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The Multi-State Bitmap is great for showing the various stages of a process graphically instead of with text messages. The PLC just updates a TAG to select the image it wants to display. In this example the increment decrement button is changing this IMAGE INDEX TAG – normally the PLC would do that… and I’m showing the index here just so we can keep an eye on it. As you can see we get a different image for each time the TAG is changed. We go from one conveyor, to three conveyors, to chop mode, now we’re boxing, maybe you have a cooling mode .. maybe there is some kind of issue on the line and maybe you bring the line to a full stop. The beauty of this is you can use any graphics you want and can have up to 17 images per object. This is a really great way to show the user what is going on. The multi-state bitmap is watching a TAG down on the PLC – when the PLC changes that TAG value, the Multi-State Bitmap displays the corresponding image. If you are feeling creative, you can even use this to generate simple animations. Here is an example of a banner flying across the screen… The PLC would simply increment a Tag and wrap it back to zero to repeat the animation loop. I have F1 key setup to increment this TAG and F2 setup to reset it. So as I increment the TAG – you can see the TAG incrementing here – each image appears on the screen, every time I press F1. When I get to the end of the images - there are 16 images in this loop – I simply hit F2 to reset the index and then repeat the cycle. Normally the PLC would do all of this, of course. Let’s do an example so we can see how this works. Double click or drag the Multi-State Bitmap onto the screen. It’s important to understand that you have a choice – you can sequence the images by either shifting a “1” through a 16 bit shift register OR by incrementing a TAG and referencing the images by image number. It’s really personal preference and really depends on how you set things up in your PLC. You just need to be sure that you pick one BEFORE you start loading images. Once you start loading images you can’t change it back. We’ll index our images by image number in this project and we’ll use this IMAGE INDEX TAG we already have setup. Now when we go to the image tab, and we just fill this table up with the images we want to use. We’ll just grab a few random ones for this example … so let’s add a new image .. and let’s add the alarm clock, we’ll add another one, how about the conveyor belt, add another one, the three belts, and how about one more – the chop blade. So these are the images we are going to sequence through with the TAG we setup on the previous tab. Note that we can do all the usual stuff for each image – you can lock the aspect ratio, stretch to fit, change the background color and even set the alignment. Also note the counter up here in the upper right – it tells us we have used 4 of the 17 available images. These arrows MOVE the image. For example, suppose I want this blade image to occur in this slot. Select that image and move it up to the second slot. If you want to sequence through the images, use the mini simulator. So since we moved the blade up to the second position we expect to see the alarm clock, then the blade, then the one and the three conveyors. Let’s take a look. We increment our simulator to zero, 1 is the blade, 2 is the single conveyor, 3 is the triple conveyor. Note that that also shows up on the screen. So THIS sequences you through the image, THIS moves the image. So be careful you don’t use this to sequence things – it will mess up your list. Lets go back to the general tab – everything looks good, so hit ok, simulate, save the project. This multistate bitmap is monitoring this TAG. As this TAB changes, the bitmap reflects that. So now the PLC is in control over which image gets displayed on the screen. Look what happens if the TAG value exceeds the number of images we have in our table. Let’s go to a 5 for example. Ah, we get an error message. We can change that .. let’s go back to the dialog .. in this box right here you can choose how error messages are handled. Right now we have it set to display an error message. But, we could have it display a blank image, or simply display the previously displayed bitmap. Let’s just have it display a blank for now. We’ll say OK, simulate that, save the project and up pops our simulator. Now if we go to image 3 which exists, we’re fine. If we go to image 7 which doesn’t exist, instead of an error message, we just get a blank. Check out the How To Videos on Animations for example of how to do both black and white and color animations. You will be surprised at what you can do with these little panels! Here are a couple previews: Here’s an example of the classic Muybridge experiment where he setup cameras to see if a horses legs ever left the ground. I’m doing the same ting here – I’m just incrementing with F1, when he gets to the end of the sequence, hitting F2 to reset the index. If the PLC were to do this in real time it would look like a continuous animation. Here’s the exact same thing done on a black and white panel. Reset, go back to zero. And here’s a cute example of the Automation Direct Smiley guy getting on his motorcycle. All of theseexamples are covered in the How To Animate .. videos. Check ‘em out when you have some time to kill, BUT – A Word Of Caution: animations can take a lot of your time and use up a lot of resources, so please be careful with that! That’s more than enough for this video – be sure to check out all of the other videos in this series. And as always, please send us any topics you would like to see covered – or - any other comments for that matter – we appreciate the feedback!