Today, we had our first team meeting with the next generation Mi5.MUC team. You can find below an excert of the internal presentation and the upcoming important dates.
We are now highly motivated to start and get to know each other.
We proudly announce a design study, made by the spanish university IQS under Prof. Andres Garcia. It is the university of our alumni team members Jordi and Bernard.
Students made a design study in order to make their ideas of possible modules more tangible. You can see a frozen yogurt machine, with a cooled yoghurt dispenser and a topping module. In another study, there is a dispenser of “disparillos” and other sweets to decorate the product. In video 4/8 you can see an animated dispenser with different toppings and a mixer.
All the Mi5 team congratulates the students at IQS for their great work. We hope to collaborate further on this topic, and would love to build a module together.
Keep up the awesome work!
Ps.: Please note that video 2/8 cannot be watched in germany, since there is a GEMA conflict :-/
Since June 2014 we are working together with Prof. Grossmann from TH Ingolstadt and his student, to develop an innovative approach for an HMI. For this approach the students use typical elements from Computer games, which can then adapted in an HMI, that is used for real automation processes. At the end of the semester, the students presented their work to the MI5-Team in a big presentation. It followed, a discussion and feedback.
Below you can find an example of the report of the investigation of the different game elements. Visible is an so-called inventory view. Something similar could be used to show with what kind of actors or sensors a module is equipped. It could show a picture of a module, status information or more. Typically this is shown at some corner of the screen for an overview, or centralized for more information.
This research was then adapted to some more practical approaches by other students. They made a list as it can be used in production to see a queue or control the process. In the picture below, you can also see a message box, that keeps the user up to date about ongoing events.
With this ideas in mind, and some very good approaches, we transformed it into a more practical approach with a tool called Balsamiq. It allows us to use typical desktop elements like lists, tabs, dropdown menus in a sketchy way, so that the idea can be transported easily. Colors and fonts are not yet finalized.
Besides, we looked at possible use cases for the HMI. Therefore we used two different perspectives:
The first ist divided into the groups first-time users, that have no knowledge of the HMI, intermediate users, and expert users. With our approach we will be able to give all of them a good user experience. Next to the skill level we looked at the task of the user, e.g. maintenance operator vs production operator.
It is now July, and since our HMI shall also be portable to any modern device, responsive by design and with an intuitive touch experience, we decided to do it with web-technologies. One prototype can be seen below. It is hard-coded and runs on an Apache server.
While developing this proof of concept, and during the following month, September 2014, we investigated technologies for further development.
These technologies are then combined to one HMI module (we follow our modular paradigma). This module includes an OPC UA client, and acts as a server for the HMI-web-pages. Doing something so complex like an HMI in a web-page is in our opinion a good approach, since the web-development community is huge, and all technologies used are for free and open source. They are also bullet-proof and exist for production for a long time, just look at a website like Google or Amazon, that practically have no downtime, and run on any browser flawlessly.
Our draft for the system architecture of the HMI looks like this:
For developing we use Nodeclipse and GIT versioning.
Please let us know what you think, in the comment section below. We also attached some more screenshots and excerpts of the Students report from the TH Ingolstadt.
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Um dem mechatronischen Ansatz in unserem Projekt gerecht zu werden, arbeiten wir mit digitalen Skizzen.
Für die HMI ist es entscheidend, die relevanten Akteure in der Gesamtwirkungskette zu identifizieren, und anschließend den Informationsfluss darzustellen. Dies ist meist nicht mit nur einer Grafik schaffbar. Um einen Überblick zu erhalten sind verschiedene Sichtweisen notwendig, zum Beispiel die Sicht des Anwenders, des Wartungsingenieurs, und andere.
In dieser Phase gliedert sich diese Skizze eindeutig zur Initialphase, und Anforderungsspezifikation.
To give the industry and our supporter a better understanding of the process, we visualized the modules that are docked to the XTS.
The simulation was done by Bernardt Cortes and Jordi Mas. Both students from the spanish university: Universidad Ramon Llull. They came to ITQ for 3 months, to get some working experience.