Technology news: June 2012
Supervise logic controllers from your smartphone
Crouzet has developed a series of Android apps and PC programs that will allow users of its Millenium 3 family of logic controllers to view and control machine settings on a smartphone, tablet or PC located up to 10m away from the controller.
The Virtual Display software (above) reproduces the controller display on a smartphone, tablet or PC screen. Connections between the controller and remote device are made via a Bluetooth dongle that plugs into the controller’s programming port. PC users have an additional option of making a direct connection using a USB cable.
There are two versions of the software. A Lite version allows an operator to view data as it appears on the controller screen, but not to make any adjustments. A Standard version of the software allows the user to access all of the controller’s functions and to adjust parameters.
Both versions are free for PC users running either Windows XP or Windows 7 and can be downloaded from Crouzet’s Web site. They run as widgets in the corner of a PC screen.
Android users can download the Lite version at no cost from Google Play, while the Standard version will cost them £7.92 in the UK.
The software can be used with all of Crouzet’s Millenium 3 controllers, even “blind” versions without built-in displays, allowing users to choose cheaper versions of the controllers for some applications. The controllers can be monitored and adjusted even if they are installed in hard-to-access locations.
As well as being used to set up and adjust the controller parameters and set-points, the software can also be used, for example, to count events or to monitor temperature changes in real time. When used with blind controllers, the software can restrict maintenance access to qualified personnel.
Crouzet says that launch of the Virtual Display software marks the first stage in the development of other mobile interfaces for operator-machine and machine-machine dialogues.