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.