York International, a Johnson Controls Company
Visimation helps York achieve standardization and reduce production time
York International developed an application known as Project Icon Engineering (IcE) to help its engineers generate and document the software that operates the control systems for York HVAC products. The company engaged Visimation to add a Visio graphical component to IcE (VisiIcE) in hopes of decreasing the time it takes to configure the HVAC system and write and document the software. York also wanted to promote standardization.
Visimation developed the custom Visio interface and graphics modeler for the control systems, working with York engineers to link the model to the underlying IcE application that generates the appropriate controller code from the design diagram. Visimation also created a set of highly intelligent Visio shapes to support user interaction and application behaviors specified by York. From a high-level perspective, the VisiIcE application presented two main user scenarios:
- Static Mode – The user is able to generate a graphical configuration of a control system.
- On Line Mode – Using a graphical configuration, the user is able to view and edit real values of a controller.
In addition to a rich set of custom graphical design tools, VisiIcE contains a Checker program to ensure that the design complies with a set of rules and that all drawing elements are properly connected. If the Checker finds any offending objects, it assists the user in locating them and applying the appropriate fixes.
The VisiIcE project achieved many desired technical results for York, specifically:
- Graphical programming
- Creation of program documentation
- Printout of graphical flow charts
- Printout of programming macros
- Printout of all configured objects
- Auto creation of the Table of Contents
- Printout of the Input / Output tables
- Graphical display of controller data in On Line mode
- Communication via the existing IcE objects with COM wrappers
- Creation, distribution, and maintenance of object libraries
- Creation of composite macros (more than one Fundamental feature).
- Creation of nested composite macros (more than one composite macro).
- Archive and sharing of macros.
- Mechanism between individuals
- Mechanism for the entire company
At the end of the project, York requested a highly technical training session for its engineers to acquire the skills necessary to maintain VisiIce. Visimation delivered a customized version of its Visio Developer course that focused on the specific methods used in the project.