Still Sexy After All These Years

Feb. 13, 2009
Going Green and Plant Integration Keep HMIs Looking Good.

HMIs have revolutionized the way machine operators or engineers interact with a system or a process. But the HMI market is mature, and prices have fallen dramatically over the last 30 years. The poor economy and the lack of investment by large companies in upgrades or plant expansions will cause headaches in 2009 and beyond, but on the bright side, HMI manufacturers are addressing new needs that will keep customers coming back for more.

According to a Frost & Sullivan research study, “Process and manufacturing industries are increasingly integrating plant-floor automation and control into supervisory and enterprise-level systems through remote communications, as result of which the need for security has been rising. HMI manufacturers must address the issue of security and provide potential customers with adequate precautionary measures, especially for Web-based systems, through infrastructure and access protection measures, so that clients can invest in highly developed HMI solutions.”

Going green is also on everyone’s mind today. Frost & Sullivan goes on to say, “environmental regulations continue to place a great deal of pressure on end-user companies to tighten regulations regarding fugitive emissions and waste discharge. Retooling plants to comply with such regulations will continue to drive the HMI market as new technologies are developed. Regulations affecting enduser industries put pressure on manufacturers to make new products that meet requirements set by government bodies. This should drive revenues for HMIs.”

Patti Pool
Products Editor
[email protected]

Stealth Computer
Model SV-2400 24-inch, NEMA 4/IP56, all-steel, enclosed LCD touchscreen monitor is capable of running resolutions up to its native mode WUXGA of 1920 x 1200 pixels with both analog and digital input sources. It features a 16:10 aspect ratio, low power consumption, 250 nits of brightness, 160-degree viewing angles and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. The monitors are available with an anti-reflective, tempered glass protective overlay or an optional capacitive touchscreen.
EnduraTouch 1500FX and 1700FX front-access NEMA 4X PCs, primarily for harsh factory floor environments, have a stainless steel enclosure, 15-inch a or 17-inch LCDs and sealed I/O ports. Self-contained cooling technology prevents leaks and keeps out dust where liquids, humidity and extreme temperatures and caustic washdowns are daily. It meets FSIS requirements. HMI supports Windows XP, Embedded XP, Windows CE and Linux. Options: touchscreen, wireless networking and PCI expansion.
Red Lion Controls
G3 Kadet operator interface allows communications between multiple devices and protocols in OEM machine monitoring and control. It has a TFT display in three sizes: 4.3-inch, 5.6-inch and 8-inch. All models come standard with one RS232 and one RS232/422/485 port and support over 170 different protocols. The 5.6-inch. and 8-inch models include a third RS232/422/485 serial port and integrated 10 Base-T Ethernet allowing simultaneous communication with up to seven device types.
Pro-face America
GP-Pro EX version 2.2 HMI application development software features multimedia capability, remote PC access, high-speed device linking and a built-in control logic editor. The software speeds application development for both OEMs and end users who need to standardize on one HMI package that supports both Windows-based systems and dedicated operator interfaces.
VisuNet RM eliminates copper and fiber-optic KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) interface technology, while leveraging open network-based Visual over Etherenet (VOE) technology founded on Microsoft standards. VOE technology facilitates operation of up to 32 remote monitoring stations per server and supports redundant servers, pathways and hot switchover.
Siemens Energy & Automation
Simatic MP 377 Multi Panels offer 64K of colors and are available in 12-inch TFT displays and 15-inch and 19-inch touchscreen models. Suited for the WinAC MP 2007 operating platform, the MP 377 includes 2 MB of user memory, as well as an additional 12 MB memory.
The 5.7-inch HG2G operator interface measures only 35 mm deep, offers a choice of monochrome or 256-color touchscreen display and comes with 2 MB memory. An optional built-in Ethernet port allows remote communication with PLCs. The OI is RS232/RS485/RS422-compatible and supports all major PLCs.
Beckhoff Automation
CU8810 DVI/USB splitter is designed to serve the needs of sprawling plants and larger machines. It connects multiple industrial displays, such as four screens of the same image, or two separate images can be connected to the same PC. The splitter transfers images via DVI, and its integrated USB ports transfer command signals from touchscreens, function keys, keyboards and other USB devices.
Op to 22
PAC Display is a Windows-based HMI development application used to create graphical interfaces that mimic a process. Support for alarm management, recipe handling, operator logging, real-time and historical trending, multimedia and unlimited tags included.
Monitor Technologies
HMI² operator interface combines with the SiloPatrol SE cable-based “smart” sensor inventory management system and the Flexar smart guided-wave radar, continuous level measurement system to serve as an interface. HMI²’s two sensor networks, with a capacity of 16 sensors each, provide operator interface with up to 32 SiloPatrol SMU and/or Flexar sensors.
OMEGA Engineering
This HMI operator interface is a customizable, true analog touchscreen operator interface with programmable function buttons. Macro programming handles applications, manipulating and storing trends, data and communications, as well as sending data from one PLC to another. The multi-language interface is available in four-inch, six-inch, eight-inch and 10-inch models with blue mode, grayscale or color version.
Schneider Electric
Magelis XBTRT is a semi-graphic touchscreen with one or 10 lines of text. There are 16 graphical touchscreen sizes from 3.8 inches to 15 inches with multiple display types, a range of three keypad terminals in 5.7-inch and 10.4-inch screen sizes and two terminals with XP operating system embedded.
Tablets are designed for mobile HMI users in manufacturing, SCADA and infrastructure industries where operators or maintenance personnel need mobility, real-time graphics, system monitoring, interaction and troubleshooting. They come pre-installed with Microsoft Windows XP operating system, InTouch 10.0 software and a 3000 Tag Runtime license. Optional versions are offered depending on the regional integrated wireless LAN IEEE802.11a/b/g requirements for either Americas or EU wireless standards. Sunlight-readable displays are standard.
Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) HMI uses HMIWeb technology, a Web-based architecture that allows application and business data and HMIs, to be integrated. HTML is the native display format to provide access to process graphic displays from either the secure Experion Station environment or directly from Microsoft Internet Explorer. Alarm and event presentations are included.