An automation program requires an operator UI to be fully usable, and this mimic panel display must provide the user with (1) a graphical and instantly comprehensible explanation of the current state of the machine, and (2) the ability to make changes as required with the greatest convenience, speed, and ease.

Ideally, this program should be usable as a template, enabling the programmer to generate a mimic panel display unique to her application, achieving this with a minimum of complex graphics coding.

Subject to discussion and review, this module will place a graphical representation of the physical application on-screen and provide mouse-like interaction via the touchscreen. Thus, those without touch-capable displays will be able to use conventional mouse input to do the same thing.

The code in this module will need to mesh perfectly with the control code in the main event loop, making control via the screen display as seamless, smooth, and intuitive as the technology allows.

Finally, this module will require a measure of æsthetic skill, the artistic ability to give the mimic panel display both elegance and a vivid appearance.

Image courtesy of Honeywell Industrial Automation & Control