Web base HMI


Thread Starter

Derek Chan

I just attended a seminar by Schneider that promote using the WEB Browser as HMI. It is really cool to be able to build a WEB page and connect to a PLC to retrieve live data. They have JAVA applets and SDK which you can build on
top etc.

Just wondering if any body knows of any tools much like the symbol factory from Software tool box that will allow a WEB programmer build a HMI screen using HTML CODES ? Any company out there selling any software tools for WEB based HMI, preferably with JAVA support? (pardon me I am new to all this) Maybe one solution is really to use existing tools from from symbols to generate ActiveX and plug them to the HTML codes ? Anybody has any ideas ?

Derek Chan
I'm not quite sure of what you're asking. I'm fairly familiar with the Modicon Transparent Factory products, and have designed several applications with them. You can actually embed the data from the Java appletws within a
regular web page just by inserting a Java applet in the page. Embedding a Java applet in an HTML page is standard for web programmers. I have done it many times. You insert a java applet and give it a couple parameters and it will show you a piece of data. You can even use the tools available to you in the Graphic Editor outside of the Graphic Editor by embedding any object from a saved graphic page in the web page. So you can have bar graphs, lights, selector switches, rotary knobs, etc. right within any web page on
the FactoryCast module.


Quiroz, Daniel (VE01)


If you are really interested on this. you should check the HMIWeb* Technology from PlantScape (Honeywell-SCADA). It does exactly what you


Daniel Quiroz

Hello Derek,

Also check out www.iconics.com. This product does exactly what you want to cool WEB
activeX tools and advanced WEB publishing tools for creating your WEB based applications.

Yes, its Transparent Factory.

This is really a vendor specific product, because you get the applets that work only on their PLC and web paged residing on their PLC memory (limited, but is a tip of an iceberge). I have a look at the Iconics ActiveX (as suggested by RUSS) that can be plug into the WEB Pages. Looks
interesting...need to find out more on what it can do. Question I am really asking is say if I have a computer sitting on a plant network..and I have many vendors PLC on the same TCP/IP ... and I want to a retrieve a WEB HMI Page..from a server..., it will
a) Display bar graphics from different PLCs on the same web page
b) Have a trend page, also picking data from different PLCs
d) Have a ALARM page, with alarm monitoring from various PLCs
c) Animation of colors of objects taking data from different PLCs.

Something like this would require
- a computer, or computers to host the WEB pages
- This host(server) would probably be collecting datas from various PLC over the TCP/IP, or even its own serial port.
- A user may run a browser to retrieve a WEB page from the host(server), and the applets on the HMTL codes provide live animated data. He may even visit a PLC, retrieve its WEB page for diagnostics, and view its diagnostics

I really do not know how all this work....(newbies in WEB), so pardon me if I am asking something that people are already doing....

How to put together something like this ?

I am really investigating if there is any product offering in the market that does this already? (probably yes?)
a) Does existing HMI vendor have solutions like this already ?
b) Can we get software components to put together system like this ? basic software components (like communication drivers, Graphic software libraries)
Very much like what I am doing now with Visual Basic, and ActiveX software component. Maybe I need JAVA now instead of Visual Basic..

The nice thing about this is, it is browser base, and any computer with a browser can be a station, and behind a corporate firewall, you can visit the
web page from anyway in the world ! You do not need to ask every user to install any software on their computer at all to visit the web page. All you need is a browser. No Upgrades, hours of installations, etc...HMI vendors may not like this as they will lose the RUNTIME per node license fees.

Derek SK Chan
Engineer, A-CONTROL
System Engineering Design &
Consultancy Services

Maguire, Kevin

Siemens has an option for its WinCC HMI/SCADA software that allows you to select which of your HMI graphic screens can be viewed via a web browser (IE 5).

The option is called "WebNavigator".

No additional programming is necessary. Using the Wizard, select the HMI screens and point to the file of your web server.

Trends, alarms, animation, custom functions and the 1,200+ objects in the graphics library can be viewed without additional programming.

Viewing rights can be set to either "read only" or "read/write". The "read/write" setting gives you the same full functionality as a true client
run-time from your web browser.

For connecting to multiple PLCs:

WinCC has both the OPC Server and OPC Client components as well as many 32-bit, protocol-specific drivers that allow you to connect to numerous PLCs/Networks of different protocols simultaneously.

WinCC version 5.0 SP2 and WebNavigator.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Kevin C. Maguire
Siemens Industrial Software
Chicago, IL USA

Curt Wuollet

This is another Tower of Babel issue. Each vendor, if they support this, will use a unique means to do it that will only work with their product. Ironically, this pretty much defeats the purpose of the browser interface. What you would need is something that works like a screen scraper for html. This could be written in perl and would peel the data from the individual web interfaces and then you have data that you can republish in aggregate. Of course, Modicon would have you believe that publishing PLC data on a web page is a patented idea. They can't make it so you need their browser so the next best thing is to see that you have to run a different server for each type of PLC. Even when they "get it" they don't get it.




Robert Willis


I wish to correct a statement that you made below. The Schneider Electric Transparent Factory DOES NOT require a specific browser to function. The browser must support the JAVA language which most do.

You are correct in that the Java is providing the "link" between the HTML and the actual PLC data through the backplane and would be unique to the Schneider Electric TSX Quantum design. However we offer the Transparent Factory Solution on the TSX Quantum. TSX Momentum and the TSX Premium and Micro product line. The last two are based on the Tele protocol and the Transparent Factory interface is the same. The fact that the PLC protocols have changed is transparent to the user of the web based HMI.

Robert Willis
Square D Company
Houston, Texas

Praful Bhayani

You might want to try out SL-GMS which has some cool tools to convert graphics built using a editor to Java code and use it in Java application or bring it up on web as an applet