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.