I am part of the team of the Interaction Design Lab at the University of Siena.
I am here to write you to tell about our experience with your platform and to ask you a question about it.
For one of our projects we had to realize a web interface to monitor and visualize online the data of a foundry here in Italy, so we decided to try with your service. Here a screenshot about the main page of our dashboard:
Thanks to a smart retrofitting operation we were able to digitize the operations performed by one of their PLCs and catalogue them into a database.
Using a custom service, we have stored online such data aiming to retrieve them on Losant and rethink them in a graphic way in order to be more comprehensible for the foundry’s operators.
First we have created some devices that represent the digital version of the plant and we assigned them the relative variables.
These variables were then aggregated as needed within the “Bar chart” blocks to be able to see in real-time their value (0 or 1).
However, we had to abandon this strategy because the variables were many and this block does not allow a usable presentation of names and data (they are also quite long too). So we decided for the “Image” block: we created a PNG image of a table containing the full name of the variables and an empty cell to the right of it on which we placed “overlays” representing the real-time status of the reference variable.
This process was very long and, if in the future we need to modify the table, we will have to change the positioning of the “overlays” again risking to commit some mistakes.
Here you can have an example of one of our tables: in the left column there is the name of the operation, in the right column the “overlay” with the real-time state of the variable and in the pop-up above the “overlay” the address of the variable in the database.
So the question we wanted to ask you are:
Is there other way to address our needs that we have not considered?
Is there the possibility to use the already existing “table” blocks to insert our custom variables and, according to their behavior, to have a customizable output similar to what happens now with the “overlays” of the “Image” block"?
If it is not possible, do you think to insert, in the near future, a deeply customizable “table” block, also based on the experience we have reported?