From now on, programmers can dynamically change the hardware configuration of EFCO Electronics' industrial computers. The reason is the disclosure of the programming interface. EFCO also provides two tools for managing the computers better.
EFCO Electronics, an industrial PC manufacturer based in Deggendorf, Germany, and headquartered in Taiwan, is disclosing its programming interface (API). This allows programmers to dynamically change the hardware configuration of the »Eagle Eyes« industrial PCs. The company provides corresponding drivers free of charge. This allows devices such as cameras or switches to be reseted remotely. Developers can also use the optically isolated inputs and outputs dynamically – and thus depending on the operating mode. Another feature is the display of the current power consumption of each Power over Ethernet (PoE) interface on the built-in display of the industrial computers.
With the »eKit« and the »Dynamic Monitoring Control API« (DMCI), EFCO Electronics also provides two tools for dynamic management of the computer configuration. The corresponding programming manual discloses all relevant information. In addition to drivers for Windows and Linux, the company also supplies a demo application - including complete source code. It is therefore easy for programmers to integrate the API or Windows library into their programming languages, such as C# or Python.
In machine and plant engineering, users primarily use the delayed startup or shutdown of the industrial PC and the connected peripherals. For this purpose, the vendor provides a remote power control input as well as a corresponding watchdog timer (WDT) as standard. The effect: Starting of the devices in the correct order during start-up as well as clean closing of all open files and connections before shutdown.
Furthermore, the power supply of each individual USB and PoE interface can be switched off in a defined manner via DMCI, thus forcing a hardware reset of the connected device. Integrated into TeamViewer IoT via remote access or MQTT approaches, the hardware reset can also be triggered remotely, thus avoiding expensive service calls.
Popular with service and commissioning engineers is the small, built-in display of the company's Eagle-Eyes generation. Programmers use it to display the current power consumption of each individual PoE port. In this way, even in large systems, you can see at a glance whether the connection to the peripheral system component is »up«, whether it is switched on, and whether it is basically working.
For AI-based status monitoring, all relevant system parameters can be monitored and logged via DMCI, for example temperature, power consumption or current voltage values of the computer's internal power supply. The status of all ports can also be read out. In addition, the serial interfaces can be switched »on the fly« between RS-232/422/485.