Distributed HMI: Graphical interface harnesses power of Internet

A new human-machine interface (HMI) system from Parker Electromechanical Automation Div. leverages the availability of the Internet, IP networks, and Web browsing software to enable distributed HMI software, remote support, and application sharing.

08/09/2007



Interact Xpress, a new HMI system from Parker’s Electromechanical Automation Div., combines a rich, graphical runtime interface with HMI development tools that can be accessed from the HMI panel or any PC running Microsoft Internet Explorer. It is bundled with Parker CTC’s new XPR PowerStation.

A new human-machine interface (HMI) system from Parker Electromechanical Automation Div. leverages the availability of the Internet, IP networks, and Web browsing software to enable distributed HMI software, remote support, and application sharing. Interact Xpress combines a rich, graphical runtime interface with HMI development tools that can be accessed from the HMI panel or any PC running Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Interact Xpress offers an affordable solution for multi-site, multi-station, and standalone machine HMI applications where remote control, monitoring, and support are needed. Supervisory stations may be created by publishing the local HMI screens to supervisory software or a simple Web browser. Bundled with Parker CTC’s new XPR PowerStations, Xpress eases the implementation of distributed HMI in remote station applications for oil and gas pipelines, power transmission, and wastewater treatment, and for larger machines with multiple HMI stations such as printing and paper converting machinery.

Xpress HMI applications are developed, edited, published, and run in a Web server HMI, allowing upgrades and applications to be published easily to any location with an Internet or IP connection and a Web browser. This Web integration also simplifies implementation of remote diagnosis for support of machinery in any location. HMI applications can be served and edited remotely from any PC running Internet Explorer in real time. It allows the HMI designer or editor to support multiple runtime versions in a Web published development, eliminating version control issues. The development tools provide online editing capability and can be used offline to work on applications when an Internet connection is not available.

Interact Xpress features inexpensive development software, unlimited tags, and more than 35 device communication drivers. The system achieves distributed HMI implementation at costs significantly less than more complicated Microsoft Windows runtime systems. It allows applications to be developed, modified, and published from the runtime system itself, using multiple levels of secure access to manage and administer system changes. In addition, Xpress enables unprecedented runtime client performance using Adobe Flash technology. The Web browser plug-in presents an intuitive HMI development environment and generates highly rendered runtime graphics and animations.

Interact Xpress software is pre-installed and bundled with Parker CTC’s new XPR PowerStation hardware. The NEMA4/4X-rated XPR PowerStation is available with 6-, 8- and 10-in. TFT touchscreen displays, embedded fanless CPU, 256 MB DRAM, and such standard features as CompactFlash storage, USB, RS-232/422/485 ports, and a 100BaseT Ethernet port. With standard 128-MB CompactFlash storage, XPR models feature non-rotating storage media and fanless operation.

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