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  • I have an automated machine in the late stages of prototyping that I'm working out a SCADA system for.
    I'm running a PC that I need to talk to 4 things:
    -a touch screen to act as an HMI
    -a PLC handling the actual automation -(need to occasionally change some registers, and read from the registers to update the HMI) current a Mitsubishi, will probably become Allen Bradley
    -run a video loop on a TV
    -occasionally network back to corporate for several purposes
    -update the video loop
    -log statistics
    -troubleshoot PLC/HMI code
    -see operator screens "live" for telephone support (a wish)

    see my machine at www.wilkinsonbaking.com

    1. What role(s) can Mango play in this setup?
    2. Any suggestions on further software for completing this setup? I have some ideas, but I'm asking the open-ended question on purpose.

    Feel free to reply to any/all of this. I'm still researching, but I need to start making some decisions soon. Having a consulting programmer write something custom is being heavily discussed in our group...

    Thank you in advance


  • Hello,

    Your product sounds delicious - i'm a bread fan.

    Mango is intended to be a centralized software "brain" of a system. To the extent to which hardware state can be monitored and controlled, Mango can provide those services in complex ways. Addressing your points:

    • We are not aware of Mango being used in the same environment with a typical HMI. Usually Mango is the HMI (via a browser).
    • It is not (yet) common for Mango to be used as a PLC, although as long as Mango can communicate with the hardware it is possible. Frankly, it is likely that you will need to buy connectivity components between Mango and the equipment anyway, so you should analyze the financial benefit of using Mango as a PLC.
    • Video feeds are not yet supported
    • Data logging is very much a strong point of Mango
    • Connectivity to corporate systems is possible but depends on the connectivity mechanisms.

    Overall, i recommend that you download and install Mango to try it out, read the online documentation, and test some of the functionality. Most users are able to get a feel for how it works quickly, although it can take some time to explore all of the functionality.


  • I didn't intend to imply that Mango can do all of the things I need...
    I'm still buying a commercial PLC (AB or Mitsu), and my PC can take care of the video on screen.
    I take it from your reply that I can use Mango to run as an HMI and to log some data.
    Q: My machines will be put in a retail space and need to run autonomously (not relying on a network), but I want to be able to troubleshoot remotely - meaning login and see the HMI display via the internet.
    Does Mango support this in some way? Because of the browser capability I'd suspect it does - but I'm not sure how to implement it. I also need to pull data-logs down to corporate once a day/week.

    I've downloaded and installed Mango... so we'll see what I can learn from the documentation.


  • I didn't intend to imply that Mango can do all of the things I need...

    Neither did i! :)

    I take it from your reply that I can use Mango to run as an HMI and to log some data.

    Mango can do a quite a number of things, of which those are important parts. The list of major features is here: http://mango.serotoninsoftware.com/features.jsp

    Q: My machines will be put in a retail space and need to run autonomously (not relying on a network), but I want to be able to troubleshoot remotely - meaning login and see the HMI display via the internet. Does Mango support this in some way? Because of the browser capability I'd suspect it does - but I'm not sure how to implement it. I also need to pull data-logs down to corporate once a day/week.

    There are two parts to the answer to your question. First, the machines need to somehow be able to get data to Mango, or Mango be able to get it from the machines; either way, some method of connectivity is required. Second, you need to be able to get to Mango, which as you've noted merely requires a browser (and for your Mango instance to be accessible).

    The first one is the harder problem. What some people like to do - if no wired internet connectivity is available - is use cellular modems and an ISP that acts as an internet gateway. This method suffers from being surprisingly expensive for the relatively poor reliability you get. A better option is a basic telephone line, but both of these approaches are complex because of the PPP layer and issues with dialing in (handling busy signals, no answers, etc.) The bottom line is, if you can get a direct internet connection, that's the way to go. For the money it is easily the simplest and most reliable.

    The question then is, how are you delivering data, i.e. what is the protocol? This will likely be determined by the PLC that you use.

    Depending on the answers to all of the above, there are a variable number of steps to solving the problem.

    I've downloaded and installed Mango... so we'll see what I can learn from the documentation.

    Great!


  • getting the data to Mango should not be a physical problem...
    If I'm running it as the HMI, it'll be on a computer local to the machine - I just need to solve the protocol communication with the PLC.
    After that, I can use a network/internet to use "remote graphical views" to help me answer questions from an in-store operator?
    If I've got Mango logging to a SQL database - I should be able to pull it's contents semi-daily as well...


  • I had made the assumption in my previous post that your instance of Mango would exist in your corporate environment. You are correct though: you can run an instance local to your machine. In fact, you can run machine-local instances and have them communicate with a corporate instance, but this would bring you back to your machine-to-corporate connectivity problem.

    The remote graphical views will work, but the issue will still be connectivity: browser interfaces require TCP/IP networks. Assuming some internet connection is available you may still have issues with firewalls and such. However, Serotonin has some new software products to solve this problem as well. Instances of Mango behind firewalls and/or on internal networks can be made available by using a Serotonin tunneling agent.

    If you have a corporate Mango instance talking to machine instances, you can do much better than just semi-daily. You can have near real-time updates. Check out the documentation on Publishers.