Modularization for Efficient HMI Engineering

The final HMI at the push of a button with VisiWin.

Modularization has long become the norm in machine construction. The VisiWin modules concept allows you to create, manage and maintain HMI modules for different machine configurations.

The HMI of a machine usually includes general functions as well as machine-specific and customer-specific functions. At least the general funcions of the frame application such as navigation, system settings, alarms view, user management, etc. are more or less identical for all machines.

The individual mechanical components and machine controlling units are also often modularized so that they can be used in different combinations in a machine.

With its modularization concept, VisiWin now applies the same approach to HMI. The application frame as well as all modules can be pre-defined and then optionally customized and put together to create the final HMI of a specific machine. Ideally, creating the final HMI is nothing more than selecting the required modules and pushing the button to generate the final application.

The individual modules (plugins, as we call them) and the application frame (shell) are self-contained partial projects separately developed and versioned. These modules are reused, not copied again and again for each application. Fixing a bug in a module benefits all applications where that module is used. Teamwork and software maintenance are thus considerably improved.

PlugIn = Machine Unit

Plugin Features

  • Uniqueness of all definitions (variables, texts, views, etc.) is automatically ensured across all plugins
  • Multiple instantiation of plugins possible
  • Global, shared definions possible
  • Automatic merging of plugin projects via the IDE or at runtime possible
  • Plugins can be passed on as uneditable, versioned packages

The Printing Machine as an User Interface Example: Initial Configuration

Printing Machine Initial Configuration for Mudularization

Addition of two Modules

Printing Machine addition of two modules
Your advantages

  • Single source: maintenance, testing, release, versioning, management, consistent look-and-feel
  • Encapsulation: module security, passing on of modules to the customer, know-how protection, individual selling
  • Engineering/development: teamwork, source control (GIT or similar), project merging
  • Reusable components for individual machine models
  • Maintaining different machine configurations
  • Individual combination and exchangeability
  • Prevention of error sources

 

Read here how our customer Krones successfully applies the VisiWin modularization concept.

 

See this video for an illustration of our modularization concept:

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