Control room: Users, designers benefit from remote graphics hardware validation

Remote graphic units (RGUs)

By Control Engineering Staff December 13, 2007

Remote graphic units (RGUs) enable a control room computer to be located in a secure, temperature-controlled environment while the necessary user peripherals—keyboard, mouse, monitor and speakers—are where they can be most useful in the plant. Matrox Graphics Inc., a manufacturer of specialized graphics solutions, announces that its Extio RGUs have been certified for use with control systems and software from ABB, Emerson Process Management, Foxboro, GE Fanuc, Honeywell, and Wonderware. Matrox hardware is also enabling multi-screen operator stations, which provide greater visual real estate for more information-rich displays.
The Extio unit allows the control systems companies’ HMI components to be connected to a host computer up to 820 ft. (250 meters) away via multi-mode fiber-optic cable. Control room operators benefit from increased space at the operator stations, a reduction in heat, and the removal of potentially noisy computers from the control room. IT managers are able to maintain security by moving the critical parts of a computer like the disks, memory, and processors into a separate room.
“Each operator also has the ability to connect up to four monitors to the Extio unit, which is equipped with a Matrox-designed graphics chip that offers unparalleled performance and image quality over a great distance,” said Liv Stewart, sales representative for Critical Decision Systems at Matrox Graphics. The multi-display capabilities help increase productivity and reduce errors by allowing more information to be viewed at once, she said.
Honeywell has validated the Extio Series of products for use with various Honeywell control systems, including its Experion PKS Icon Series Console. ABB validated the Extio F1220 for DualHead and Extio F1400 for quad-display units for use with the ABB System 800xA Extended Operator Workplace for control room operators. “Matrox Graphics has helped us simplify installation of multi-screen operator workplaces with the Extio product,” said Per Lundmark, marketing manager for ABB’s System 800xA Extended Operator Workplace. “For System 800xA projects that need computers in a separate room, away from the operator interfaces, it provides exceptional high display quality and performance.”
Foxboro DCS workstations and GE Fanuc products like Cimplicity and iFix can now run up to 820 ft. from the operator interface. A spokesperson from Emerson said, Matrox multi-display technology, specifically the G450x4 MMS and QID LP PCIe graphics cards, are “the quad-display products of choice for the Emerson DeltaV workstation. Additionally, Emerson Process Management has further validated the Matrox Extio F1400 Remote Graphics Unit for use with DeltaV v9.3 and higher. With Extio, Delta V customers can power operator stations away from their DCS workstation without performance penalty.”
Wonderware also validated multiple Matrox Graphics hardware products for use with its InTouch 10.0 HMIsktop management software enables Wonderware users to easily customize category A and B configurations. With certain Matrox products, PowerDesk also provides the possibility of enabling a stretched desktop across multiple cards on more than 4 displays,” said Jones.
Matrox Graphics’ newest line of multi-display graphics cards is the Millennium P690 series . Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada, with representation and offices in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Matrox Graphics

ABB System 800xA Extended Operator Workplace

Emerson Dellta V

Foxboro DCS

GE Fanuc

Honeywell Experion PKS Icon Series Console

Wonderware InTouch 10.0

–Renee Robbins, Control Engineering News Desk, renee.robbins@reedbusiness.com