How to Build a Basic HMI and Connect it to a Modbus Slave
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How to Build a Basic HMI and Connect it to a Modbus Slave

Build your very first Human Machine Interface and animate it by connecting it to a Modbus Slave device
4.6 (39 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
225 students enrolled
Created by Emile Ackbarali
Last updated 2/2017
Current price: $12 Original price: $75 Discount: 84% off
4 days left at this price!
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  • 2 hours on-demand video
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What Will I Learn?
  • Understand the basics of a Human Machine Interface
  • Become familiar with key software applications
  • Understand the basics of an HMI Development Application
  • Create an HMI Application
  • Add Data Points to an HMI Application
  • Add and Configure Graphical Objects to an HMI Application
  • Animate Graphical Objects in an HMI Application
  • Monitoring Communication between the HMI App and Modbus Slave
View Curriculum
  • Basic working knowledge of the Modbus RTU protocol.
  • Familiarity with the installation of software applications on the Windows OS platform.

First and foremost, this course is ultra-practical. 

It walks you through the building of a Basic Human Machine Interface (HMI) application using software tools that you can download and use for free. The videos will walk you through the building of a live HMI Application that communicates with a Modbus slave simulator. 

What makes this course very effective is that you can do everything that is shown in the course without purchasing any additional software tools. Once you do exactly what is instructed in the videos, at the end you will have a very firm grasp of HMI application development. 

Furthermore, the HMI Development application used is a real product used in the industry and priced at only Euro 49.00. So if you are involved in the HMI Application development in your work or hobby areas, you can purchase the software to unleash it's full power and use it in your own projects. 

The knowledge that you will gain here is not some set of abstract concepts floating around in space, but real skills that can be applied immediately and relevantly to the process automation industry. 

Who is the target audience?
  • Electrical Engineers
  • Electrical Technicians
  • Electrical Tech or Engineering Students
  • Process Control Technicians and Engineers
  • Process Automation Engineers
Compare to Other Modbus Courses
Curriculum For This Course
35 Lectures
4 Lectures 12:53

The lecture conveys the overall idea of what an HMI is and why it is used.

Preview 02:41

An overview of what we will be doing through the course and how we will be using the various software applications.

Preview 03:12

A look at what exactly an HMI Development Software Application is.

Preview 03:52
Downloading the Software Applications
4 Lectures 09:42

Modsim32 is the Modbus slave simulator that will be used to simulate the Modbus slave in the course.

Downloading Modsim32

Virtual Serial Port will provide a virtual null modem cable connection between Winlog Lite and Modsim32 to allow for Modbus data communication.

Downloading Virtual Serial Port

Winlog Lite is the HMI development software application. It is the main application that will be used in the course.

Downloading Winlog Lite

Winlog Lite has a lot of documentation that goes along with it and it can be overwhelming. This lecture indicates what the are the most important documents to consider.

Downloading the Winlog Lite Documentation
Basic Concepts and an Initial Data Connection
9 Lectures 35:21

A look at the properties of Channel, Device, Gate and Object with respect to HMI applications.

Preview 03:37

Virtual serial port kit and Modsim32 are both configured for the single data point example.

Configuring Modsim32 and Virtual Serial Port for Single Data Point

In winlog lite, a project is essentially an HMI application. In this lecture, an empty project is created.

Creating A Winlog Lite Project

Within the HMI application, Channels and Devices are configured. A channel describes the protocol and the physical communications port that will be used by the HMI application. Devices specify the addresses of the various modbus slaves on the network.

Configuring Channels and Devices

Every data point that is to be read into the HMI application must have an equivalent gate as the object that holds the value of the data point. A gate is more often known as a Tag in other HMI Development Applications. 

Configuring a Gate (Tag)

Modsim32 uses 1-based address whereas Winlog Lite uses 0-based addressing so to read address X in Modsim32, address X-1 has to be entered into Winlog Lite.

Modifying the Modbus Gate address due to Offset

Templates are windows and screens in an HMI. In this video, a new template is created and an LED object is configured to change colour based on the Modbus Input Status. 

Creating a Template and LED Object

The configuration has been completed and in this video, the HMI application is run for the first time.

Running the HMI Application

In the lecture, a pump graphic as well as a label are added to the template to make it much easier for an operator to understand the process.

Making our Basic HMI more user-friendly
Adding a Graphical Link to a Modbus Coil (Output)
4 Lectures 12:57

A diagrammatic overview of what is going to be done in this section.

What we are going to do in this Section

In this lecture, a new gate is created which maps to Coil 53.

Creating a New Gate for the Modbus Coil

The template is modified. A switch graphic is added and is linked to the new gate that was added in the previous video. The HMI application is then run.

Adding a Switch Graphical Object to the Template and Running the HMI

An additional graphic is added to confirm set/reset of the output coil.

Adding Output Feedback to the HMI
Working with Analog Data Values
8 Lectures 24:39

In this section we are going to simulate an Analog value as a water level and then introduce a tank graphic.

What we are going to do in this Section

In this lecture, a numeric gate is added to store the value from the input register, which represents the tank level.

Adding a Numeric Gate linked to an Input Register (Analog Input)

A gauge graphical object is added to the template to show the tank level. The tank level gate is linked to the object.

Adding a Gauge Graphic to show Tank Level

A tank and pipe graphic are added. Both are static objects but allow for much better visualization of the process.

Adding a Tank and Pipe Graphic for better Process Visualization

Running the HMI Application

In this lecture, we start down the road of using an Analog Output as the set point for a variable frequency drive. 

Considering an Analog Output (Holding Register) linked to a VFD

A new gate is added that is linked to the holding register and then an Edit object is placed on the template and linked to the gate. 

Adding the Gate and modifying the Template to handle the Analog Output

Running the updated HMI Application
Template Management and Communications Monitoring
1 Lecture 04:20

In this lecture, various features are show that allow for template management as well as communications monitoring.

Set the Start-Up Template and Monitoring Modbus Communications
Connecting the HMI Application to the DL05 PLC
4 Lectures 10:49

A video of the physical set up of the DL05 PLC is shown on the workbench.

The PLC DL05 set up that we will be using

The Port 2 in the DL05 PLC is set to Modbus RTU and then the Channels/Devices in the HMI application are modified.

Setting the PLC Modbus Port and Modifying the Channel/Device in the HMI

The numeric gates are deleted since the DL05 does not have analog support. The digital gates are modified by changing their Modbus mapped address.

Modifying the Gates and the Main Template in the HMI

Running the updated HMI Application
1 Lecture 02:30

What to do next to keep further solidify concepts.

The End - Where to go from here
About the Instructor
Emile Ackbarali
4.5 Average rating
1,119 Reviews
2,697 Students
13 Courses
Software Developer, Systems Integrator and Entrepreneur

I have been working in the fields of Software Development, Software Systems Integration and Process Automation since 1996. In 2003, I stepped out on my own and started working for myself providing software development and systems integration services to small and medium businesses.

I am also associated with a great company called Mora Systems Limited that under the leadership of it's Managing Director has produced innovative and outstanding products and services in the fields of GIS and Cellular based SCADA.

Teaching has always been a passion for me. I have taught at the tertiary level for many years on the subjects of programming, control systems as well as systems integration. In the last few years I found myself incorporating more and more videos into the curriculum with amazing results.

When I heard of uDemy I just could not help but sign up. With teaching in a classroom, you can reach only so many students, but with uDemy you can reach the world! I plan to publish and promote as many courses as I possibly can on the uDemy platform.