Control Engineering HMI eNewsletter for February 2003

By Control Engineering Staff February 20, 2003


AutomationDirect now offers EZTouch PLC touch panels with a built-in Data Highway Plus (DH+) interface, or Ethernet option cards for use with certain EZTouch panels. New Data Highway Plus versions of the EZTouch panels are available for 6, 8, 10, and 15-inch models in regular or slim bezel sizes. Prices for EZTouch panels with the DH+ card pre-installed start at $1,159 for the 6-inch monochrome version.

Click here for more information on the EZTouch panels.

Higher connections
Rockwell Automation acquires Interwave Technology
Mark your calendar for the National Industrial Automation Show
‘Visualize your enterprise” in the Web-enabled world

And yet more on instant messaging
Wonderware’s Industrial Application Server and InTouch 8.0 Software Target FDA 21 CFR Part 11
More HMI/SCADA resources
Check out the February Control Engineering, other resources

Higher connections

If you have a particular project in mind-with a deadline-sometimes it’s easy to consider implementing human-machine interface as just another project element, when it really can serve as a point of connection to higher level-systems.

Automation specialists with three end-user companies-Procter & Gamble, General Motors, and Cytec Specialty Chemicals-seek help from automation vendors to integrate plant-floor automation systems with higher level systems. Key to excelling in today’s nimble, highly competitive business environment, they say, is to connect plant-floor expertise and knowledge to the rest of the enterprise and supply chain.

These were among views expressed at the opening of ARC Advisory Group’s (Dedham, MA) ”Driving Operational Excellence in Manufacturing Forum” on Feb. 10-12. For more on this topic, see Control Engineering Online’s coverage.

What do you think of the views expressed by these end-users? Is what they suggest practical to consider in your organization? Why or why not? Let us know at

For system integration help, visit Control Engineering’s Automation Integrator Guide (registration required).

Rockwell Automation acquires Interwave Technology

Rockwell Automation (Milwaukee, WI) is expanding its Manufacturing Information Solutions capability by acquiring Interwave Technology, Inc., (Exton, PA), one of the country’s leading independent consulting integrators. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

‘Interwave Technology is an acknowledged MES industry leader when it comes to managing a company’s supply chain, moving information seamlessly from the shop floor to the business office, and delivering information solutions to manufacturers that increase the return on their investment and decrease their investment in working capital,’ said John McDermott, senior vice president, Rockwell Automation Global Manufacturing Solutions. ‘This strategic acquisition will help us respond to a need in the marketplace, helping those customers who are trying to manage information flow throughout their entire enterprise.’

Interwave has developed a reputation as a leading independent consulting integrator, focusing on IT solution consulting and implementation for a broad range of manufacturing customers. The company has a strong track record of assisting manufacturers to deploy solutions specific to their needs and budgets.

‘World-class, lean and agile manufacturing models depend on establishing work-in-process visibility, eliminating manual and paper-based processes, and integrating real-time information between the manufacturing plant floor and business systems,’ said Jonathan Kall, president, Interwave Technology, Inc. ‘Interwave will continue to provide significant value for our customers by optimizing their manufacturing operations and making production information visible in real time throughout their enterprise and supply chain. Our focus on solution services, rather than any one product, fits perfectly with that of the Rockwell Automation Global Manufacturing Solutions business unit.’

Mark your calendar for the National Industrial Automation Show

The National Industrial Automation Show takes place in Chicago from March 3 to 6.

National Manufacturing Week and the National Industrial Automation Show and Conference are not far off. Mark your calendar and plan to attend this outstanding annual event and see what’s new in HMI and SCADA products.

More than 1000 exhibitors will be displaying something special at Chicago’s McCormick Place from March 3-6. The National Industrial Automation Show features the latest automation technology, products, systems and solutions from the process to the discrete industries. The companion conference offers a dozen sessions on a variety of topics.

Preview the products on display, review the conference session titles, and register for the event on the National Manufacturing Week Web site.

”Visualize your enterprise” in the Web-enabled world

‘Visualize Your Enterprise’ seminars from Iconics will be offered in more than 100 cities worldwide.

Looking for an open, productive, connected HMI/SCADA solution? This series of seminars is being offered for current and potential GENESIS32 end users. The sessions consist of free, half-day events scheduled for more than 100 cities regionally and worldwide.

Topics to be covered include:

Latest .NET automation technologies

e-Security, biometrics and FDA compliance

Scalable industry standard OPC connectivity

Wireless pocket PC and web technologies

Time saving project deployment and collaboration tools

What’s new in GENESIS32 7.0

Experience the future of HMI and SCADA. Register online

And yet more on instant messaging

Instant messaging has been a topic considered on various occasions in this and other of our topical newsletters. Here’s one more element in the continuing saga.

IBM has introduced IBM Community Tools, a new suite of peer-to-peer applications for community-based problem solving that transforms the way customers and business partners interact, collaborate and respond to changing business needs. This dynamic messaging client combines the highly scalable one-to-many broadcast messaging technology in IBM MQ Event Broker with the leading enterprise instant messaging capabilities of IBM Lotus Sametime. Web services run on WebSphere Internet infrastructure software and DB2. The new applications debuted to 3,000 IBM Business Partners attending the annual PartnerWorld conference and expo in New Orleans, LA, this month.

