Here’s a fun way to start the year – CODESYS geeks, answer the question. Milk first, or cereal first?
Fun stuff here and I’m almost just excited to know the literal answer to it without deciphering the technical analogy.
Milk or Cereal First?
In the context of a “first come, first served” (FCFS) basis in the visualisation process, the milk-cereal analogy can be likened to the order in which visual elements are developed and integrated into the system. In an FCFS approach to visualisation development, the “milk” elements take precedence—they’re developed and integrated first into the system. These foundational components establish the initial structure and functionality of the visualisation, providing a base for further additions.
Analogy of “Milk vs. Cereal First” in Visualisation vs. Implementation
In the world of industrial automation and CODESYS development, the analogy of “milk vs. cereal first” can be extended to the decision-making process about whether to prioritise visualisation design or implementation.
“Milk First” – Prioritising Visualisation Design:
This approach aligns with laying the groundwork for visual elements, just as pouring milk into a bowl before cereal sets the base for an enjoyable breakfast.
In CODESYS, it involves meticulously designing the graphical user interface (GUI) using the integrated visualisation editor within the CODESYS Development System. This includes planning the layout, selecting HMI elements, and creating the initial structure for user interaction.
Similar to “milk” forming the foundational aspects of breakfast, focusing on visualisation design first establishes the fundamental elements of the interface. It defines the structure, layout, and initial functionality of the visualisation system.
“Cereal First” – Prioritising Implementation
The “cereal first” analogy correlates with diving into implementation before finalising the visualisation design, much like pouring cereal into a bowl before the milk.
In CODESYS terms, this approach involves commencing the development of the control logic, programming, and system functionality without extensively defining the visual interface.
Just as “cereal” kicks off the meal before milk, prioritising implementation entails beginning the functional aspects of the system, focusing on the logic, data processing, and overall system functionality.
The Balance and Technical Considerations
- Technical Impact of “Milk” (Visualisation Design)
In the realm of CODESYS, the “milk” represents the visual interface’s foundational design. Prioritising visualisation allows for a user-centric approach, emphasising GUI design, HMI elements selection, and intuitive interaction structures.
From a technical standpoint, this early focus on visualisation design ensures clarity in user interaction, facilitates early user testing for UX/UI validation, and serves as a guide for subsequent implementation phases.
- Technical Impact of “Cereal” (Implementation)
The “cereal” in CODESYS symbolises the early emphasis on system logic and functionality, laying the groundwork for system operations and control.
Prioritising implementation might involve programming PLC logic, configuring data handling processes, and setting up essential control mechanisms. This phase establishes the system’s operational core, driving data flow, and functional integrity.
Striking the Balance for Optimal Development
- Balancing Milk and Cereal (Visualisation and Implementation)
In an ideal scenario, finding the balance between “milk” (visualisation) and “cereal” (implementation) optimises development.
Applying this analogy to visualisation development on an FCFS basis, the emphasis is placed on laying down the essential groundwork (“milk”) before incorporating more intricate and advanced visual elements (“cereal”). This sequential approach ensures a systematic and structured evolution of the visualisation process, starting from the core essentials and gradually building upon them to create a comprehensive and sophisticated visual interface.
The CODESYS Visualisation technology provides a powerful and flexible framework for creating and implementing visual interfaces in industrial automation and control systems. Let’s delve into a technical overview of how CODESYS Visualisation work.
- CODESYS Runtime System
At the heart of CODESYS Visualisation is the CODESYS Runtime System, a core component that executes the control program and manages the interaction between the control logic and the visualisation components.
- Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
The CODESYS Visualisation is seamlessly integrated into the CODESYS Development System. This IDE allows developers to design, program, and test both the control logic and the visualisation elements within a single environment.
- Visualisation Design
Developers use the integrated visualisation editor within the CODESYS Development System to design the graphical user interface (GUI) for the automation and control system. This editor supports a wide range of graphic elements, including buttons, text fields, charts, and custom graphics.
- HMI Elements and Widgets
CODESYS Visualisation offers a variety of Human-Machine Interface (HMI) elements and widgets that developers can utilise to create intuitive and interactive interfaces. These elements include buttons, sliders, input fields, and more, facilitating the creation of user-friendly control panels.
- PLC Variables Binding
One of the key strengths of CODESYS Visualisation is its tight integration with the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) variables. Developers can bind visual elements directly to PLC variables, enabling real-time data exchange between the control logic and the visualisation interface.
- Dynamic Content and Animations
CODESYS Visualisation supports dynamic content and animations, allowing developers to create visually engaging interfaces. This capability is crucial for representing real-time data trends, status indicators, and dynamic changes in the system.
- Cross-Platform Compatibility
The CODESYS Visualisation technology ensures cross-platform compatibility, enabling the deployment of visualisations on various devices such as industrial panels, PCs, tablets, or even web browsers. This flexibility ensures accessibility and adaptability across different hardware setups.
- Web Visualisation
CODESYS offers the option for web visualisation, allowing users to access and control their automation systems through web browsers. This feature enhances remote monitoring and control capabilities, contributing to the system’s overall flexibility.
- User Authentication and Security
CODESYS Visualisation incorporates security features such as user authentication and access control. This ensures that only authorised personnel can interact with and control the automation system, addressing critical security concerns in industrial environments.
In summary, CODESYS Visualisation seamlessly integrates graphical interfaces with control logic in industrial automation. By offering a comprehensive set of tools, a user-friendly development environment, and cross-platform compatibility, CODESYS Visualisation empowers developers to create sophisticated and responsive visualisations for efficient control and monitoring of automation systems.
In CODESYS development, akin to the breakfast ritual of milk and cereal, the choice between prioritising visualisation design or implementation sets the initial tone for the development process. However, a balanced approach, harmonising both aspects, ensures a holistic and efficient development cycle, culminating in sophisticated and responsive automation systems.
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