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A mouse driven PC plant control and data acquisition package

MIMIC screen shot

Mimic display area contains :

  • Background data
  • Graphics symbols
  • Operator input
  • Sensor values
  • Bar charts
  • Trend graphs
  • Pipe fills
  • Mouse hit areas
  • Most recent two alarms

Designed to be easily interfaced to your instrumentation, this package runs on an IBM-AT with a super VGA, VGA or EGA Screen. It can display a Mimic diagram of parts of a plant with animated symbols, updated values, trends, messages and bar graphs. Any number of Mimics can be held on the disk and selected by mouse hits from the keyboard, or as a result of an external event.

  • Four separate configurable logs - Actives, Alarms, Events, and Operator Actions.

  • Mouse buttons and/or function keys all fully configurable to select Mimics, Control Actions or sequences.

  • Simple Language to define plant Interlocks and Sequential Control.

  • Low OEM site licence.

  • Mimics created using any PCX output display package.

  • Full Source is supplied to allow OEMs to configure for their own instrumentation and vertical market.

  • Trends can be displayed on their own or within Mimics.

Changes in the sensor inputs can generate entries in a variety of Log files and, if needed, these may require the operator to acknowledge the event. Help screens and Shift Memos as well as these Logs may be reviewed on the screen. The package also provides output facilities allowing the operator to set demand values, which are first checked against pre-definable interlock conditions. Recipes and Sequences of outputs can be created for selection by the user and automatic execution by the package.

The package is designed for resale as a central instrumentation controller and full source code is supplied so that special requirement for I/O or display can be easily met. The Users Manual is supplied on a word processor file and has been designed so that it can be easily modified to be product or project specific. A password system allows our customer to select whether the end user may change the Mimics, Help Screens, I/O configuration, Sensor Database, Interlocks or Sequences.


MIMIC is a new concept in plant mimic and control systems because:

  • Its I/O interface can be configured for almost any instrumentation or control hardware.
  • The creation of mimics is carried out through the use of a standard graphics package.
  • Aimed at OEMs, the site licence fee has been set at a low level.
  • It is provided with complete source code.

MIMIC is configured by the OEM (or COMSOL ) to interface with the OEM's I/O devices and operational requirements. The resulting package is released as a sealed software system to end users who will retain the ability to amend the mimics, control sequences and database contents, but will be unable to reprogram the underlying system.

OEMs may install these control systems themselves, or sell the resulting package on to their customers as their own "badged" software product. A licence fee is payable to COMSOL for each installation, but this has been set at a low level, recognising the need to preserve OEM's margins.

MIMIC fulfils the needs of most users though it can, if necessary, be readily extended for special requirements.

Data Collection

MIMIC can handle any combination of analogue, binary, or discrete sensor information. Externally generated messages may be collected from intelligent I/O systems.

Since the I/O subsystem is supported in a high level language, it is even possible to define 'virtual' sensors whose values in the database are, for example, the result of combinations of other sensors. As a diagnostic aid, input sensor changes can be simulated from the keyboard by the engineer


MIMIC redraws displays at high speed. In addition to the basic drawing function, MIMIC provides a number of display features:

  • Each element (an animated I/O point) can be displayed as a symbol or text message in one of 16 states.
  • Pipe filling is supported.
  • Bar displays are available for analogue inputs. Numeric values can be scaled and formatted during configuration.
  • Configurable Help and Operator Memo screens are provided.


The trending system can be configured to record data from selected sensors at regular intervals. This data may then be either displayed as graphs on special trend displays or included in a MIMIC display. These graphs are then automatically updated in real time allowing the operator to monitor the plant's status. The operator can scroll the data backward in time to display old data. The number of sensors trended, the time interval and the numbers of samples are all selectable.

Error Handling

Handling event, alarm and error activity is an important function within MIMIC. There is considerable flexibility during configuration about how events are handled:

  • Any sensor going outside defined states may generate an entry in an alarm or status log giving time, date, tag, and cause.
  • MIMIC can be configured so that errors will need to be acknowledged by the operator, and that acknowledgement is logged.
  • A scrolled error message area is displayed along with a count of active errors.
  • A display of all unacknowledged errors is available.
  • A particular sensor state can be used to trigger the selection of a mimic display.
  • Sequences of predefined actions can be initiated by sensors.
  • Both logs and operator's actions can be displayed and printed.


  • Output elements may be set by the operator to new values (analogue) or states (digital), this can be done interactively with the mouse.
  • Other features provided for control are:
  • A multi element interlock facility will inhibit changes if the plant is incorrectly set up.
  • Sequences or individual control routines may be attached to function keys or mouse buttons.
  • Sequences can be arranged to execute at pre-set times or in response to pre-configured I/O conditions.
  • Five levels of passwords are provided.

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