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Unitronics' Blog: PLCs, HMIs and more

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Cara Bereck Levy


This major release of UniLogic, the programming software for UniStream programmable controllers, introduces Multi-Touch HMI screen technology, familiar to us all from the world of cell phones and tablets.

Our new UniStream model, the USP-104M10-PLC, supports a range of gestures such as “Swipe” Navigation, Press, Press & Hold,  Double-Tap, Press & Tap and more.  

Use these to boost your client’s user experience, as well as Two-Hand Operation to increase the operational safety of your end-users. 

Other important features in this release:

  • CANopen: EDS Import, View, Edit, & Ladder Functions
  • UDFB Online: view running values in UDFBs, including local tags
  • MODBUS: Aperiodic/ Periodic Operations per slave, singly or in batches
  • Receive SMS: new Ladder Element, plus Authorized Numbers option
  • SQL: supports MySQL Server and an option to communicate via Port or Instance Name
  • *Cyber-Security Update for FTP & VNC  All applications using FTP or VNC must now use passwords of 6 to 8 characters that contain upper and lower-case letters and digits. Upgrading older applications with passwords that do not meet these criteria will result in a compilation error.

Hardware Configuration

New UniStream: Multi-Touch panel

Hardware Configuration now offers the USP-104-M10.
This multi-touch model offers gestures such as Swipe navigation, and enables you to trigger actions via Press, Long Press, Press & Tap, double-tap and more, including Two-Hand operation – a recognized safety measure.

A single screen can contain elements configured to different triggers. This enables you to add a layer of safety to your screens. For example, you can implement a 2-point press (two-handed operation) that requires the user to press the screen in two distinct locations to activate a task.



EDS Import, View, Edit

You can now easily import, view, and edit EDS files for CANopen devices, as well as automatically create PDO structs.

New EDS Ladder functions

EDS functions enable you to initialize the device with values currently in the EDS file, including values that you edit/enter via UniLogic's EDS utility. In your program, use the In Progress bits to condition the functions.

Init Node EDS: Initialize a specific node with values edited/entered via the EDS utility.

Init All Nodes EDS: Initialize all of the CANopen nodes in your project

Restore Node Defaults: If your CANopen device enables this function, which refers to object 1011 in the node's dictionary, you can use this to reset all of the node's addresses to the manufacturer's default values.


CANopen Properties now include Enable Heartbeat.

Select this to send a heartbeat from the PLC, according to the time interval specified in the parameter Heartbeat time. The time range is 100 (default) to 100000ms (10 seconds).

CPU Stop Mode

Switching to Stop Mode will automatically send a reset command to all nodes.



Aperiodic via Ladder,
Operation Batches

This version offers the ability to create both Periodic and Aperiodic operations, either one at a time or in batches.

Most application requirements are met by Periodic operations, which run according to the time intervals you set. However, you now have greater flexibility to:

smallred.gif   Use simple Periodic Operations to read/write data from/to many sensors,

smallred.gif   Use an Aperiodic Operation to write a single setpoint as the result of a run-time condition,

smallred.gif   Use an Aperiodic Operation to turn a group of outputs ON as the result of a run-time condition.

Note that you can prevent an individual operation from running via a bit in the operation's Active parameter.

Two new MODBUS Ladder Elements, Aperiodic InDirect and Aperiodic InDirect Group to enable you to trigger a single operation, or a group of operations, via your application.

Troubleshooting MODBUS

You now have new MODBUS troubleshooting options:

smallred.gif   A new parameter in the Remote Slave's struct, Drops can help you to troubleshoot projects with a large number of sensors, where the entire queue of operations may not be able to run during the scan.

smallred.gif   A Status field has been added to the MODBUS operation Parameters. This will hold the error codes from the MODBUS protocol itself. Note that it must be reset in your application.

Other Communications

Receive SMS + Authorize Numbers

Use this new Ladder element to receive an SMS message and store it along with its metadata.

You can also block messages from unauthorized numbers by creating an Authorized Numbers list in Modem Configuration.

SQL Server

Now supports MYSQL, and the option to use either Instance Name, or Port.

Message Composer

Float values are now supported.


The Scanner Node struct now contains the parameter Connection status. This contains the response status of the connection attempt.


HMI & Web

FTP Image Widget

Use this widget to stream files from an IP camera that uploads images to an FTP server. The images are cached in a folder on the SD card. Buttons the user to display images, clear the image cache, or to save the images currently being displayed.


Data Table Widget

This version brings added widget features. You can now:

smallred.gif        Assign Column Width/Visibility to each individual widget

smallred.gif        Move the focus and highlight a specific row in a data table by writing a value to the property Tag: Selected Row Index

smallred.gif        When a data table is displayed, touch anywhere within a row to select that row

If you assign a Float value to a column, you can determine the location of the decimal point via by right-clicking the column and assigning it

HMI and Webpage Editor Redesign

Both editors have been redesigned for faster, smoother function, and load screens - even screens with many elements -faster than before.

Other added features include "Snap" behavior:

Rotation: While rotating, elements will now automatically snap to angles of 90-180° when approaching these angles. To rotate without snapping, first hold down the Alt button on your keypad, then click and begin the rotation.

Alignment: Now, the active element is marked by handles. When moving elements, a snap to middle line is displayed.

HMI: Live Trend Widget

New Live Trend displays a running variable integer value as a curve on a Trend graph. You may define up to 4 curves.
Unlike Trends derived from Data Sampling:

smallred.gif        Live Trend values are not drawn from a Data Sampler.

smallred.gif        Live Trends do not store any values, log any data, or create any files.

They are convenient for tasks such as representing temperature values, where only monitoring is needed and logging is not required.

State Machine Button

State Machine Button is now available for Web pages as well as HMI display; use the value of a register to display variable text within a button, and to drive multiple Actions via the button.

HMI Element: Password

A new attribute, Password Length, allows you to enter a number to limit the number of characters, 1-32, that the user can type into the field.

Asian Language Support

UniStream now supports the  WenQuanYi Zen Hei font which supports Chinese, simplified/traditional, and also Korean.

HMI Elements: Digital Schedule & Digital Time

When checked, a new attribute, Retain AM/PM Space, retains the Placeholder space for AM/PM when H24 (24-hour format) is selected.


Usability Boosters

UDFBs: Online Values

View online/debug values within UDFBs, including local tags, along with a counter 'since last update': simply right-click the Call UDFB function in the Ladder, and select Monitor.

Drag Tags:
Assign Tags via
Drag & Drop

A new, easy way to assign tags is via CTRL + Drag & Drop.

Press and hold down the CTRL keyboard key, click a tag, and then drag and drop it to assign a ladder parameter or an HMI option. You can drag tags from the tag database window, or a tag assigned as a ladder parameter or HMI option.

Formula: Drag from Ladder

You can now drag any Formula directly from the Solution Explorer, instead of placing a Formula Ladder element via the Ladder Toolbox and linking it to a Formula.

Start Online after Download

If you download the same project into UniStream, and are connected to the unit, Online mode now begins automatically.

You can cancel this behavior via the UniLogic Project tab, by clicking Options and deselecting Start Online after Download.

Handy "Find"

The Ladder ribbon tab contains two new icons: that enable you to find rungs that are disabled, as well as rungs marked "ToDo:".

To mark a rung, enter the text "ToDo:" including the colon. (the text itself is not case-sensitive)

The complete list of features, as well as Bug Fixes may be found at https://unitronicsplc.com/Download/Support/UniLogic/UniLogic_Example_Projects.zip

Programmable controller UniStream Multi-Touch .png


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