Saturday, November 24, 2012

HMI graphic editor...

A new feature was added to the graphic editor.


An object can be locked in place and cannot be moved or resized until the object is unlocked.

1. When an object is locked the eight selection rectangles that appear when an object is selected will be eight circles.

2. Locked objects included in a group are unlocked when the group is created. The group can be locked.

3. Objects in a locked group can be resized and moved using the "group editor".

4. Locking only applies during design time. Locking does not apply to objects during runtime.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Mini single pen trend...

Today we released a new graphic element for the HMI. It is a sizeable mini single pen trend. It can be used in graphic windows were the full sized trend element, and all its features, are not required. The mini trend displays the previous 2-100 seconds of any analog or digital point. The point does not need to be configured for data logging.

The trend supports 5 trend styles with attributes for grid size, grid type, colors, text settings, etc.

This is a screen capture of the configuration dialog.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Scheduler released...

The scheduler has been released, November 5, 2012. A short video has been created and posted.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Various updates 11/1/2012...

We released a minor update to the HMI today. We added more visual feedback to user buttons when pressed, added another configuration setting to the alarm panel, corrected an issue with OPC client pulse commands and corrected a broken link in a help file.

A new version of the free MODBUS ASCII slave program was released. It provides better timing on incoming message.

In work in progress; the HMI has included a task scheduler for several years and it is good for scheduling one time or recurring task. The task scheduler does not take the place of a ‘scheduler’. A scheduler, that provides start and end time triggers as well as overrides for dates, like holidays, the ability to delay a series of commands, grouping of outputs and actions, inhibits, etc..

The new scheduler should be released very soon.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Addition to trending...

The trend graphic element now supports "limits" and "banding".

Limits are static lines that can be used to display an alarm level, setpoint value, etc..

Banding can be used to display a range.

Any number of limits or bands can be added to the trend.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

HMI update 9/13/2012...

Today we released a new version of the HMI with support for Toshiba computer link protocol for UDP/IP. The previous release was for RS-232/485. The same register types and data types as RS-232/485 are supported.

The HMI now has the ability to change the tagname of a trend pen at runtime. One or all pens can be changed with one command.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Toshiba computer link protocol...

Today we released a new version of the HMI adding the Toshiba computer link protocol.

·        RS-232/485
·        X, Y, R, S, T, C, D, L registers
·        Bit, Word, Longword, Float, String

Monday, July 23, 2012

HMI web server update... (Part 2)

Yesterday we released a new version of the HMI to expand the built in web server features.

The web server can now parse a page request from a web browser for "tags". The tags point to internal HMI data. For example, values collected from a PLC. The tag is replaced with the value and the web page is sent to the web browser. The remaining text in the page is unmodified.

Also, values can be written to the server using a URL with the correct parameters.

This new feature allows for the development of web pages in the programming language required with data collected from the HMI.

Friday, July 13, 2012

MODOPC & LogixOPC...

For each program we released a new demonstration project.

The project demonstrates how to read/write data from/to the OPC server using Excel as the OPC client. Excel 2007 was used.

Each project includes an Excel spreadsheet, with VBA scripting, a program project and a short video covering the parts of the demonstration.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

HMI web server update...

Today we released a new version of the HMI to expand the built in web server features. The web server has several new features.

·        The  server now tracks who is logged on and if the user is inactive for a configured length of time, the user will be logged off.

·        The server now allows to define a target page for the first time a user logs on.

·        HTML pages created outside the HMI can now be used.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

HMI release...

Yesterday we had an HMI release containing two new features.

The first is a method to view trend histories. Before this release a user had to use a window with a trend graphic element and a command to instruct the trend graphic which date to use for display. With the new feature a supplied window has a calendar on the left side and a trend display on the right side. The calendar indicates the days containing data for the trend and by using the mouse and clicking on a date the trend data is displayed. It is a fast and easy way to view trend histories.

The second feature is a new 'Alarm panel'. The HMI has an 'Active Alarm' window and graphic elements that can be used in user created windows to view alarm information. This new graphic element is very configurable and includes buttons for all the normal operations regarding alarms. Each button can be visible/invisible, the alarms displayed can be limited to an alarm group (or all groups), configurable colors for each field or by alarm type and many more options.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Today we release a new version of our HMI that contains several changes and a new graphic element.

The new graphic element is a radio button list. Much like the checkbox list it controls one analog point and uses the bit number to read/write each radio button value.

While using the graphic editor we discovered an anomaly with 'arcs'. It manifested when the start and end angle of an arc had certain characteristics. After additional testing we found the cause and implemented a solution.

We also changed the way grouped elements are stretched. Now, when using the selection rectangles to stretch a grouped element the group is scaled. This maintains the size of the elements and the position of the elements to each other at the same ratio as before stretching.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Two new graphic objects...

The HMI has buttons, sliders, drop down list, indicating pushbuttons, etc. and today we added a simple checkbox and a checkbox list. The checkbox uses a single digital point and the checkbox list uses a single analog point. The 16 individual bits in the analog point are used for indication and control in the checkbox list.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

HMI update...

Today we released two new features for the HMI.

