ICON is a
small, reliable, low cost "Web Appliance" style product designed for
general purpose data acquisition and process control systems.
It is unique because all programming, configuration and operation
takes place from a Java enabled
web browser or separate Java application program running on your
The ICON is connected with a 100baseT
ethernet port to a Local Area Network (LAN) and becomes a "Web
server" which is accessed from a Java enabled web browser or
our Java application. Therefore it is compatible with Windows,
Unix (Linux) and Apple machines. This allows many
users to be connected to the ICON simultaneously.
Because the ICON uses
standard Internet protocols and 100BaseT ethernet it can become
part of any modern LAN/WAN and take
advantage of all the products designed to transport
and handle TCP/IP including DSL, cable and cellular
Operation of the ICON is encrypted password protected
and includes a different authentication key for each
password. One password enables programming and HMI configuration.
Other passwords select different Human Machine Interface
(HMI) operation capabilities. Some users may be allowed
to view data only. Other users can view data and make
The only access to the ICON is through the proprietary
ICON software. There is no other software such as Telnet
or FTP that could allow a "Cracker" to gain access to
the ICON. As long as the passwords and authentication
keys are kept secret, it is virtually impossible for
unauthorized people to gain access to the ICON.
Of course standard Internet techniques of firewalls
and "Virtual Private Networks" can be added to increase
The ICON is designed to access the
following types of I/O:
- The primary input data and
output control operatins take place over RS485, 2-wire
serial RTU Modbus. Our Modcombo device provides for 10
inputs and eight outputs. Inputs can be configured for
digital, event counting, frequency or analog and the
outputs are digital relays.
- Third party serial and/or TCP
Modbus RTU slave units can also be connected.
For example the Terminator field I/O
with TK1-MODBUS interface, DL05, DL06, DL205
with D2-250 CPU, DL305 with D3-350 CPU
and DL405 with D4-450 CPUs from www.automationdirect.com can
- ICON is contained on
a two-board set that includes one ICON Controller
board and one Power/Bus module.
The top Power/Bus module contains the
power supply and RS232 to RS485 converter.
The bottom processor board contains the
main processor, RAM memory, compact flash disk,
battery-backed real time clock with watchdog reset,
two RS232 serial ports and one 100BaseT ethernet
The compact flash disk
holds the ICON software execution engine, user
written data acquisition and control program with HMI
and historical data files.
Each serial port can access serial
Modbus RTU devices.
Optionally one or two additional serial
ports may be added to the
four program execution loops. The scan timing for
each loop can be set in 100 mS increments.
Each loop is further partitioned
into modules. Each module contains data acquisition and control
instructions to program the desired task.
- A program is built from over
30 different types of instructions that provide the
building blocks of your program. These instructions
operate on the values of the program variables.
Machine Interface (HMI) Capabilities
- The HMI is made up of many
display screens. There can be one HMI display screen
for each program module.
- The user can navigate from one
display screen to the next with screen selection
buttons located on the screens or by right clicking
the mouse and selecting a screen name.
- A master alarm screen can be
configured to pop up when the master alarm trips. This
screen can also display sub alarms or contain screen
selection buttons to display other alarm
- An HMI screen consists of a
colored window with title. On this screen can be
located display objects to display the values of
variables, input objects to set the values of
variables, colored frames with optional text, screen
selection buttons, help buttons which bring up user
created HTML pages and jpeg or gif pictures.
- A screen may also contain a
button to bring up the historical data reporting
facilities. This allows the user to view any data from
the historical periodic or event files in tabular
form, send the report to the printer or save in a
local PC file to be imported into a spreadsheet such
as Excel. The periodic data may also be displayed in
strip chart graphical form.
- A screen may also contain a
button to allow the configuration of certain selected
parameters of an instruction (such as alarm limits for
the Limit instruction).
- The HMI text can be in any
- Variable values may be
displayed in text boxes as values (or values mapped to
text or pictures called selection sets), meters, bar
graphs, LEDs and trend charts.
- Variable values may be set from
text boxes, slide switches (2 or 3
position), toggle switches (2 or 3
position), knobs (continuous or 2
to 7 discrete), sliders (continuous
only), buttons (2 position) or radio
buttons (2 to 32 discrete).
- Ability to create a data
acquisition and control program.
- The program is always
executing, even during program development, thus
preventing control loops from stopping in critical
- Full editing capability to
insert, delete, copy, move and configure instructions
and complete modules.
- Ability to insert modules from
other ICON programs saved on flash disk. This allows a
library of modules to be developed. Then a new program
can be created by inserting the appropriate modules
from the library program on flash disk.
- Ability to locate any
instruction by caption (instruction comment),
instruction type, Module or variables used.
- Save and load programs using
the local flash memory. Backups may also be made to
the host PC computer.
- General configuration parameters
may be set. These include loop execution
timing, logon passwords with priority
levels, TCP/IP connection information,
email addresses and periodic and event
historical data file configuration.
- Set program instruction
- Single step through
- View and modify variable
- The debug mode is the only place
where the program can be stopped.
The program will automatically start
execution when leaving debug mode
or if the web browser connection is
creation and configuration mode
- For each module the programmer
may create an HMI window. The window title, size,
position and background color can be set.
- A drag and drop interface is
used to position and size HMI objects. A snap grid
size can be set to help line up objects and create
objects of the same size.
- Each object contains a box
size, border type, box color, caption, font size and
- Complex objects can be created
by layering simple objects (full Z order is
- Objects may be copied, deleted
or Z order changed.
- The frame object allows other
objects to be grouped together (for instance to create
the look of an instrument panel). Once a frame with
other objects is created it can be moved, copied or
deleted as a single block.
- Each object can be assigned a priority
so that when users access HMI screens,
only objects within the proper priority
range, as defined for their password,
will be displayed on their HMI screens.
Historical Data Files
on Flash Disk
Each ICON can have four separate periodic data files.
Each periodic file can record from 1 to 1024 different
items (bins) per record on a periodic time base. Each
file can have a different time base. The time base can
range from once per second to once per day in one second
steps. It is common to record instantaneous data once
per minute and average data once per hour.
The file is circular. You may specify the length of
the periodic file in records. At the end of the first
recording interval, data is written to record 0. At
the end of the second recording interval, data is written
to record 1. This continues until all periodic file
records have been written to. Now at the end of the
next recording interval, the data in record 0 is overwritten.
Each record also contains the date and time the record
was written. If the data is of long term importance,
it must be transferred from the ICON's periodic file
to another file located on your main computer.
Each ICON can
have four separate event (alarm) data files. Each event file can
record from 1 to 1024 different events. Each event record
contains the date and time of the recording, the data
value, the status or alarm and the event number.
The file is circular. You may specify the length of
the event file in records. The first time an event record
is to be written, it is written to record 0. The next
to record 1. This continues until all event records
have been written to. Now at the end of the next recording
interval, the data in record 0 is overwritten. If the
data is of long term importance, it must be transferred
from the ICON's event file to another file located on
your main computer.
128 different email recipients may be configured. Each periodic and
event file may be configured to send data to all
or a subset of these recipients. Data is emailed when
recorded to flash disk.
The ICON has a file maintenance mode. This
allows any data, program, HTML or picture file to be either uploaded
from your PC to the ICON (for restoration) or downloaded form the
ICON to your PC (for backup). You may use these functions to update
the firmware of the ICON and save and restore your application
programs. You may also delete, rename or copy files on your flash
disk. Finally you may select any file and determine its size in
bytes and date of creation or last access.
Last updated December