Visualization Styles (Data, Diagram, Illustrative)

Paul Lynn
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Process Visualization (Level 3)

Learn HMI / SCADA hands-on by developing your own live interfaces for a running system.

16:42:33 of on-demand video • Updated October 2020

  • By the end of this course, you will be able to create HMI / SCADA interfaces using various technologies allowing operators to interact with a live, running system.
  • Using the provided PLC program as the basis for our interfaces, you'll be creating fully-functional graphical interfaces to monitor the process, visualize alarms, provide control and even log periodic and on-demand data storing it into a SQL database.
English [Auto] All right talking about screens a little bit when we get to the point where we're actually working in these development platforms and we start creating screens this is just something to keep in mind as a designer that there are basically three different kind of screens that we're going to be creating in our applications. One of these screens is let's just call it a data display. This screen is really going to be showing displays and controls in the form of simple numbers simple buttons. It's not going to be representing the system in any way whatsoever. It's just going to be showing values raw values things that we can change things that we can see it's going to be giving us most of our interaction with the system. These are useful for things like alarm's data displays are useful for configurations for setpoints for tuning parameters. There are a lot of reasons that we're going to want to use these very simple displays because they allow you to give a lot of information and a lot of control in a small space. So they're very efficient splice But we as designers like to create things that are impressive. And as operators sometimes they're going to need a different kind of information. So we're going to work with two other kinds of displays. Not quite as much but we also need to know how to do this because pretty much any HDMI or Skeat application you create is going to use some of all of these kinds of displays. So the second kind of display that we're going to be working with is let's call it a diagram display. So this kind of screen is basically going to be showing a schematic overview of our system or of some subset some part of our system that governs a single process and it's going to show kind of like a PND or some type of schematic lay out of our system. So this isn't probably going to be something that's photorealistic. This is just going to use those symbols to show how everything is connected how everything flows and it's going to show relevant process values possibly even some interactive controls all over this diagram of the system and it's going to let the operators see OK you know my pressure is 80 PSII and I can see exactly where in the system that value is coming from because I'm going to be showing that 80 PSII right next to the device it's sending that signal to my PEOC. So right away you can see kind of the usefulness of this kind of screen for a new operator who's not very familiar with the screen showing him something like you know second bypass temp. Well what's a second by and where. I don't know what that is but when I can see a diagram of the system and I can see that 80 degrees on the pipe that's running between the pump and the tank I can say Ah. OK. Yeah I see what is 80 degrees. Now I know where that is. I could walk over there and you know put my hand on that pipe and it's not going to burn me. OK I know what's going on now. So you can see there's a whole lot of usefulness for training for new operators. You know we're just really to get everything straight in your head with a complex process. It's very useful to have that kind of schematic display. Then the third kind of display We're going to look at. We already looked at data we already looked at diagram. Now let's look at more illustrator of displays. So when we have something like a tank where we can show a symbol of a tank with a number by it. Or we could actually draw that tank big and show a rising level inside of that tank using animations and really kind of animate that tank and bring it to life. And sometimes Let's imagine that we're creating a system that has an entire farm of tanks so it has like 10 different tanks. Well we can show a schematic representation of each of these tanks that has all number next to it. It shows what the level is but at a glance that's very hard to interpret. I have to look at 10 different tanks and read 30 40 to 50. OK I pretty much know where everything is. It's so much easier if you can show me pictures of these 10 tanks and I can actually see a level inside of the tank rising or falling and I can just very quickly glance at those tanks and say most of those tanks are about three quarters full. But take number seven is pretty low. I mean there's something to be said for illustrator of displays because you can just look and you can see this pump is turning that tank is halfway full that blower is on. And you know it's really useful. So we're not looking at a diagram display anymore because we're not necessarily showing how all of the components connect to each other and how things flow in a process. Now we're just showing kind of an image or maybe even a photograph of the actual device and we're showing its state in a graphical way not just using numbers and data and things like that but now we can actually just glance at it and see it. Is it on or off. Is it half full or is it half empty. That's a joke you know because that's the same thing but you get what I'm saying. We want to just be able to sometimes look at things and know what's happening without having to interpret data without having to process the numbers. You know just with colors with animations we can just glance and instantly we know everything that's going on we can assimilate a lot more information and a lot faster using graphical animations and what we can using a table full of data takes too long for our brains to process. We don't work that way. So those are the three basic kinds of displays that we're going to be creating now. You know there are pros and cons for all of those. Obviously when you get into the illustrated and diagram displays you can't put as much information on the screen but it's a whole lot more impactful and it gives a different kind of understanding to the operator whereas a data screen we can do a lot more with it. We can work with that one screen without having to flip back and forth between a lot of different screens. We can do a lot more because we can get a lot more on the screen but you really have to know your system to be able to interpret all that data. So for the person they just got onboard they're not really going to be able to use that data screen nearly as easily as they will be able to use one of the graphical screens. So just keep in mind there are some pros and cons to each of these and you're never going to build an HDMI that only has one kind of screen. OK you might once in a while but in general your age in my eyes you're going to use some data screens they're going to use some illustrated screens are probably also going to use some diagrams screens so keep all three of those tools in mind. Your tool box is not complete if you don't have all three of those in it. You're going to use those. I want you to put those into the projects when we get to those stages. And you've got those. Now we're going to be practicing them later so keep them in mind. Cheers