Machine manufacturers normally supply customers from around the world. The localizability of user interfaces has long been an indispensable feature in terms of global competition. At the same time, the customers of machine manufacturers and plant constructors are becoming increasing multinational in their structure, but for reasons of productivity and quality assurance they insist on the global standardization of production processes in their plants. The service personnel of a machine manufacturer provide support to plants in several countries and the capability of being able to switch over to a familiar interface language supports both the teleservicing and onsite service. Finally, it is no longer unusual that the operators of a plant have varying degrees of proficiency in various languages, which makes it a good idea in terms of operational safety to have the capability of switching over to the respective mother tongue. All of these are reasons for deciding on HMI software that is not limited in terms of language diversity.
WinCC supports up to 32 languages for creating multi-lingual configurations, up to 32 of which can be selected during operation depending on the target system. Asian and Cyrillic character sets are also supported. In engineering, selectable views allow multi-lingual text entry directly in the context of the configuration objects (e.g. operating screens or alarms). Language-dependent texts can also be accessed centrally. The central project text editor allows access to all of the texts and thus provides the capability of conveniently and quickly translating the texts in the engineering system. All language versions of an HMI application can be implemented in a project. Changes to the project are immediately updated in all of the created language versions.
An import and export interface with the open XLSX format (also supported by Microsoft EXCEL) allows the project texts to also be further processed in Unicode outside of the engineering system using external tools, e.g. for translation by a service provider. This is of particular interest, for example, if a global machine builder would like to have his WinCC project translated into Asian pictographic languages (e.g. Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese) for export.
Country-specific features, however, are not only available for texts. There are many instances when it is also necessary to adapt graphics to country-specific conditions, which might, for example, rule out the use of certain colors or which take regionally established operating symbols into consideration. For this reason, the central graphic collection of the system also supports the management of multi-language graphics.