I still run into new users who need to support and program the Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus HMI, even though it was released over a decade ago.
So for everyone out there who's in the same position, today I'll share with you the seven essential things you need to know about the PanelView Plus:
1) PanelView Plus Hardware:
There are three main versions of PanelView Plus Hardware:
- PanelView Plus & VersaView CE
- PanelView Plus 6
- PanelView Plus 7
While the PanelView Plus and PanelView Plus 6 share the same look and feel, the PanelView Plus 7 uses newer screen technology and has a slightly different look.
2) PanelView Plus Software:
The PanelView Plus line of HMI's is programmed using FactoryTalk View Studio Machine Edition (ViewME) or Supervisory Edition (ViewSE.) For information about the latest release of FTView, check out this article HERE.
Communications to Allen-Bradley PLCs is accomplished using RSLinx Enterprise, which is included with, and configured from within FactoryTalk View Studio.
Originally, the software was known as RSView Studio (not to be confused with RSView32,) but was later re-branded along with many of Rockwell's software packages that used the FactoryTalk suite of services.
While each PanelView Plus comes with a ViewME runtime license and software preloaded, ViewME runtimes are also available for PC.
3) PanelView Plus Applications:
PanelView Plus applications created with View Studio include the HMI Project as well as RSLinx Enterprise configuration and any supported KepServer OPC driver configurations.
Because of this, users should backup their applications using the included Application Manager utility, which results in an .APA or Application Archive file.
While backups of the HMI project folder can be imported into a new application, the imported application won't include any communication configuration.
For more information about backing up your View Studio applications, check out this article HERE.
4) PanelView Plus Runtimes:
When a PanelView Plus application is ready to be used in the field, a Machine Edition Runtime or .MER file must first be created.
This is done in View Studio by selection Create Runtime Application under the Application menu.
.MER runtimes are version specific, and while most new PanelView Plus models will run .MERs created for old versions, PanelView Plus models running old firmware will not be able to run .MERs created to support newer firmware.
For example, if you have a PanelView Plus 700 with firmware 5.1 loaded, it can run .MER runtime files created for versions 3.0-5.1. However, the same PanelView Plus 700 with firmware 3.0 will only be able to run version a .MER file of version 3.0.
To learn how to copy MER runtime files to and from your PanelView Plus, check out these articles HERE and HERE.
5) Editing PanelView Plus Runtimes:
Over the years dozens (if not hundreds) of people have asked me how they can go about editing their .MER files which they uploaded from their PVPlus.
The short answer if you may not be able to, which is why you'll always want to have the application archive or .APA file.
More specifically, if you have a .MER created for version 5.0 and newer firmware, and the person creating the .MER file selected “always allow conversion” (and if needed, you have the password) then you can use the Application Manager to restore the runtime file into an application.
That said, if your .MER is for a pre-5 version, there's no easy way to restore it to a project.
While if you open a pre-v5 runtime on your PC in the ViewME station software (doing so requires a PC runtime license) you could retrieve much of the project including Graphics and Tags, you would not be able to recover communications settings, alarms, macros, and parameters.
For more information about editing .MER files, check out this article HERE.
6) PanelView Plus Configuration:
If you need to set your PanelView Plus's clock, Ethernet address, or one of dozens of other settings, you'll need to access it's Configuration Menu.
This is the default display that loads when a brand new terminal is powered on.
And for those terminals which are already running a project, developers can place a “shutdown” or “goto config” button in the project so users can exit the running application and return to the Config Menu.
However, most designers don't put those buttons in their projects for fear an operator will press it accidentally.
With that in mind, most PanelView Plus models also support pressing a small white box on the screen during boot-up to bypass the application and go directly to the Configuration Menu.
To learn more about accessing the PanelView Plus configuration menu, click HERE.
7) PanelViewPlus vs 6 vs 7:
Original PanelView Plus
The original PanelView Plus terminals support firmware versions 3.0 through 5.1.
Over time the line grew to include several different sub-lines, including:
- PanelView Plus Standard 700-1500 terminals,
- PanelView Plus CE (aka VersaView CE) Windows CE 700-1500 terminals
- PanelView Plus Standard 400 & 600 terminals
- PanelView Plus Standard Compact 400, 600, 1000 lower functionality terminals
With the PanelView Plus 6, Rockwell basically upgraded the original design with an new and improved Logic Board, while reusing most of the older model's displays and bezels.
Most PanelView Plus 6 models natively support firmware versions 6.0 and greater, but can also run .MER files all the way back to version 3.2. That is, as long as the runtime uses a supported communication path (see below.)
One big difference between the original PanelView Plus and the PanelView Plus 6 is the later doesn't support support and IO networks.
