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Progea is now part of Emerson.

Movicon.NExT: The latest version 4.1 innovations

Movicon.NExT 4.1 is the new forthcoming version for innovative industrial software platform oriented at offering all designers the most advanced, scalable, and powerful technology for connectivity, supervision, and analysis solutions of any automation system.  The Movicon.NExT software platform ensures unprecedented scalability that can be used to create WebHMI projects for small-embedded Linux systems, Windows Embedded PC-based HMI systems, Edge PC, or for SCADA supervisory stations of critical processes, as well as enterprise production analysis, Plan Analytics and Industry 4.0 solutions. 

An all-inclusive, flexible, modular, and scalable software product that is suitable for interfacing with any field device and management system.  It is the ideal solution for companies looking for advanced and innovative technology that, combined with excellent support and consultancy services, will ensure the success of their projects whatever they may be.

The release of the new version 4.1. marks an important step in the evolution of the Movicon.NExT technology. Claudio Fiorani, the R&D Manger Progea Srl and President of the OPC Foundation Italy, states that: “Progea’s driving force of evolution is continuing on and a number of various new and better features have been applied to its product, which remains by far the most innovative of its kind.  The efforts of our developers have focused on consolidating the WebHMI product, in addition to collecting user feedback to produce more functional and performing solutions.”

According to Paolo Fiorani, the CEO of Progea Srl, “Our integration into the Emerson group guarantees the international community of Movicon users and designers, continuous development, greater investments and the enormous expansion of our global presence, which is already bearing its first fruits”.

The new version 4.1 summarizes the results of this past year, although difficult in terms of operativity due to the pandemic that has hit the whole planet.  Despite this, the company endeavored to keep on going, even during the toughest of lockdowns, pursuing its goal of evolving the platform and ensuring technical services to all users.  The new release will be made official and available for free downloading from the website at www.progea.com within this month of June 2021, only a few months later than planned.

Movicon WebHMI 4.1, the entry level product keeps on evolving

WebHMI is the latest Web technology for Web-based HMI solutions, integrated within the Movicon.NExT platform and released with the product’s new version 4.0.  Designed with the aim to extend the platform’s scalability to Linux devices, Movicon WebHMI is the best solution to create HMI Web and Cross-Platform solutions, based on Web Server and HTML5 technology.  Project screens created with the Movicion.NExT editor can be visualized using any browser and independently from the hardware and operating system being used.
We have taken a giant leap forward with the new 4.1 release by fine-tuning the product’s technology, which has almost reached maturity with enhanced and extended features.  By using the same design environment, users can create projects based on 100% Web technology, with a powerful I/O Data Server that can communicate all field devices, manage alarms and historically logging data on DB, and consents to HMI screen visualization using any HTML5 web browser.

The WebHMI 4.1 software product’s new key features include:

  • A Scheduler management for both server and graphic viewer
  • Extended logic feature with JavaScript code support with use of Function Blocks. Programming logic using Function Block Diagrams (FBD), It is now possible to create JavaScript code using custom function blocks.
  • Support to graphical Chart objects
  • Support to Status Bar graph objects, the powerful temporal histogram on DB data.
  • Linear Charts
  • DB Connector Grid
  • DB Data Grid Viewer
  • Support to the Events Manager
  • Restyling and improvement of all the Movicon.NExT Toolbox object.
  • Numerous other improvements and bug fixes.

 

I/O Data Server 4.1: new driver technology for all products

All the I/O interface R&D Team were committed to intense work which included the new validation of drivers. This involved engineering new base classes which were originally planned to be released together with the version 4.0.  However, it was deemed best to delay their release to coincide with the version 4.1 release to ensure the maximum quality possible.  The new base classes are the framework within which all the communication drivers are created to manage the proprietary protocols of all the most popular field devices, such as PLC, PAC, Fieldbus, and instrumentation. The new base classes are based on a completely revised software technology to ensure improved performances.  “It was a great team effort, very complex, but on average with the new base classes, we have managed to triple the communication speed with which data are exchanged between server and the devices,” says Alberto Rabboni, manager of the driver development team.

In addition to performances, the following key features were also implemented:

  • “Atomic” input of data structures.
  • Option for “synchronous” data input.
  • Customizable string length management in data structures.
  • New SDK based on new base classes.

 

Editor 4.1 much easier to use

The R&D team’s inexhausted efforts to improve and simplify the platform’s design environment remain ongoing. “It is a continuous path”, says Claudio Fiorani.  “We collect user experiences through their feedback and the usability experts study ways on how this information can be implemented to further improve the product’s usability.   This has allowed us to introduce improvements with the new version, and others will soon follow as we continue pursuing the path of continual improvement”.

The Editor 4.1 key innovations are:

  • The complete revision and restyling of the Editor’s icons and images.
  • Improved positioning and default configuration of toolbars, with restore at startup with +CTRL
  • Introduction of Client connection and local Client variable setting configurations using designated Settings forms.
  • Improved use of the project tag selection window.
  • Improved certificate management in distributed projects (Client and Server).
  • NET management and editing with WinWrap script engine updating.
  • Drag&Drop techniques extended to the Recipe and Parameter managements.
  • Improved indications on tags that contain script code.
  • Use of editing grid also for structure tag members.
  • Revision and restyling of the Scheduler Window object to make scheduling easier.
  • Simpler and faster Gauge and Meter objects have been added.
  • New Dynamic Text feature.
  • New advanced functions added to the Trends, Data Analysis and XY Chart objects.
  • New flat style graphic symbols for minimalist screen use.
  • New and advanced features for layout screens to make HMI interfaces more functional for designers.
  • Option to customize the position of the system’s Numeric Pads.
  • Improved and revised usability of the Recipe management window and viewer.
  • New features added to Function Block logic, including the option to customize blocks with JavaScript code.
  • Improved and extended Server Redundancy features, especially in user database management.
  • Augmented Reality systems now include QR code management to manage the recognition of codes in relation to parameterized data or contextual screens.

While the stringent tests for product validation are nearing completion, the R&D team has already began work on coding new features and improvements for the next version 4.2, which is expected to be released in May 2022.  The roadmap is intense with many innovations in the pipeline.

The new Movicon.NExT 4.1 software platform will be available shortly at no increase in cost or upgrade charges.  This is a demonstration of the company’s main mission to proceed with its new technology-oriented policy, while keeping the classic Movicon version 11.6 platform available in its production line.

According to Paolo Fiorani, “The classic technology of Movicon 11.6 will remain in our production line as established in our roadmap.  All our customers and partners who use the classic technology can rest assured of its permanent availability and Progea is not pressuring anyone to migrate to the new platform. Whoever wishes to do so, can do it calmly when they feel that certain conditions exist and entail this to happen.  However, It is apparently clear that technology innovation is Movicon.NExT’s trademark and the new version 4.1. bears witness to this.”

The new version is available for downloading. Stay tuned to improve your experience in using Movicon.NExT.

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