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Flex727

Problems with UniStream controller

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I've been using the Vision products for many years now and have been looking forward to moving up to UniStream for many of its advanced features. I have just begun that transition and I am already finding some problems that I don't understand.

 

1) Sluggish response from the HMI screen - on the V570, when you touch a button to move to another screen, the response is instant. Even with a very large and complex program with PLC cycle times of 7-9ms, the screen jumps, button presses, and various animations are instantaneous. With the UniStream, I find the sluggish response to be a very significant issue. It can be a large fraction of a second between a button press and initiation of a screen change. This is particularly bad when I press an ASCII String function to enter text. It can be over a full second before the keyboard pops up. By the way, the Caps Lock on that keyboard does nothing that I can tell.

 

2) There is a LOT of stuttering when I create a simple animation using a list of images. On the V570, I run a routine with 10 images that I want to execute with about a 100ms delay between each image. It runs very smoothly and looks great. The exact same routine on the UniStream 7 stutters with several of the images being delayed by something unknown. This is with a PLC scan time of about 0.5ms.

 

3) If I have code with two buttons positioned near each other where I want one button to appear when the other button is pressed and the pressed button to disappear, what actually happens seems to vary dramatically. Sometimes the second button appears before the first one goes away, sometimes after (and it can be a half second or so!), but never at the same time. On the V570, this is undetectable by the eye - one button disappearing while the other appears at the exact same instant - every time.

 

4) Just as a test I set a Binary Image to be triggered by the 1 second system bit (i.e. it will be image 1 for .5s then image 2 for .5s). It is easily discernible to the naked eye that the images are not cycling at .5s intervals. It varies constantly, and while the average remains a 1 second cycle, each pulse does vary by quite a bit.

 

My concern is that I'm comparing a V570 with a large and complex program with many HMI screens and lots of code to a UniStream 7 that is barely being taxed with very little code and very few screens - and the UniStream is comparing very unfavorably. What will happen when I have the full program developed? Is this sluggishness and stuttering going to be worse? Before I invest too much time in UniStream, I'd like to understand what the issue is.

 

By the way, I'm using the latest version of UniLogic and have upgraded the UniStream 7 to the latest firmware. Not that this matters, but I am running a Windows 7-64 bit PC.

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Hi Flex  :)

 

There is something that I need to point out about UniStream, that is very different from—and in many cases, represents an advantage over—Vision.

 

In UniStream  the Ladder processor and HMI processor are two separate entities in all respects.

 

The benefit:

 - You can create a complex, ginormous Ladder application, much bigger and more complex than in Vision, and the Ladder code will have ZERO effect on your HMI application.

 - You can create an absolutely gorgeous HMI application, much bigger than in Vision—and you can include embedded video, STREAMING video, animated gifs, and much more

The PLC scan cycle has no effect on the HMI application, and vice-versa. NONE. So, you don't have to worry about that at all B)

 

Regarding your observations on the HMI itself, it is true that some of the responses, currently, are not as fast as in Vision, and some transitions are therefore visible to the naked eye (and we are working to improve that).

 

However, when we weigh the slight lag against:

·         UDFBs, snap-to ladder programming, the easy-to-use Toolbox, program Actions…

·         Huge gains in HMI such as video, streaming video, .pdf display, animated gifs, user-formatted Data Table widget, transparency and rotation, and user controls…

·         True Webserver with a great design editor that is basically identical to the HMI editor, user controls and all…

·         The big leap in communications—the configuration method, as opposed to programming, in addition to the fact that UniStream supports more protocols and unlimited sockets

·         A portable User Library for Ladder functions and HMI screens

·         Tag database…andandand 

 

Well, UniStream is in a different class—even if, currently, certain transitions of screens and objects have a slight visible lag.

 

I want to add this—Vision is, in my humble opinion, a GREAT product (not that I am biased, of course :rolleyes: ) and if it suits a particular application like a hand in a glove—no reason to switch.

If you are swatting flies, best to use a fly-swatter and not an elephant gun—and if you are using a controller to automate a gumball machine, best to select Samba over the 15" UniStream supreme :P

 

But when you need the size, power, and flexibility for a large application, or any of the other benefits that UniStream has to offer—a half-second lag in disappearing that button may not be so crucial.

 

Please do continue to report issues as you see them. As you know, having worked with our products for longer than either of us care to remember…we at Unitronics take feedback and criticism very seriously, and are always working to improve our breed.

 

BTW—The CAPS lock issue was a bug, and I understand it is fixed in the coming version.

Flex, please send me your application -  I'd like the Support dudes to check it for specific issues.

Thanks!

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Thank you for the terrific response, Cara! What you say makes a lot of sense. Yes, you're right that Vision is a GREAT product and I have been singing its praises for years. I have a better understanding now of what's going on with UniStream. I do think we have some need and application for UniStream with its unique features. I'm going to develop a sample application and let my employer review it. We'll see where that goes. We're all enthusiastic about the capabilities of the UniStream that we'll have available.

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