Xycom Automation bundling software, hardware

To help users avoid Christmas-like "some assembly required" hassles when buying PC controls, Xycom Automation (Saline, Mich.) is bundling soft-logic control with traditional PC hardware. In a discussion with Control Engineering at National Manufacturing Week, Tom Gross, Xycom Automation's ceo, says the remade firm will deliver control products tested to work together, ...

05/01/1999


To help users avoid Christmas-like "some assembly required" hassles when buying PC controls, Xycom Automation (Saline, Mich.) is bundling soft-logic control with traditional PC hardware. In a discussion with Control Engineering at National Manufacturing Week, Tom Gross, Xycom Automation's ceo, says the remade firm will deliver control products tested to work together, similar to how PLCs are purchased.

Fruits of the recent Xycom and ASAP merger include a series of products bundling ASIC software for control in industrial computers operating on Microsoft Windows NT and CE. Xycom also showed industrial computers with Intel Pentium III processors.

The company expects to cover many market segments with scalable hardware from 10- to 18-in. screens to many networking options. An early entrant with embedded PCs, Xycom Automation unveiled Microsoft Windows CE-based products at the show. These were expected to be available for shipment in May or June 1999.

Besides bundling and CE issues, Mr. Gross says quality is another priority that Xycom Automation is addressing with a goal of 200,000 hours mean time between failures. Because it manufactures boards and BIOS, version changes are managed to avoid software and hardware compatibility problems. This is a major benefit of Xycom Automation over commercial PCs.

In addition, the company's distribution system has been renovated in favor of distributors with a willingness to go after soft control. Negotiations are also underway with a potential partner to allow bundling of HMI with Xycom Automation's systems.

For more information, visit www.controleng.com/freeinfo .





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