A human-machine interface (HMI) is present in some form for every PLC. The HMI connects a user to a machine system to exchange information or control data. This interaction with the system can be through hardware or software.
HMIs offer different people information and control in many ways for the automated system. Operators, supervisors, mechanics, electricians, engineers, and programmers all have different needs. The machine HMI(s) must provide or make the information easy for all the people who use the system.
We will now look at some of the ways that human-machine interfaces (HMI) are used in automated systems today. Let’s get started. Keep on Reading!
The Machine Simulator (MS) is part of the EasyPLC software suite. It has many built-in machines that can be programmed. A simple conveyor is one of these machines. This is usually the starting point for learning about the machine simulator. This conveyor example will use two digital inputs and two digital outputs. A pallet will move back and forth on the conveyor. When the pallet is detected on each end it will stop and reverse direction. If both motors are started at the same time, the motors will burn up. This will be demonstrated. The machine simulator will allow you as the programmer to make mistakes before trying your program in the physical world.
The Click PLC will be used to program this virtual machine. Using the Click Plus PLC, we will connect the simulator to the simple conveyor machine. This will be done using Modbus TCP (Ethernet) for communications. Using the five steps for program development we will show how this is programmed. Let’s get started. Keep on Reading!