Engineers’ Choice 2006 – HMI

By Control Engineering Staff February 27, 2007

Engineers Choice CompetitionNew Products for 2006: Human-Machine Interfaces and Industrial PCs

Control Engineering — February 15, 2007The annual Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards highlight significant new products from the previous year as selected by readers of Control Engineering print publications and electronic newsletters. The following new products are nominees for that competition. To be eligible, a new product must have been introduced to the U.S. marketplace and available for purchase between December 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006. All descriptions have been provided by product vendors, and Control Engineering makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the claims.

The Control Engineering Engineers Choice Awards honor the products from this list that survey respondents chose as the most exceptional or noteworthy based on technological advancement (innovation), service to the industry (usefulness) and/or market impact (would buy it tomorrow if I could). Results are announced in the April 2006 issue of Control Engineering .

HMI hardware

C-more Micro Graphical Operator Interface Tech advancement – C-more micro provides graphics capability and touch panel characteristics in a footprint as small as or smaller than traditional text-only panels. Its modular components allow for optional eight or 20-key bezels and an additional serial port/24VDC power adapter with no additional configuration required, making its application both simple and flexible. When connected to certain PLCs, the panel receives its power through the serial communication cable.Market impact- C-more micro has lowered the cost of entry for a graphical touch panel to under $200; more applications can now make use of the benefits of graphical information and touch-based control for the cost of a few pushbuttons. The full-featured configuration software is free (downloadable online), keeping investment costs low.Service to industry- For an HMI in the under-$200 price range, the C-more micro provides advanced features such as multiple-color LED backlights, recipes and a project simulator, which allows the developer to view and run a project on the PC screen exactly as it would appear on the C-more micro without actually being connected to a panel. The simulator saves hours of programming and debugging time.

Hardened Resistive Touchscreens Thin glass front for better abrasion protection, added strengthened glass inside for impact protection

HMi Operator Interface Available in 4″, 6″, 8″ and 10″ models, HMi is a true analog touchscreen operator interface for even the most robust applications.

SB6432 The SB6432 switches combine a high-resolution LCD display with true RGB-backlighting in a keyswitch design with internal controller. The SB6432 high-resolution LCD keyswitch features over 10,000 calibrated RGB-colors as well as an extended command set. With more than 100 brightness settings per color channel, SB6432 switches offer the best color resolution as well as the highest display resolution of 64×32 pixels. The extended command set allows for the control of the LCD bias, refresh and drive current. It is also possible to turn the backlighting and/or display off without loosing the bitmap data. The SB6432 switches incorporate all the industry-leading features pioneered by the [Ekeys are the only LCD switches that use true RGB-colors, not just single red, green, and blue color LEDs. By controlling the backlighting through the proprietary Advanced Technology™ electronics, [E³] switches are calibrated to produce the same color in each switch for uniform background colorsin large switch panels.

InduMedical A molded Ryton@ body housed in a titanium tube provides a rugged, chemically resistant sensor. The construction is enhanced by the choice of EPDM, Viton or Kalrez o-rings.

PHM Monitor Family The PHM industrial flat panel monitor family includes 15” and 17” TFT displays. These are an affordable, NEMA-4/4x-rated solution for a wide range of plant-floor applications, including a stainless-steel bezel (15” display) version for sanitary and cleanroom environments.The PHM family offers several new features to simplify their installation and operation in industrial environments. First, the PHM monitors offer an auto-power feature that detects the presence of a video signal on the input and automatically powers the monitor on the presence of a signal; this simplifies installation and troubleshooting, allowing the industrial PC to control the monitor’s power directly. Second, these monitors offer a choice of molded or stainless-steel bezels, allowing the user to select the appropriate bezel for their application, only incurring the cost of stainless in applications where it is necessary. Finally, these monitors support field serviceability options– with field replaceable bezels and displays – so that when a failure does occur, any down time is minimized by allowing modularized component level replacement in the field.The industrial monitor market is a mature market where innovations like these are unusual, yet the PHM family offers these key differentiating features in a space that many would argue has become commoditized.

Pro-face APG3000 Series Human Machine Interfaces The AGP3000 series are incredibly well connected. A host of interfaces include USB, RS232, RS422, RS485, Siemens direct MPI serial interfaces, compact flash port and 10/100 Ethernet are standard on most units. The USB ports allow easy connection to barcode readers, printers, and a wide range of peripherals. Up to four different network protocols can be active at any one time for multi-vendor controller applications. This simultaneous protocol feature allows the AGP3000 to act as a protocol converter, data concentrator and gateway for sharing data with different PLC manufacturers, motion and temperature controllers, etc.The AGP3000 series also supports multi-media and control. The multi-media (video and sound recording and playback) feature allows users to play video documentation, training videos or maintenance suggestions. These allow end-users to keep their machinery running longer and reduce downtime. Most of the AGP3000 series have built in ladder logic and some have built in I/O. This allows machine builders to reduce panel space by incorporating HMI and PLC functionality in one box, using one programming package.This is the first product line that is ROHS compliant, meeting the new mandatory lead-free directive from Europe, a critical necessity for OEMs shipping overseas. Standard UL, cUL class I DIV II, CE certifications are included with these units.

