Window into Operations

Feb. 5, 2008
New Functionality Expands the Value of the HMI
The human machine interface (HMI) is where people and technology meet. Therefore, they are ubiquitous, found everywhere from vending machines to nuclear power plants.  The HMIs we’re familiar with first appeared in 1981. However, in today’s economy, with end users wary about investing in upgrades or plant expansion, HMI manufacturers have had to add features to their products that can meet a new set of needs, such as greater compliance with environmental regulations and security.

According to Claire Cerrato, director of HMI/SCADA product management, GE FANUC Intelligent Platforms, “The customer trends driving evolution in the HMI/SCADA environment are secure access to information anywhere, low cost of ownership and new regulatory and security compliance requirements. Companies are demanding the ability to manage data from the plant floor to the enterprise with solutions that can operate independently or in a fully integrated way. HMI/SCADA solutions now need to drive easy access to information from the plant floor to the remote site, whether users are in an operational center or on a mobile access device. You will see your information anytime, anywhere in a secure end-to-end system. HMI/SCADA will be the ‘advisor’ that presents that data about process, production and logistics to improve decision-making and maximize plant operations.”

End users can look for additional features in their HMIs such as HMI-PLC functionality, greater use of graphics, easier configuration tools, Internet access and extra memory from low-end HMI dedicated terminals to high-end industrial computer-based HMIs.

Patti Pool
Products Editor
[email protected]

Christensen Display Products
Industrial flat panel monitors are now available with a direct NTSC video input capability. Live video input simplifies system architecture. Where the application calls for a remote camera monitor, CCTV video display or other live video, a direct monitor input eliminates a PC or other third party video conversion devices. Monitors are available in 15 in., 18 in. and 19 in. in a variety of configurations.
Monitor Technologies
SiloPatrol SE Model HMI is environmentally hardened for outside installation and can monitor inventory level measurements of up to 16 sensors, one in each silo. Connection between the HMI and sensors is a single twisted-pair RS485 communications cable. The HMI provides for automatic and manual measurement updates and can convert the basic distance measurement in each silo to level, volume, weight and %-full based on user input data. Display of data is via a multi-line backlit display.
OTEK Corp.
Model  HI-QTBS programmable intelligent controller offers a 101 automatic tricolor bargraph that changes color as signal changes and 6-digit display with 6 alarm annunciators, RS232/422/485 I/O, analog (2) and relays (4) outputs, power inputs of 5, 8-32 V dc or 90-265 V ac and signal inputs for V/mA dc and true rms, TC, RTD, strain gage, 4-20 mA, ohms, ORP, pH, event, time and Hz. Enclosed in an explosion-proof housing, it is approved for Class I, II and III, CENELEC, EEx and NEMA 4, 7 and 9 for applications in petrochemical, ordinance, mining and pharmaceutical. The EP case withstands temperatures up to 250 ºF and is panel, pipe or wall mount.
Vista Control Systems
Vsystem Historian records 8 million 32-bit values per second continuously and with the HMI portion, Vdraw, displays selected data on a chart at 1 KHz data rate per tag. Vsystem licenses are not tag limited. With support for many computer operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Solaris and OpenVMS, VSystem allows use of trusted operating systems for mission-critical functions and popular operating systems for other functions.

GT32T is a TFT 4096 color, 5.5-in. touch screen with a SD card slot (maximum 1 GB), an Ethernet port and a USB port for communication and updating/saving screen data. It also has a built-in voice play back feature. Measuring only 1.52 in. deep, the touch screen fits into OEM equipment easily.

Maple Systems
Silver Series Plus graphic touch screen has 8 in., 10 in. and 12 in. displays that can be mounted in landscape or portrait orientation. All displays are TFT touch screens with 65,536 colors. Multiple types of communications are available including USB ports, CompactFlash, Ethernet and the ability to connect to multiple PLCs using different drivers via serial ports and Ethernet port. In addition, USB and CompactFlash provide memory storage and external connection to a keyboard/mouse, barcode reader or printer.

WAGO-I/O-PRO CAA programming tool offers a built-in HMI screen editor that allows the data of the programmable controller to be displayed on a standard PC or other operator interface hardware. Users can create their control application and HMI using the same tag database. The editor does not require a tag list, as it accesses variables directly from the controller and uses graphic elements to display this data.

B&R Industrial Automation
Automation Panel 800 operator interface mounts on a swing-arm system that allows operators to place the panel at the best position. It is equipped with a 15-in. XGA display with touch screen. Individual expansions for function keys, electromechanical relays and an E-stop function are provided. Distances of up to 40 meters are possible between the PC and display. The surface of the housing is protected from sprayed water and meets IP65 protection standards. Housings are also available in stainless steel.

