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.