TuffTouch A NEMA 4 Metal Encapsulated Industrial Grade 17” LCD Monitor that stands up to the rigors of the shop floor. Unlike traditional off-the-shelf desktop style plastic monitors the TuffTouch will stand up to dirty environments. An array of versatile mounting options are available allowing the Rugged LCD to be mounted on control panels, walls, ceiling, desktop and pendent arms. Optional Resistive and Capacitive touch screens are available maintain a sealed NEMA 4, IP66 front panel. The TuffTouch is ideal for human machine interface or where critical data needs to be displayed in both process and discrete control applications.

Industrial PCs

CP62xx Panel PCs To give machine builders a powerful, but inexpensive “all-in-one” control solution, Beckhoff Automation has introduced the new CP62xx Panel PCs. These powerful Panel PCs feature integrated displays paired with high-performance PC technology. Processors as powerful as a PentiumThe CP62xx series feature 12″, 15″ or 19″ TFT displays, optionally with touch screen or touch pad, for use as monitor without a keyboard or with different membrane keypad options, including full alphanumeric keyboards. In addition, the front of the Panel PCs can be customized to include various company logos and official color schemes.Because of its two independent Ethernet interfaces, the C62xx is ideally suited as a compact central processing unit for an EtherCAT-networked control system, among several other applications. While the 100 MBit Ethernet port offers optimum performance for all EtherCAT control tasks, a Gigabit port is available for connecting to higher level networks.

C69xx Industrial PCs Continuing the push for Industrial PCs that are smaller, better and faster, Beckhoff Automation has introduced the C6920 and C6925 Industrial PCs feature 3 1/2 inch motherboards, which make it possible to utilize Intelill built to last like all Beckhoff Industrial PCs.The basic configuration of this Industrial PC series features a flash disk as the boot and memory medium, providing users with a solid state PC with no moving parts. The C6925 with 1 GHz IntelThe C69xx PC’s flash disk (up to 8 GB), optional 40 GB hard drive measuring just 2 1/2 inches and the CMOS battery are easily accessible behind a front cover.

DA-138 Industrial notebook computer with PCI slot inside, hotswappable batteries, and upgradeable CPU board

Pro-face Xycom 4700 Series IPC The Pro-face Xycom 4700 Series of heavy-duty industrial PCs features the high-performance Intelenclosures.Many enhancements have been made to the 4700 Series. Two cable-free serial ATA hard drives may be added (RAID-1 option is available). Other enhancements include: an additional 10/100/1000 base-T Ethernet port, four USB 2.0-compliant ports, a Type I/II Compact Flash socket, an extra RS-232/422/485 selectable serial port, and four PCI expansion slots. The 4700 Series carries the European CE mark, as well as UL and cUL agency approvals. Approved for Class I & Class II, Division 2 Hazardous Locations, 4700 Series PCs can operate in 0°C to 50°C environments without additional cooling.Model 4715 units include bright 15.0” XGA TFT LCD displays with resolution of up to 1024 x 768 due to the on-board 4X AGP graphics controller. In addition, 4715 units automatically share up to 32 MB system RAM to allow full 32-bit color depth and fast 3D rendering. Displays are offered with a choice of analog resistive touch screen, keypad with integrated mouse, or all three.

PowerBox 1700 The PowerBox 1700 is the latest enhancement to Modular Industrial Computer’s line of fully sealed NEMA 4X industrial computer systems. Less than 6” deep, the PowerBox combines a robust touchscreen display with integrated Pentium M processor. Unlike panel mounted PC’s, the PowerBox is ready for installation on the plant floor without other enclosures or protection. The PowerBox has been proven in 100’s of washdown environments and operates over a wide range of temperature and humidity conditions. Unique side mounted cable access panel allows standard I/O connectors to be installed, yet fully sealed from contamination and water.

EPX PowerStations The EPX PowerStation family combines a full-featured industrial PC running Windowsfor Applications and tools for 21CFR11 compliance to a price point that is competitive with simple closed HMI panels.These units support a no-moving-part configuration (when CompactFlash storage is selected) that is ideal for high vibration and harsh environments. This ability to provide a full Windows XP operating system and InteractX HMI software on a compact no-moving-part industrial PC is a unique offering that provides a robust, configurable alternative to Windows CE-based panel HMI solutions.The NEMA4/4X-rated EPX is sized to fit the cutout dimensions of several popular operator panel products, making it an ideal drop-in replacement or alternative HMI for many existing machines.The EPX08T PowerStation starts at $ 2495 for an 8” TFT configuration, including Windows XP and InteractX runtime software. The EPX family allows customers to choose the right system for their application, without sacrificing the features they need!

