Connectivity and information key recent products released for HMI/SCADA applications

HMI/SCADA software is more than a display replacing pushbuttons and pilot lights, or even process visualization. Data logging for simple trend analysis now provides the grist for a larger information management mill. This expanded online extra provides enhanced HMI/SCADA product information to accompany the December 2002 cover article.


This exclusive online extra is a companion to the December 2002 cover article ''HMI/SCADA Software-More than Pretty Pictures.'' It provides a summary of recently introduced HMI/SCADA products.

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Iconics unveiled a number of new and upgraded products. Key among these are continued use of OPC and introduction of products based on Microsoft .Net technology. Embedded Series including MachineWorX and PanelWorX products are specifically designed for Microsoft embedded operating systems.

MachineWorX is an OPC-enabled, dedicated embedded HMI visualization and SCADA product designed for Microsoft Embedded NT and Embedded XP operating systems. MachineWorX installs a small set of Genesis32 runtime components and is specially designed for PCs running Intel X86 processors.

PanelWorX targets panel computers, operator interface panels, and other dedicated HMI devices using Microsoft Windows CE and CE .Net operating systems.

Embedded WebHMI is a Web-based product that delivers Genesis32 components (and associated security, live data, etc.) to remote Web browsers running on an embedded Windows platform.

Genesis32 v. 7.0 supports Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) 6.3, along with VBScript, and JScript that are used on Web-enabled operator displays as well as wireless Pocket PC applications. It is firewall and corporate IT friendly and supports both OPC over SOAP/XML and OPC over TCP/IP communications.

The company also introduced Genesis BizViz suite and its first product, ReportWorX for Microsoft .Net, which integrates data into reports from different data sources using advanced data-mining techniques. Data sources, such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, SAP, OPC Historical Data Access, OPC Alarm and Events, and OPC real-time information, can all be accessed and combined to create custom reports.

Reports can automatically be published to Web servers, so that any user can access reports using a Web browser over the Internet or within a secure corporate intranet.

Rockwell Automation's RSView Supervisory Edition v. 2.10 adds support for Microsoft Windows XP, extended support for 21 CFR Part 11 compliance by using user log-in to trigger proper security controls and enhanced electronic signature and authorization over previous versions.

RadServ radiation monitoring and control system from InStep Software provides a replacement for Eberline CCT and SS1 central monitoring systems for automated recording and reporting of radiation levels. It can comine monitoring of field unit radiation monitors with such equipment as high range accident monitors, fuel system monitors, and high level process monitors.

Citect released Plant2Business v. 3.0 , which includes a historian module said to support failsafe redundancy consolidating information from other major HMI/SCADA systems. It can be backfilled with data already acquired.

OSIsoft's second release of ECHO (embedded historian component object), a time-series data archiving application, includes online backup and restore capability, support for archiving BLOBs and BSTrs, CFR 21 Part 11 compliance documentation, and an OPC server interface. BLOB and BSTR file handling expands the product's capability to capture very large files, such as screen captures and images. OPC server functionality allows the application to publish to other applications.

InduSoft's Web Studio now includes an interface to OSIsoft's ECHO (see above) providing a simpler way to embed a data historian. WebPLC thin client HMI works with a standard Web browser to read data directly from a PLC or intelligent field device, write directly to a PLC or intelligent field device, update graphic screens dynamically, or provide interfaces to send commands or setpoints. This application works on a Microsoft Windows powered laptop, PC, or handheld device.

SL Corp .'s SL-GMS Developer for Microsoft.Net provides a real-time graphics development system that helps software vendors and end users create specialized user interfaces in the .Net environment. That environment will eliminate many problems of system integration to enhance data exchange throughout a company. The developer provides a way to distribute user interfaces to a wide range of desktop, enterprise, Web, and wireless clients.

Labtech has formed a partnership with Stratus Technologies to put LT/Control and LT/Controlpro software on the Stratus ftServer platform. Stratus has developed a fault tolerant server based on Microsoft Windows 2000. This bundled system provides HMI/SCADA on the hardware platform to provide over 99.999% (known as ''five nines'') reliability.

Cimnet's Supply Chain Connector module for its Factelligence MES integrates ERP and control systems through user configurable XML and OPC capabilities and by managing product definition, quality, processing, and packaging. Production status, quality results , and plant availability can be provided to ERP, while schedules, BOMs, and procedures can be electronically presented to plant operators and downloaded into process control systems.

Flashpoint Technologies' ControlView Intelligent OIT is a cost effective solution combining visualization designed by InduSoft bundled on a 6.5-in. color LCD industrial PC based on an Intel StrongArm processor and Microsoft Windows CE and includes onboard Ethernet.

Rugged and portable are the keys to the latest hardware offerings.

Enclose that HMI software in a rugged, fully sealed, metal portable computer called MilPAC from Dolch . The aluminum frame protects internal parts from shocks of up to 40 g, while IP65 rated door shields give protection from dust, wind, and moisture. The company's wireless, tablet style display uses 802.11b wireless Ethernet to communicate to a host providing additional portability for operators and technicians.

3M Touch Systems launched a NEMA 4X/IP66 rated industrial computer with a 15-in. flat panel display and MicroTouch near field imaging touch screen technology. Model ET 4550 boasts an Intel Pentium III processor.

Especially for OEMs, DFI Technologies provides KS-series all-in-one computer with 12.1-, 15.1-, or 17.1-in. LCD, touch screen displays ready to mount in their equipment. Prices begin around $1595 for the computers that include a 667 MHz processor, 128 MB memory, 20 GB hard disk drive, and a variety of communications ports.

QSI's Qterm-G75 Ethernet-enabled graphics terminal features 10.4-in., 640 x 480 color TFT display, touch screen, serial interface, and 2 MB Flash/16MB RAM in a NEMA 4 aluminum housing. It is built on Qlarity (pronounced clarity), an object-based language designed to expedite graphic display development.

Z-World's OP7200 eDisplay combines operator interface, HMI, data acquisition in a single small package. The C-programmable unit offers24 -27 digital I/O lines, plus expansion port, four serial ports, Rabbit 2000 microprocessor, 256 K Flash, and a 1/4 VGA display. When front panel mounted, the unit meets NEMA 4.

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