What's a good way to solve automation puzzles? Step one is having well-designed products that are easy to use for the most basic implementation. Step two is getting multiple products to work well together and thus save the user time. This is the problem that the Parker Xpress product is intended to address. To see this concept in action, give ACR-View 6.1 a try.
A typical application that includes a human machine interface (HMI) and controller requires the user to create tags in the HMI that represent data in the controller. This can be tedious work, creating names and assigning the correct controller address. Often names for these variables already exist or were developed in the controller project, so having to re-do this again in the HMI is double work.
A new feature with ACRView 6.1 is a Tag Export utility, which eliminates that redundant effort. With just a few clicks, ACR-View will construct a text file that properly formats the tags and associated addresses for import into an Xpress HMI project. A set of standard tags are created based on the project and controller configuration. For example, the jog flags and actual position parameters for each axis are tagged, using the axis names in the project. Additionally any user variables in the DEFINE editor will also get tagged. This feature can be used with any ACR9000, 9600 or even Aries controller.
Now, when you develop the HMI screens in Xpress Manager, you can import this list and have a full list of ready-made tags. If it normally takes thirty seconds to enter a tag manually, importing 300 automatically generated tags for a four-axis application could save two and a half hours of programming time. That's why we call it Xpress.
This article originally appeared on the Parker Motion blog in February 2011. Article contributed by Jim Wiley, applications engineer and Mario Mitchell, product manager - Electronics Business Unit , Electromechanical Automation North America.
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