Case Studies

Beckhoff PLC Programming for Interactive Displays at MSI

Posted in Manufacturing Automation and Intelligence, PLC Programming


DMC leveraged our Beckhoff PLC expertise to program several interactive displays throughout the Museum of Science and Industry, providing fun and reliable interfaces and experiences for museumgoers of all ages.


As part of recent updates to the Museum of Science and Industry’s many exhibitions, DMC was tasked to program the physical input logic for several interactive displays. For all of the displays, DMC had to make sure that the physical interactions of the user were correctly conveyed to the audio/visual software. To accomplish this, we programmed Beckhoff PLCs for each of the displays.

With our extensive Beckhoff PLC knowledge and experience, DMC was well-equipped to meet our client’s needs. Our knowledge in numerous advanced communications protocols allowed us to implement the exact messaging system required by the audio/visual software. For each of the interactive displays, the UDP (User Datagram Protocol) information communicated with the Beckhoff PLC over ethernet and provided a smooth, reliable experience for the user.

Many of the displays DMC worked on centered around a simple game or activity that was possible for people of all ages to navigate. For example, in MSI’s 35,000 square foot exhibition housing the U-505­, a 700-ton WWII submarine, we programmed an interactive display in which the user physically steered a wheel. The movements of the steering wheel were transmitted through the programmed Beckhoff PLC and were reflected on the display— making the user feel like they were actually piloting a submarine.

DMC also programmed the user input hardware for the interactive displays in MSI’s Numbers in Nature exhibit, pictured above. The dials, buttons, and other user inputs are read by the Beckhoff systems, which then send information to the audio/visual displays. This allowed the audio/visual vendor to provide fun, interactive, and enriching experiences to museumgoers.

This project is just one example of the wide scope of DMC’s engineering experience. To see some of the other cool work DMC has done for our clients, be sure to check out our other case studies!

Learn more about DMC’s PLC Programming expertise and contact us today to get started on your next project.  


Customer Benefits

  • Interactive displays
  • Clean, intuitive interfaces
  • Reliable communication between physical inputs and display