Control Engineering HMI eNewsletter for June 2003



IKEY manufactures a complete line of NEMA rated industrial keyboards, flat panel monitors and computer pointing devices. Featuring a wide range of sizes, styles and features, IKEY's innovative products are manufactured to the highest standards of quality, while being ruggedized to survive in dirty, dusty and washdown environments. IKEY's products are available in a variety of configurations including desktop, panel mount, rackmount and OEM. Ideal for applications in the roughest of conditions, IKEY products meet NEMA 4, 4X specifications. For peripherals beyond its standard line, IKEY also offers the flexibility of custom designed products. Call (800) 866-6506, or Click Here



Future of traditional crystal LEDs looks dim

The market for LED lamps made from "traditional crystal" is forecast to drop by half, while the market for "high brightness crystal" lamps is expected to triple between 2002 and 2007, a recent IMS Research survey notes.

For a number of years, LEDs were made from a limited number of crystal materials, but more recently a wide range of alternative crystal materials have been used to achieve higher brightness over a wide range of colors. Although the newer-material LEDs tend to cost more, increases in production volumes and subsequent reduction in costs are now threatening markets typically held by traditional crystal LEDs.

''Many 'traditional' LEDs will be replaced by 'high brightness' LEDs as these two products become more comparable in price'' according to Peter Cooney, the analyst and author of this report on world markets for optoelectronic components.

Survey finds healthy spending on messaging infrastructures

Corporations have allocated a budget of nearly half a million dollars in 2003 for new messaging software alone, according to an annual worldwide survey of corporate deployment of messaging and collaboration from The Radicati Group, Inc.

According to the study, ''Corporate Messaging Survey, 2003-2005,'' operational budgets for messaging and collaboration are at approximately $1.1 million, exclusive of acquisition cost for new hardware and software. The study found that corporate email traffic has grown approximately 81% over the past year. Much of the growth, unfortunately, is due to spam. Not surprisingly, ''controlling spam'' was the top messaging priority of respondents.


NI launches global training for Labview 7 Express

National Instruments has launched a series of seminars worldwide to help users learn more about its LabVIEW 7 Express product. The new release is said to include revolutionary technologies redefining the way applications are developed-from configuring measurements to interactive analysis tools and new professional user interface controls.

At a recent gathering in the Chicago area, more than 50 attendees saw the system in action and participated in hands-on presentations. Click here to find a seminar near you .

Defining moments in HMI

Last month, we asked readers to share their thoughts on how they define HMI/operator interface. Here are a few of the remarks we received:

  • From Larry Keefe of Technology2Market, LLC: ''I think it's useful to draw the line between an OI (operator interface) or 'display' and an HMI. The OI of my understanding would be a single line LED or a 1/4 VGA display embedded on a device, and the HMI is a portal to a larger system such as a SCADA system. Of course, as we move more and more toward embedding high-end operating systems such as Windows CE into devices, this distinction may become murkier.''

  • From Adrian Clark, a control systems engineer from Australia: ''I think of HMI as control panel or plant-floor type devices, generally quite function specific and generally OEM hardware.... I think of SCADA as PC-based control system software such as Honeywell's Plantscape, Wonderware's InTouch, RSView, Citect, etc.''

  • From Ray W. Zimbal, Jr. of Dallas, TX: ''Over my 25-year career, I have sold several different major brands of both OIPs and well as ''Soft PLC'' and SCADA Suites. Some HMIs have firmware with dedicated hardware and others are PCs of some type...running software, but both HMI versions are touch screens with soft keys.''

Any additional comments or other perspectives? Email them to

HMI product review

OptoTerminal-G75 from Opto 22 is a new graphics-based operator interface for use with the company's Ethernet-based I/O systems. Mountable color display terminal is used to monitor, send commands to, and receive real-time data from plant floor equipment and other devices and systems connected to Opto 22 hardware for automation, data acquisition, remote monitoring, and control.

AgileVIEW series of computer furniture from ImageVision, Inc. , is designed for the latest in LCD and gas plasma flat screen technology. In addition to presenting flat screens to operators in an ergonomic environment, the equipment's reduced-depth construction requires less floor space. It supports flat screens positioned on single- or double-width units, up to three-tiers high, with adjustable tilt and pivot monitor mounts.

Entuitive 17-inch LCD 3000 series touch monitors from Elo TouchSystems, Inc. , allow easy rear or front mounting in kiosk, industrial, POS, or gaming applications. Actually two products in one, the same unit can be converted from front to rear mounting with the simple removal of the front mounting anodized bezel. Units are available with a serial and USB touch interface for AccuTouch resistive, and IntelliTouch and SecureTouch surface-wave touch technologies.

In, out, and about HMI

Don't miss Control Engineering's HMI coverage in the June 2003 issue. '' HMI for stand-alone or integrated OEM applications '' looks at HMI software used in OEM applications.

This summer a desktop keyboard/pointing device from IKEY makes its third appearance in a major motion picture. Watch for the product in ''X-Men 2'', now at a theater near you.

Elo TouchSystems, Inc. , a business unit of Tyco Electronics, has signed a private labeling and distribution agreement with Zytronic Displays Ltd . in the UK. Under the agreement, Elo will distribute Zytronic's projected capacitive touchscreen technology worldwide through Elo distribution channels under the Elo brand.

Last chance to update your listing

Only a few days remain to update your company's listing in the Control & Automation Buyer's Guide . The deadline is June 23! Only updated listings will be included in the print edition, scheduled for publication this summer.

Click here to update (registration required).

For instructions on how to update, click here

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