Rugged HMIs deliver handheld photo capture/send, sealed full-function PC abilities
Two rugged HMI offerings show how industrial interface hardware designs must include protection from dust, water and temperature extremes: The Hydrus Luna rugged handheld from Two Technologies, Inc. and the Armor X10 rugged tablet PC from DRS Technologies.
Separate rugged HMI offerings show how today’s industrial interface hardware designs must combine consumer-quality PC functionality with attributes essential to the manufacturing environment, such as protection from dust, water and temperature extremes. The Hydrus Luna rugged handheld computer from Two Technologies, Inc. includes a 5 megapixel true-camera system with real auto focus and flash system. The Armor X10 rugged tablet PC from DRS Technologies features an aluminum chassis and ShutOut IP 66 sealing technology.
Two Technologies ’ Hydrus Luna is an ultra-rugged handheld computer designed for long-term daily operation in the harshest working conditions.megapixel (4 megapixel processed) true-camera system captures color images and bar codes with real auto focus, LEDs and a “true-flash system.” Users can capture images and data from virtually any remote field location and transmit them back to a main office or centralized location.
A powerful computer with 256MB SDRAM and up to 32GB of data storage, the Hydrus Luna uses Microsoft Windows CE .NET 5.0 operating system and a Marvell PXA270 processor operating at 624MHz. Units also feature a dual smart battery system.
Two Technologies ’ Hydrus Luna is an ultra-rugged handheld computer.
Individual hard keys and an eight-position joystick are suited for operation with gloved hands, and an integrated speaker and microphone enable use of the device for voice communications. The Hydrus Luna offers wireless communications and networking capabilities via Bluetooth, WLAN and 802.11b/g.
IP 67/68 rated for protection against dust and water, the Hydrus Luna is suited for outdoor use in extreme environments on both land and sea. According to the company, double wall case construction of GE Xenoy provides impervious sealing against environmental conditions, with drop and shock protection covering internal components. The Hydrus Luna also offers a 320 x 240 Landscape QVGA display with integral touch screen, as well as “super-sunlight” screen readability.
Armor rugged tablet PC
The Armor X10 rugged tablet PC features an aluminum chassis and ShutOut sealing technology that meets IP 66 level protection from dust and water. Available in both touch screen and passive pen versions, the 10.4-in. monitor provides enhanced indoor and outdoor viewability, even in direct sunlight.
In a rugged mobile computing whitepaper available through its website, DRS explains how experience with previous generations of mobile computers, including military systems, can provide a foundation for enhanced durability and performance in harsh industrial environments. For Armor X10 designers, such lessons led to environmental design improvements in critical areas, including keeping out water and dust, blunting the effects of high and low temperatures, and protecting against the harmful effects of shock and vibration.
Dust—small non-organic particulate matter—can clog connections during mating of connectors to port, or decrease the port’s useful life. Further, organic matter such as mud can lead to fungal growth or the retention of moisture, leading to corrosion that could take months before intermittent operation occurs. Water, in the smallest amounts, turns to vapor upon operation of electronic equipment and thereby migrates throughout the entire unit. If openings are not present to “back out” the moisture, it collects in trapped areas and condenses, for example, on the LCD screen. Thus, dust and water are two of a computer's worst enemies, according to DRS.
To prevent or minimize dust and water ingression, a computer's external housing can be designed and manufactured to very tight tolerances, with all gaps carefully sealed. The interfaces between materials that exhibit different coefficients of thermal expansion are especially important, says DRS, because the sealing material must be able to compensate. The location of seals is also an important consideration.The Armor X10 connectors are sealed on inside so that protection against water and dust is maintained even if the connector door is left open.
"Resistance to water and dust is important to many of our customers.
According to Gardner, another important advantage of the Armor X10 tablet PC is the ease and flexibility of its docking systems.
Wonderware anticipates a continued migration to wireless mobile computing that enables manufacturers to better manage their processes and procedures.choosing the type of device that will work best in their particular application."
– Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
HMI, Operator Interface, SCADA channel