New research: Wireless operator interface terminals sought

According to new research, the interface features that end users and machine builders are willing to spend money on are wireless capabilities, touchscreens and network-enabled operator interface terminals. Useful resources, with links, are provided. 

07/10/2008


When it comes to operator interface terminals, once you decide a model is tough enough for your industrial application, what else do you look for? According to respondents to Control Engineering ’s July 2008 Product Research survey, the most likely features that end users and machine builders are willing to spend money on are wireless capabilities, touchscreens and network-enabled units. In addition to trend data, this research and other resources can help you decide what features, NEMA ratings and communications technologies you should be looking for, as well as which vendors are offering appropriate products.

The Operator Interface Product Research article contains new research results and compares it to 2006 data to reveal trends. For example, only 37% of this year’s respondents say they have color displays, but 73% say they want them. Forty percent have touchscreens today, but 67% want them. This year’s results show similar trends to 2006 results, including a preference for flat-panel displays away from CRTs, and increasing interesting in wireless and open-network technologies.

In the next five years, respondents say they anticipate spending more than they have previously on terminals to gain wireless capabilities, touchscreens and network-enabled units. Sixty-eight percent expect to spend more on wireless terminals, while only 53% plan to spend more to obtain color displays.

And while new features are nice, users look first for proven ruggedness. Said one respondent, “Environmental concerns are considered first—such as resistance to vibration, heat, cold, water—then the programming environment, size, [and] color. It has to hold up physically in the location in which you are going to use it, or everything else is moot.”

Monthly research reports are made available online in the Control Engineering Resource Center. Viewing the printed article online through the www.controleng.com/archives provides access to a list of products and links to the top 21 vendors of operator interface terminals for industrial environments.

One vendor, QSI Corp., introduced its QTERM-G58 operator interface terminal—a wireless, battery-powered version of its QTERM-G55. The handheld computer has a 3.5-in. color sunlight readable display and rugged design for harsh conditions. QSI also provides additional information in the form of free whitepapers that explain operator interface technologies. One whitepaper discusses issues to con

For other information on rugged interfaces, particularly in the form of industrial computers, see “ Solid HMI connections, sealed edges prove tough enough ,” also in the July 2008 issue of Control Engineering .

— Edited by Renee Robbins , senior editor
Control Engineering Information Control eNewsletter
Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Integrated mobility; Artificial intelligence; Predictive motion control; Sensors and control system inputs; Asset Management; Cybersecurity
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me