Specifically, PanelView Plus 6 terminals do not support RIO, DeviceNet, and scheduled ControlNet.
Another difference is that all PanelView Plus 6 models have an SD card slot (in place of the original's Compact Flash card slot) as well as include access to the Windows CE desktop.
The four styles of PanelView Plus 6 are:
- PanelView Plus 6 Standard 700-1500 terminals
- PanelView Plus 6 Enhanced 700-1500 terminals (includes additional WinCE apps)
- PanelView Plus 6 Standard 400 & 600 models (no comm module support, unlike original)
- PanelView Plus 6 Compact 400, 600, 1000 models (limited functionality)
Unlike the PanelView Plus 6 which replaced the original PanelView Plus while reusing most bezels and displays, the PanelView Plus 7 was a complete hardware redesign.
This resulted in most PVPlus 7 models having cutous that are quite different than similarly sized PVPlus and PVPlus 6 models.
PanelView Plus 7 models also only support Ethernet. No Serial, No Data Highway, just Ethernet.
And it's important to note that the Standard version of the PanelView Plus 7 is similar to the Compact version of the PanelView Plus and Plus 6.
That is to say, the Standard version of the PVPlus 7 only supports 1 programmable controller connection, 25 displays, and 200 alarms.
So if you need features comparable to a standard PanelView Plus 6, you'll need to choose the Performance model of the PanelView Plus 7, not the Standard (aka Compact) model.
To learn more about the PanelView Plus 7, see our previous articles on the subject HERE.
I hope today's article about the seven things you need to know about the PanelView Plus was helpful!
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to post them by clicking on the “Click here to post a comment or question” link below.
Until next time, Peace ✌️
Shawn M Tierney
Technology Enthusiast & Content Creator
Have a question? Join my community of automation professionals and take part in the discussion! You'll also find my PLC, HMI, and SCADA courses at TheAutomationSchool.com.
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Nice but not much of a sale price on the Course.
Good morning Darren,
My PVP Core Basics course is on sale from $150 down to just $59, a $91 savings.
Plus, during our summer sale you can save an additional 12% off ($7 off) by using coupon code “Sale,” getting it for just $52 (includes life-time access and updates!)
So in total it’s 65% off, which is a substantial discount.
Instructor at http://www.TheAutomationSchool.com
Is there a way for me to get a panel view display. on to my smart phone. From a panel view 1000 with Ethernet hook up. On my past job . I had to VPN into my office laptop and bring it up that way.
Good morning Dave,
If your HMI has a VNC server (the old PanelView 1000 does not,) then yes you can remotely connect to it using a VNC client as long as you’re on the same network.
Obviously, if you’re on a different sub-net you’ll need your default gateway/router programmed to bridge the two networks.
It also goes without saying that it would be very dangerous to connect your HMI to the internet without a strong firewall between them, and you rightly point out that to remotely access your in-plant devices you absolutely need to use a secure VPN to connect to your facility.
Instructor at http://www.TheAutomationSchool.com
Although I learned programming on a mainframe (PDP-11) at the USGS, my first PC was a VIC-20, with a whole 4K of RAM and a cassette tape player for saving and loading files. I blew a few fuses trying to run a stepper motor off of the printer port before I learned about solid state transistors. From there I moved up to a Commodore 64 and then finally to an Amiga 1000 in college. Those were the days but I’d never want to go back to them.
One question – where can we find a list of PLC’s that a PVP 1250 v5.10 can talk to? I keep getting an “Unsupported device detected” message when I try to compile a mer. I’m trying to get this HMI to interface with a L18ERM v32. I’m wondering if I’ve got to take the firmware way down on the PLC (v20?) to get this HMI to recognize the PLC, but I haven’t found any documentation on that kind of compatibility. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Good morning Walter,
Ah, I have such fond memories of my VIC-20 and C64!
So this questions comes up quite a bit, and basically you should find the original PVPlus should have no issues communicating with any CompactLogix, well until possibly the 5x80s. Plus, any new features like Tag Properties would not be available to old software.
That said, you may not be able to tell that old PVP that it’s talking to a newer Controller, since you’ll get an error message like the one you’re seeing. Instead, I would try setting up the Target / Runtime to be an older Compactlogix – I’m pretty sure that will work.
As far as firmware, while View Studio lets you choose a FW version for the PLC, I honestly never found it actually checked that – I think the goal there was to enable or disable features based on the firmware of the PLC but I see no evidence they ever implemented that in View Studio.
In any case – great questions – I’m flat out today but maybe tomorrow I’ll do a tech tip on this during the morning show?
Have a great day, and please let us know if what I said above works,