For more on the IBM offering, visit the IBM Web site

Read previous discussions of instant messaging at:

HMI newsletter for October 2002

Software newsletter for September 2002

Software newsletter for August 2002

Software newsletter for July 2002

Software newsletter for June 2002

Wonderware’s Industrial Application Server and InTouch 8.0 software target FDA 21 CFR Part 11

Wonderware (Lake Forest, CA), an operating unit of Invensys plc , has announced that its new FactorySuite Industrial Application Server and InTouch 8.0 human-machine-interface (HMI) software provide significant new software enhancements to companies who must meet FDA 21 CFR Part 11 regulations. These products represent a major milestone in Invensys’ strategy to lower the maintenance and development costs involved in engineering FDA 21 CFR Part 11 applications.

FactorySuite Industrial Application Server provides an infrastructure for simplifying the development, deployment, maintenance and administration of distributed automation applications, Wonderware says. It offers real-time data acquisition, alarm and event management, data manipulation services and collaborative engineering capabilities, which have been designed from the ground up for use in industrial automation applications.

With the new InTouch 8.0 HMI, users now have enhanced security configuration capabilities specifically designed with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 in mind. New security script functions provide easy configuration of access levels, audit trails and integrated operating system (OS) security. Users can configure audit trails, which are tightly coupled with the application’s OS security model, according to Wonderware.

More HMI/SCADA resources

Entivity, Inc. (Ann Arbor, MI) has released the next generation of its Think & Do Live! product. Think & Do Live! 5.5 software builds on framework of Live! 5.4, adding a number of enhancements and features to improve performance and usability. Key new features include:

Microsoft Windows XP support

Additional drivers

Improvements to the AppTracker debugging tool.

”Customer feedback played an enormous role in the development of Live! 5.5,” said Jeff Fisher, vp sales and support. ”Entivity customers…now can benefit from our latest features while implementing today’s technology.”

For more, visit the Entivity, Inc. Web site.

InteractX Microsoft Windows-embedded HMI system was developed specifically for machine control and OEM needs..

Parker Automation-CTC (Milford, OH) has introduced InteractX, an innovative Microsoft Windows-embedded HMI system developed specifically for machine control and OEM needs. InteractX runs on Microsoft Windows98/2000/NT/XP and Embedded NT/XP operating systems.

”Windows capabilities make machine controls easier to use and integrate, but have been anything but easy on OEMs,” said Jerry Kock, CTC Product Manager. ”They’ve seen Windows adding complexity and cost…as well as higher-level programming and IT services. Instead, we set out to give InteractX the most advanced graphics of any Windows HMI, yet the lowest installed costs least development complexity for OEMs.”

Learn more about InteractX at the Parker Automation Web site.

New touchscreen HMI from Maple Systems, the HMI550C, is a lower-cost alternative to the company’s TFT model.

Maple Systems (Everett, WA) has released a new 10-in. touchscreen HMI, the HMI550C, as a lower cost alternative to its 10-in. TFT touchscreen. With the same 256-colors and a 10.4-in. DSTN display, the HMI550C lists at just $1,495. Features include powerful graphics capability, 8-wire analog resistive technology for total design freedom, high-speed 133 MHz processor, pop-up windows, recipes and real-time clock.

For more information, visit Maple Systems

Bentek Systems Ltd. (Calgary, Alberta) offers Web-Access SCADA, a browser-based HMI and SCADA software package for industrial control systems and facilities automation. Users can view and control in real-time using an ordinary Web browser. The package may be remotely configured and supported.

For more on this and other web based HMI/SCADA products, go to the Bentek Systems Web site.

High-density memory module from Macrotron Systems targets networking, server, telecommunications, and solid-state disk drive applications.

Macrotron Systems, Inc. (Fremont, CA) announces immediate availability of a one-Gigabyte memory module as the newest member of its PC133 family. This high-density module targets key networking, server, telecommunications and solid-state disk drive applications requiring a height of 1.2 inches to fit into rack mount 1U applications. The 1GB module is comprised of 36 SDRAMs of 256Mb density with PC133 speed stacked using proprietary technology. It is also buffered and registered with ECC so it can be used with existing chipsets without the addition of on-board drivers.

Find more information on this and similar products on the Macrotron Web site

Check out the February Control Engineering , other resources

Be sure to take a look at the cover article in the February issue of Control Engineering for a review of some schematic and panel-design software tools.

Also in February is a Control Engineering exclusive on the delivery of

Siemens’ millionth Simatic HMI system


HMI technologies are also on tap at National Manufacturing Week. Read about them at in our review of the upcoming show and learn more about the upcoming show on the NMW Web site

As always, your comments, corrections, suggestions, and useful information are always welcome. Send your input to Jeanine Katzel or Mark Hoske or simply to

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