good to set a supervisor password on the internet connection. This will allow you to restrict the internet use.
    On the run prompt type: RunDll32.exe msrating.dll,RatingSetupUI
    Goto the General tab to select a supervisor password
    AdvancedHMI Deployment 020-min AdvancedHMI Deployment 025-min
  • AdvancedHMI – There are a few thing that we can do in the AdvancedHMI project. We will look at the AdvancedHMI project that we did for Creating a HMI Login Screen on AdvancedHMI.
    AdvancedHMI Deployment 060-min
    o ControlBox – Remove the ControlBox on the main screen form. This will ensure that the user cannot minimize, maximize or close the application.
    AdvancedHMI Deployment 030-min
    o Maximize for screen size – Make the main screen form maximized so it will fill the entire screen.
    AdvancedHMI Deployment 040-min
    o Form.TopMost = True – This command will ensure that your application will be on top of all other windows forms.
    AdvancedHMI Deployment 050-min
    In this example the calculator has focus, but the our windows form will always be on top.
    AdvancedHMI Deployment 055-min
    If you have only one form then you can use the Properties settings for the form you always want on top. Multiple pages will have to include some additional programming to ensure that they are on top and visible.
    Here is the code for the returning to the main form of the program.
Private Sub ReturnToMainButton_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles btnCancel.Click
    Me.TopMost = False
    MainForm.TopMost = True
End Sub
  • Shortcut on the desktop – Place a shortcut to the AdvancedHMI application on the desktop. This will allow someone to quickly start the application if the application unexpectedly closes.

Following the above recommendations will ensure that your computer will perform and last as expected on the factory floor. Your AdvancedHMI project will work reliable and efficiently.

If you would like a copy of the PLC and AdvancedHMI programs, please contact me and I would be happy to send them to you.

Watch on YouTube : Deploying an AdvancedHMI Project
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,

Archie Jacobs from Manufacturing Automation, LLC  has another tip for disabling the windows error recovery on startup.
On the PC that will run AdvancedHMI, click the start button and type CMD to find the Command Prompt. Right Click on the command prompt and select Run As Administrator
Once the Command Prompt opens, type the following:
bcdedit /set {current} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures
This will prevent problematic startup when the PC is not shut down properly as often happens in the industrial environment.

If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

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