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bjarket

Suitable tool for an advanced supervisor application

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Hi LabVIEW users!

I've been given the task to develop an application which should monitor and control a system with pumps, thermocouples, pressure sensors, valves and storage/mixing tanks. The problem is that the mentioned components can be interconnected in every possible way (any pump can be connected to any tank and so on). The user should have the option to configure the software such that a graphical representation of the setup is shown in the frontpanel.

Now, the perfect solution for the setup view would be a view much like the block diagram where the user can drag and drop components and connect them with wires. The blocks should then be pumps/tanks/sensors or the like and the wires should be pipes.

Is there any toolkit out there that would give me such a functionality? I've been looking at the DSC module but I guess that the provided graphics essentially just is a library of figures...

Thanks!

/Bjarket

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QUOTE(bjarket @ May 11 2007, 08:45 AM)

I've been given the task to develop an application which should monitor and control a system with pumps, thermocouples, pressure sensors, valves and storage/mixing tanks. The problem is that the mentioned components can be interconnected in every possible way (any pump can be connected to any tank and so on). The user should have the option to configure the software such that a graphical representation of the setup is shown in the frontpanel.

In a past project I worked on an antenna <-> radio equipment switching system that did what you describe, only with radio equipment instead of pumps and valves. The display and connection screens are based on the picture control and a database of allowable connections. The system components are drawn on the picture control and then the current connections are drawn as wires per the database. The user can click on the picture control and bring up a routing matrix dialog and change the routing. Sometimes this is explicit, other times the system selects the best route using an autorouter routine very much like a schematic capture/board layout autorouter using color mapping topology algorithms.

So you can do this with LabVIEW and a simple database (or even totally in LabVIEW, the database just makes it easier).

Good luck.

post-932-1159825841.gif

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QUOTE(bjarket @ May 12 2007, 03:05 PM)

Thanks for your reply!

As I suspected, there's no easy solution :)

Not easy as in a "canned" toolkit solution, but don't get discouraged. Making an icon based drag-n-drop system dependent on the picture control is also not that hard, especially if you've done it before. I assume that your system has a bunch of valves that control the interconnections between the pumps and the tanks, yes? And that the physical system, once built, does not change very often, if at all; rather you only change the position of sets of valves and turn motors/pumps off and on, same for maybe heaters or other piping system type components, yes?

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QUOTE(bjarket @ May 12 2007, 03:05 PM)

Thanks for your reply!

As I suspected, there's no easy solution :)

/B

This answer won't make me very popular here, but there are actually a bunch of very easy solutions. They're called HMI/SCADA packages, and the kind of on-the-fly reconfiguration you need is pretty much standard for this class of software. You know, there's an old saying that I'm fond of that applies perfectly here: When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Sometimes, even though there may be a solution possible, LabVIEW just isn't well suited to a given problem.

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QUOTE(Mike Ashe @ May 13 2007, 02:31 AM)

I assume that your system has a bunch of valves that control the interconnections between the pumps and the tanks, yes? And that the physical system, once built, does not change very often, if at all; rather you only change the position of sets of valves and turn motors/pumps off and on, same for maybe heaters or other piping system type components, yes?

Actually, the piping system is (and should be) very easy to reconfigure. This is an essential feature of the system, so one could imagine that a setup is used a week after which it is changed according to another chemical process.

Crelf; thanks for pointing me to Lookout. I'll have a look at it!

/Bjarket

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