Eaton Visual Designer Communication

Has anyone successfully configured communication to an Eaton HMI Panel PC running Visual Designer?

This appears to be communicating via OPC UA however I am uncertain which Ignition driver to implement in the device configuration.


What are you trying to accomplish? You might be able to add it as a 3rd party opc server, but i don’t see how you would create a device connection, or why you would want to.

I have an existing equipment monitoring system which is pulling tags from a PLC and additional tags directly from the HMI. I am working to replace this with Ignition.

If I can add the HMI as a device I can avoid adding a passthru on the PLC. Not difficult to do but would be extended effort.

That’s not how i would go about things. I like to start in a DEV environment that’s completely isolated from anything production. I then create my connections to simulated or real devices on the bench. What you are trying to do sounds alot like jumping straight to connecting to a production system.

But like i said i don’t think you can connect as a device, possibly as a 3rd party opc server.

It doesn’t sound that way, it is that way - I am developing in an isolated environment but pulling the live data from the machines, read only.

This is just a visualization project for production data.

Instead of pulling live data for dev purposes you could use Simulation Aids by @pturmel

I’m on the same path as @josborn though. To clarify, it is not possible to add an HMI as a device such a PLC and just pull tags like butter. You would need some sort of MQTT gateway going to a OPC server and then pulling into ignition.( or something similar, if i’m correct)

Honestly, it is probably going to be way more work, then just connecting your plc and creating the needed tags, etc…

What kind of PLC are you running? and how does it communicate with the HMI? ( by that I mean ethernet, serial, modbus, etc…?)

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I have a Rockwell PLC already communicating with this HMI via Ethernet/IP - I can adjust the map in the HMI to modify tags in the PLC and pull them in.

Won’t be too much work just wanted to see if there was any way to pull directly from an HMI solution.

That implies the HMI is in charge of the PLC connection. You can point the HMI at Ignition’s OPC/UA server for similar behavior. But that is not “pulling” from the HMI.

If the HMI has its own OPC/UA server, then Ignition can be a client and that would be “pulling” from the HMI.

What is this HMI really capable of?

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To be determined, but I will look through the Visual Designer software to see if it can host two clients on it’s native OPC UA.