The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) requires a completely new way of handling data. In the past, process data or electrical parameters had to be painstakingly recorded on site on the factory floor, but today, any network-capable sensor in the world can be read via an app.
The large amount of generated data needs to be easily accessible to the machine operator via a Human Machine Interface (HMI)). With the PROCON-WEB software tool, Weidmüller provides a visualisation solution with dynamic user interfaces that can be individually parameterised and configured without any programming expertise.
I/O system as a basis
System configuration is performed in the browser without needing to use a specific operating system and the software can be accessed directly via a network or via a cloud.
The process data from machines and plant (e.g. current, voltage, temperature and pressure), is recorded and controlled by Weidmüller’s u-control and can be displayed not only via input and output fields, but also in the form of curve progressions. It can also be pre-compressed, stored and forwarded. At this level, the information can be visualised both locally on the machine and at other production-related locations such as the shift supervisor’s office. There is also the option of remote access via the internet.
From data collection to data systematics
The systems described reflect the development from decentralised automation to Industry 4.0, where data can already be easily recorded and processed. However, there are many other solutions being used which comprise of proprietary, closed platforms with manufacturer-specific input and output devices. The path that a data record takes from the factory floor to an ERP system passes through countless gateways and usually needs to be created individually.
Thanks to the numerous proprietary and standardised communication interfaces (e.g. OPC UA), it is not only possible to connect to Weidmüller u-control, but also to any other control system regardless of manufacturer, as well as to higher-level MES and ERP systems. u-create PROCON-WEB therefore gives real freedom of choice when selecting controllers. The same also applies to communication in the cloud as this too, is platform independent.
The WEB HMI user interface in u-create PROCON-WEB is programmed as a browser application. It runs in any HTML5-compliant browser without the need for plug-ins such as Flash, Java or Silverlight and can therefore be used on almost any end device without the need to install software. In addition, the extensive range of communication drivers guarantees flexible integration into both existing and new machinery and plant.
u-create PROCON-WEB supports the user with dynamic user interfaces and multi-touch/gesture control. The solution excels in its parameterisation and configuration options so that the user can use simple project planning to create user interfaces that look and operate like modern web applications or apps, without the need for programming expertise.
Furthermore, users can scroll through the page contents or switch between the different pages by simply swiping on a device. Colours can be changed and elements moved with smooth transitions. There is also an interface with dynamic and freely arrangeable tiles, similar to Windows 8, and a modifiable design that enables the use of mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Visualisation: focus on the user
The highlight of visualisation with u-create PROCON-WEB is that the focus is no longer on the individual machine, but on the individual user. This makes it quick and easy for users to find their way around the new interface.
The software supports a multi-faceted roles and rights system in order to provide the displayed data in a device-specific and role-specific way as required. This means that the groups of people accessing the data, such as plant operators, production managers, quality managers and maintenance staff, are provided with exactly the information they need, in the form that best corresponds to their tasks and the nature of the operating devices.
In summary, u-create PROCON-WEB combines the openness and performance of web applications with the configurability of classic HMIs. The ability to react to different end devices and to the role of the logged-in user means that the interfaces can be adapted to both content and devices. Automatic scaling functions also make it easier to switch between devices and to disconnect from specific hardware.