In, out, and about HMI: new offerings focus on PDAs, scheduled communications, flat-panel monitors
Among HMI-related products, smaller sizes, better communications, and better visibility are among recent trends in the operator-interface market.
Among HMI-related products, smaller sizes, better communications, and better visibility are among recent trends in the operator-interface market. New products include a PDA for extreme environments from DAP Technologies , a scheduled communications module for Rockwell Automation’s Allen-Bradley operator interface products, and a flat-panel display monitor from Christensen Display Products . Following are details on each product and links to more information.
ControlNet scheduled communications module (added to the Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus operator interface terminals and VersaView CE industrial computers) provides deterministic, repeatable communications.
Microflex 2240 from DAP Technologies is a rugged PDA designed for all-day operation in extreme environments. Lightweight unit weighs just 500 grams and fits in the palm of a hand. Device meets MIL-STD-810F standards for drop, vibration, and cold and hot temperature variations (-30 °C to 60 °C) and is rated IP67 (dust proof, protected from temporary immersion in water). Internal components are sealed and protected. PDA runs Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 to allow users to view documents, such as Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, in their original formats. It features two speeds (200 MHz or 400 MHz Intel XScale processor) and offers 64 Mbytes of SDRAM and 64 or 128 Mbytes of nonvolatile Flash storage to protect data from resets and power loss. It includes sunlight-readable, reflective color TFT displays with LED front lighting for indoor and low-light conditions and features a 15-hour rechargeable NiMH battery.
ControlNet scheduled communications module has been added to Rockwell Automation's Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus operator interface terminals and VersaView CE industrial computers. The module provides deterministic, repeatable communications. PanelView Plus terminals with ControlNet scheduled communications support more information than older models and have a messaging capacity of up to 6,144 bytes of input and output data to Logix, PLC-5, and SLC processors. ControlNet scheduled also supports multicast outputs; users linking multiple controllers to a PanelView Plus or VersaView CE can use the same communication route for each controller.
Enhancements to the 12-in. flat panel monitor family from Christensen Display Products include better viewing angles and brightness, higher temperature range, and up-scaling to XGS resolution. Optical enhancements are intended to help operators see critical information more easily from more locations in their work area. Other features including mechanical dimensions, ratings, analog interface, and ease of integration remain the same. Family of products is priced starting at $1,290 .
—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org