Human-machine interface (HMI) technology has undergone a number of dramatic changes in recent years with the increased adoption of high-performance HMI guidelines and mobile device use. One of the products designed to keep up with these changes is Opto 22’s groov mobile operator interface system, which connects machines, equipment, and control systems with mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Automation World first covered groov in the 2013 article “Bridging the HMI Terminal/Mobile Gap”.
Now, Opto 22 is preparing to release groov 3.1 (scheduled for availability in early Q1 2016), an update that adds integrated image management, new image uses, and new on-screen and project options so users can create any operator interface they require. According to Benson Hougland, vice president at Opto 22, “With groov 3.1, industrial automation end-users, system integrators, and machine OEMs can create an operator interface that exactly meets their requirements.”
The new image library in groov 3.1 manages all the graphics used in a groov project for image uploading, access, and handling. When a graphic is imported into a groov project, it is added to the image library; during interface development the graphic can be dragged and dropped on the screen. The same image can be used throughout an interface project, and when the image is updated or changed in the library, all instances of the image throughout the project are updated.
Additional graphics features in groov 3.1 include a new Image Indicator gadget that uses graphics to indicate state or range values, and the ability to use images for button gadgets and page links.
“For OEMs, machine builders, and anyone who needs to customize an operator interface with a specific logo and color scheme, groov 3.1 project options let you change default menu and caption bar colors, freeze the menu bar, and replace the default ‘groov’ logo with your own graphic,” says Hougland.
Additional improvements in groov 3.1 include new options to adjust text size, color, style, font, and background color in gadgets; to size gadgets smaller to achieve greater detail and density; and to select and change properties of multiple gadgets simultaneously. A revised tag overview screen shows all tags in use and the events for each tag. Also, groov systems that connect to Modbus/TCP devices can now access individual bits within Modbus registers.
To access a trial version of groov with a live online demo, visit: groov.com/see-groov-now. (Note: This live online demo is for the currently available 3.0 version of groov.)