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Industrial Automation

Operating Systems

There are currently three versions of the “Movement Controller” product available. One of which runs on the DOS operating system (compatible with Windows 2000 and from which most of the screen dumps on this web site have been taken), one which runs on Linux and X-Windows and a third which runs under Microsoft Windows 2000/XP.

The Linux/X-Windows and Microsoft Windows versions provide full GUI interface (mouse, scroll-bars, window resizing, multiple windows, et cetera), allowing the mouse to be used wherever practical, while still retaining full keyboard support so that the system can continue to be user-friendly in mouse-hostile environments.

Below is shown a screen dump of the Linux/X-Windows version:

Screen dump from Linux/X-Windows version of
     Movement Controller, showing the windows for the
     heavy-unit-load conveyor system, the palletiser, the carton conveyors and
     pick-to-light system, and the stores (racking diagram).

This X-Windows screen dump is taken using the GIMP toolkit. The selected window manager was “Enlightenment”, the selected theme was “Ganymede”, the selected backdrop is a view of Antartica from space, the selected desktop was “Gnome”, and the display size was 1280x1024.

It shows the main, drop-down menu at the top of the screen, the stores diagram at the left immediately below it, the heavy-unit-load conveyor system diagram (titled here “Crane and trolleys diagram”) at the right immediately below the main menu, the palletiser status and commands at the bottom left, and the carton conveyor system at the bottom right. At the extreme bottom right is the return tab for the hidden Gnome task bar.

There is no compulsion for the desktop to be so cluttered. Alternatively a user may choose to have only a single window open at a time and to size it to fill most of the desk top. The settings of window sizes, along with colour selections, are stored on a user basis, which also encourages users to ensure that they log on and off correctly.

In the wake of converting one site from the DOS system to the Windows XP system, the operators objected to the added complexity of the Windows envioronment. In order to please these operators, we added a log-in configuration option that would cause the “Movement Controller” to be presented as it was in the DOS system, with only one window open at a time and that window being maximised.