The first new feature is the ability to play a video file embedded in a graphic window. AVI, MPEG and any other format that has a codec (coder-decoder) installed in the OS. The playback can loop, pause, resume, etc. WAV and WMA files can also be played (audio files).

The second new feature is for the camera inputs. The HMI has always provided the option to record the video image to an AVI file. The start and stop of the recording was under user or script control. While this worked fine, it could use a large amount of disk space and require the recording to be on all the time to catch some event.

The new looping feature provides for the video stream to be recorded in a "loop" and under command the loop will be copied to another file.

For example, a machine is randomly faulting. The fault condition is known, but not why the machine is faulting. The video port is configured to maintain a 10 minute loop. When the fault condition is detected, the HMI can be commanded to save the loop. Later the video can be viewed and possibly the cause of the fault will be determined. (A squirrel ran across the sensor light beam, a passing cart bumped the stop switch, etc..)

Friday, May 25, 2012

New communications protocol...

Today we released a new version of our HMI that supports Fatek PLCs using the native Facon-PLC protocol. The HMI supports RS-232/485, TCP/IP and UDP/IP.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

New graphic element...

Yesterday we released a new graphic element that provides for viewing, editing and printing of Microsoft Excel XLS files during runtime operation. One nice feature is Excel is not required to be installed on the computer running the HMI. XLS is the file extension for Microsoft Excel 97-2003. Newer versions of Excel can save to the XLS format.

This release also included several more features/changes.

·        A runtime window to allow masked string entry, like entering a password, the actual characters are not displayed, under project control.
·        A two button window for Boolean runtime operations. (three and four button already exist)
·        The ability to configure a user name and settings and then use a 'force log on' command, to always have a user logged in. The user must be configured for 'forced log on' for the command to succeed.
·        A change of the ODBC logging thread for better performance.
·        A reduced 'watchdog' timer logging selection for the MODBUS RS-485 port. This prevents slave devices that are off-line, on purpose, from filling the event log with timeouts.
·        Additional event logging.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

4/18/2012 update...

We have had a few releases since the last entry.

We added additional logging to the LogixOPC server program to help customers creating OPC clients track OPC calls to the server. We also added some additional testing for data in the connected PLC.

For the HMI, we added more support for importing data from an RSLogix L5k file. The HMI now imports UDTs (user defined data types). We added a new feature/command to print the currently selected window when a 'print screen' command is received. Full screen printing is still supported. An attribute to open the Omni flow report viewer after the collection of a report was added. One fix to the graphic editor so the 'window in a window'  element will correctly display the source window at design time.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

X/Y Chart...

We had a release a few days ago for the HMI. We added an X/Y plot to the graphics engine. The X and Y axis are defined by files as well as up to 16 static data series.

The axis configuration and static series data are stored in comma separated text files to allow external programs to set the data values and the HMI to render the plot.

The axis can be any values as long as each tick is an increase to the previous tick. In other words, the data points for the axis can be linear or not. The plot uses an "F(X)" function to determine the correct point on the plot.

Up to 16 dynamic data points can be configured for each plot. One axis can be fixed if desired.

We made a short video, the link is on the web site, that covers the graphic element.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

HMI update...

We had a new release today.  A few new minor additions and a few enhancements to thread management for ODBC connections. We also added the ability to use an ODBC DSN (data source name) configuration in the ODBC ports.

The major reason for the release was we discovered the update feature was not always closing the HMI program when the user selected to run the automatic updater. This has been corrected.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Excel to device....

For quite some time PeakHMI has provided a method to read data from an Excel spreadsheet and transfer the data to an external device, like a PLC, either in a continuous mode or at the command of a person or script. This required marshalling the data from Excel into the HMI for storage in tags and transmitted via out tags.

After talking with a customer we realized for some applications (e.g. recipe), the need to read the data to 'in' tags and then transmit via 'out' tags was overly complicated.

We designed a new feature that reads all the data from an Excel spreadsheet and stores it internally. At the command of a person or script  the data, via tags (the tags contain the destination address), is transmitted to the device.

For example each column is a recipe and each row is an ingredient. The HMI is commanded to transmit a column (a recipe) to the device. All the configured rows (ingredients) are transmitted to the device.

An example project, including the spreadsheet, has been created and placed on the website. The PLC used for the example project is a Micrologix 1400 but, any protocol we support can be utilized.

Excel is not required to be installed on the computer for the HMI to read the values from the file.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Window in a window...

We released a new HMI version today that contains a new graphic element. The new element allows for one window to be displayed in another window.

For example, the project requires a collection of 16 LED indicators to be at the top of all windows and to display the same information. Placing all the LEDs in one window, setting the animations and then referring to the window in all other windows would be a better solution than re-creating the LED 'panel' in each window.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"ODBC In" example...

This morning we posted a very simple project that demonstrates a user clicking one of three buttons. Each button reads four cells/values in an Excel spreadsheet. The column and row are the same for each sheet. The sheet name is different for each button. Simulating, each sheet as a different recipe with four ingredients. The values are transferred to a Micrologix 1400.

The data source could have been any database with an ODBC driver (we have not found a database that does not support ODBC).

 Any protocol the HMI supports can be used as the data destination.