C-more compact Micro-Graphic panels are available in touch screen ($189) and non-touch screen ($139) models. The 1.3-in. LCD monochrome display offers a resolution of 128 x 64 pixels. With 768 KB memory, C-more Micro-Graphic panels support up to 999 screens, limited only by project memory usage and have LED backlights with five user-definable colors. The panels have an alarm function which allows control of backlight color flash, function key LED flash, beep activation and custom banner alarm displays.

Beckhoff Automation
CP69xx “Economy” control panel has a DVI/USB extension that transfers graphics signals directly via a DVI cable over a maximum distance of 50 m, while the USB signal is transferred to a CAT 5 cable in order to extend the 5-m limitation of USB cabling to the same maximum distance of 50 m. For distances up to 5 m, the PC and the control panel can be connected directly via a USB cable. The panel has an aluminum frame with IP65 protection at the front. Panels are available in 6.5 in., 12 in., 15 in. or 19 in. TFT display with touch screen or touch pad options.

Modular Industrial Computers
423/ 499-0700
Productivity Dashboard large LCD panels for plant floor visualization are available in 40 in. and 46 in. sizes with interface to HMI or MES computer systems. Functioning as a computer monitor, it can be configured to display text, charts, alarms, HMI graphics, KPI’s, live video as well as any other information needed. The Dashboard is available with integral PC, Thin Client and local or remote computer options. NEMA 12 aluminum or NEMA 4X, stainless steel enclosure systems are available with integral power-conditioning and display mounting system.

Opto 22
ioDisplay is a full-featured HMI application used to design and run operator interfaces on Windows-based clients. With ioDisplay Basic, users can create graphical user interfaces using original or preset symbols, jpegs and bitmaps. It provides support for alarm management, recipe handling, operator logging, real-time and historical trending, multimedia and unlimited tags. ioDisplay Professional adds the ability to import HMI projects developed with OptoDisplay, part of this company’s FactoryFloor software, and gives users a migration path to newer HMI systems.

Spartan Scientific
Series APV-10 2-way, 2-position, air- piloted valve can be controlled by either a 3-way, 4-way solenoid valve or a hand pilot valve. Its media-separated, reciprocating piston operator controls, air, fluids, fluid emulsions, water or any other medium compatible with the valve body materials. It is suitable for any application involving media control of solvents, water, water with suspended particles and coolants. NO, NC and double-acting versions available. The bronze body is available in ½-in. to 2-in. NPT port sizes. Specific models can handle operating pressures from 0 to 235 psi. Temperature range is  -20 ºC to 80 ºC; flow range, 4.7 to 60.5 Cv.
Emerson Process Management
PUR-Sense Model 410 VP is a four-electrode contacting sensor designed for sanitary applications. It is made from FDA-compliant materials, meets 3A and EHEDG hygienic standards and is available in a range of sanitary process connections. Typical applications include monitoring the concentration of highly conductivity fluids such as clean-in-place solvents and low-conductivity rinses. It can also monitor effluents in chromatographic separations and detect liquid interfaces, all with the same sensor.
Love Controls Division, Dwyer Instruments
Series 32B temperature/process controller supports 64 temperature and time (ramp/soak) control actions. Dual-loop output control allows simultaneous heating and cooling control. An additional alarm output is standard with 13 preprogrammed alarm functions. The second output can also be configured as an alarm function. Output status, alarm status, engineering units and auto-tuning are indicated on the front panel. Series 32B offers RS485 communication and supports up to 247 addresses.
FlexSwitch FLT flow and level switch provides monitoring, controlling and alarming on flow rates or critical fluids such as water, air, gases, coolants and lubricants used in metals and material processing and equipment, in one, dual-function instrument. Available in both insertion and in-line styles for  pipe or tube installation, a single FLT measures and monitors flow or level and temperature simultaneously. Flow range in water is from 0.01 FPS to 3.0 FPS. Temperature range is up to 350 ºF with optional versions up to 850 ºF.
FlexSwitch FLT flow and level switch provides monitoring, controlling and alarming on flow rates or critical fluids such as water, air, gases, coolants and lubricants used in metals and material processing and equipment, in one, dual-function instrument. Available in both insertion and in-line styles for  pipe or tube installation, a single FLT measures and monitors flow or level and temperature simultaneously. Flow range in water is from 0.01 FPS to 3.0 FPS. Temperature range is up to 350 ºF with optional versions up to 850 ºF.
Stainless steel, front-face sensors use one-piece construction for the barrel and sensing face, delivering an IP68 and IP 69K protection rating against moisture and fluid ingress. This enables the sensors to be used in areas where oil, lubricants and chemical washdowns occur, such as food and beverage applications.

For an exclusive review of Aruba Network’s new AP-85 outdoor wireless network access point, see page 31 in the Q1 2008 issue of Industrial Networking that accompanied this issue or browse to