TwinCAT Vision and TwinCAT HMI Control

May 26, 2021
Increase Visualization Capabilities with Machine Vision-Specific Control Software

Expanding the toolbox of available HMI controls, Beckhoff has released the new TwinCAT HMI Control. In combination with the Beckhoff image processing software, TwinCAT Vision, the new control gives users the option of directly integrating image processing into the TwinCAT HMI operator interface. TwinCAT Vision can transmit live video and images from machine vision systems into TwinCAT HMI. This control solution can be configured within minutes, and it can expand the image display control and color control.

The image display control enables direct linking of multiple machine vision images and switching easily between currently displayed images. It also supports the following:

  • freezing the image to stop it from refreshing and allowing detailed analysis of the last capture
  • scaling and moving the image within the vision control (by means of touch gestures, mouse input or direct entry of specific values) for more precise viewing of image details
  • displaying a toolbar with directly usable control elements (e.g. for selecting images, scaling, creating shapes, freezing the image refresh and downloading the displayed image)
  • displaying an information bar that shows current details and values, such as image size, pixel coordinates, color values and shape data
  • drawing shapes (points, lines, rectangles, ellipses and polygons) with modifiable positions and sizes to determine size, area and coordinates and to set regions of interest, among other things
  • displaying graphics (a cross, rectangles and circles) or image overlays for the purpose of setting up and positioning cameras and workpieces

Integrating this new control for the TwinCAT Vision toolbox directly into TwinCAT HMI increases engineering efficiency even further; users no longer have to create and code these capabilities themselves. The new TwinCAT image control makes these capabilities fully available and efficient by incorporating a large number of separate controls and extensive JavaScript programming.

In addition, the TwinCAT Vision HMI package’s color control provides the following features:

  • three options for entering and displaying color values (a text box, a slider and a color input element in the browser)
  • flexible configuration and editing of the number of channels, the color value range and available controls
  • a choice of horizontal or vertical screen orientation
  • conversion between various color formats, such as grayscale, RGB and HSV

The color control incorporates various other controls as well as JavaScript programming. It can also link to a four-element array variable to edit a color filter directly from the PLC. This, too, saves users time and engineering effort when integrating image processing into HMI in control applications.