HMI software

WebHMI WebHMI provides remote Internet or Intranet connectivity to enterprise systems. Using a standard Web browser, a remote PC can instantly view live OPC and visualization information from any ICONICS GENESIS32 product on the network. Based on the Microsoft DNA architecture, WebHMI automatically delivers the required “plug-ins” so that a browser station can be used as part of the overall network solution. Users can not only view, but also take control of operator real-time displays with animation, live data trends, reports and alarms. HMI applications can integrate with traditional Internet browsers to perform remote and low cost monitoring of key manufacturing information. WebHMI comes complete with a security server tie-in so that application data entry and real-time interaction is controlled across the system. Real-time networking and communications with factory floor information is provided via the industry standard OLE for Process Control (OPC). Using the ICONICS GenBroker technology, deployment is easy and effective. WebHMI makes Web-based HMI/SCADA a plug-n-play operation.

AlarmWorX32 Multimedia (MMX) AlarmWorX32 Multimedia easily plugs-n-plays with ICONICS Alarm and Event Servers and other 3rd-Party OPC alarming software. The Standard Edition is a multimedia package that connects to any OPCAlarm and Events server and comes with complete multimedia agents including those for paging, SMS,email, fax, popup, marquee, video, messenger, phone, and sound. A Configuration Wizard assists users with creating alarm notification rules and action sets, including astep-by-step animated tutorial to help with system configuration. Filters can be easily applied so that only specific alarms trigger multimedia announcements. When an alarm occurs, users can specify multiple notification methods (e.g., page the technician, phone the supervisor, email the QA lab, etc.). Notifications can be sent to “on-duty personnel only” using the built-in scheduling mechanismSophisticated (yet easy to build) work schedules can be built to include vacation times, re-occurring patterns and roles. AlarmWorX32 Multimedia automatically synchronizes at startup and neatly summarizes all active alarms and events for quick review and acknowledgment. Over 100 alarm viewer properties allow easy customization of the alarm summary using filters, sorting, drag and drop columns and more.

DataWorX32 DataWorX32 is an OPC Data Access client application that can plug-n-play with ICONICSservers and components, as well as with 3rd-Party hardware interface drivers and software. It canalso act as an OPC Server itself. New features include OPC Tunneling, which connects a remote OPC server to a local client in a robust and secure manner. It allows for one server to be redirected to more than one location. Another updated feature is multi-level OPC Data Redundancy. Connect any number of OPC Servers to an OPC HMI Client (ours, or any 3rd party OPC client) and DataWorX32 can perform a redundant automatic switchover to backup OPC Servers with communication via DCOM and GenBroker to talk COM over IP. Data Bridging technology allows connectivity between any OPC Servers, seamlessly sharing data, which can be manipulated through expressions and calculations before being transferred.With OPC Data Aggregation, users can connect any number of OPC Clients (ours or 3rd party), and consolidate OPC Data Requests automatically, reducing the load on the OPC Server itself.DataWorX32 then disseminates data to the appropriate client applications. DataWorX32, which supports the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC-UA) standard, supports local, Intranet and Internet operation.

SCADAMESH / REALMESH SCADAMesh from Industrial Telemetry Inc. is a patent-pending family of products for the industrial and water and wastewater worlds. ITI has combined a patent-pending PLC on a Chip with an on-board processor and memory, and mounted them on the same 12-24 V dc line-powered board with a patented Realmesh radio, in an industrial DIN housing. The SCADAMesh 424 supports 4-20 mA in and out, 0-5 V in and out, 0-10 V in and out. Digital supports 110 V ac in or out, and 12-24 V dc in or out. A Realmesh (Real Multi-point Enhanced Signal Handling) radio combines transceiver capabilities with “repeater” functionalities in a single device, while supporting connectivity to analog and/or digital input or output. The result of deploying a series of SCADAMesh™ 424 devices with Realmesh radios is that each supports 4 analog in, 2 analog out, 4 digital in or out and “helps” the others get control messages from point of origin to destination without the need for separate repeaters and routers, or having to go back to a base station or SCADA system with every message. If a base station is used, it can also act as a gateway device to the Internet, or be polled by an existing SCADA system. Realmesh radios use a patented, true peer-to-peer MESH networking protocol, with every device being a repeater and a transceiver.

Web Studio v6.1 InduSoft Web Studio v6.1 offers an advantage that few other HMI/SCADA software systems can claim: It runs on various configurations of Microsoft Windows platform, from powerful redundant workstations using the latest Intel processors and Windows server software, to simple handheld PDAs and “smart phones” that use Windows CE/Windows Mobile technology. It also runs on diskless embedded processors and Panel PCs, and supports web-based applications.