In, out, and about HMI: Touchscreens, keyboards, displays, software, training

A variety of new offerings are brightening and expanding HMI horizons this month. They include touchscreen monitors, programmable keyboards, displays, and software tools as well as training.

By Control Engineering Staff May 13, 2004

New touchscreen LCD monitor from Foxboro is designed for process control applications.

A variety of new offerings are brightening and expanding HMI horizons this month. They include touchscreen monitors, programmable keyboards, displays, and software tools as well as training. Summaries of each item are presented here, along with links to additional information.

New touchscreen LCD monitor from Foxboro Automation Systems , a unit of Invensys , is designed for process control applications. The option for the I/A Series automation system combines the performance of advanced flat-screen LCD technology with the intuitiveness of touchscreen operator interaction. Foxboro is moving toward an “all-LCD” monitor offering for the I/A Series system. LCD screens are said to eliminate distortion and flicker and reduce glare and eyestrain to increase operator productivity and well-being. Click here to read more from Control Engineering about the monitors .

HMI520H touchscreen from Maple Systems fits into small spaces.

Maple Systems has released a new 6-in. touchscreen HMI, called HMI520H. It features the same 256-colors and 5.7 TFT display as the company’s 5.7-in. STN display. According to the manufacturer, this addition to its product mix gives OEMs a way to integrate a feature-filled and cost-effective operator interface into their products without sacrificing quality.

Field-programmable keyboards from Electronic Keyboards Inc., can be mounted or used as standalone devices.

Compact size fits into small spaces; unit features include 4-wire analog resistive touchscreen technology, high-speed 200 MHz processor, pop-up winders, recipes, and real-time clock.Family of rugged, field-programmable industrial keyboards from Electronic Keyboards Inc . (EKI) includes 90- and 180-position models.Both can have a touch pad mouse for complete control in a compact size. NEMA 4 rated devices can be mounted or used as standalone devices; each position is rated at 30 million touches a year. Keyboard can be set to normal QWERTY type pattern for servicing the machine or process PC, then switched to a fully programmable mode to control the machine or process.

Single-digit displays from Vishay can be read in direct sunlight.

High-intensity low-current, single-digit, seven-segment displays from Vishay are readable in direct sunlight. TDSR Series displays use AllnGaP technology in the color red to offer high performance in very low-power applications. Devices deliver luminous intensity of 1,500HMI Tools for Palm handhelds from Beijer Electronics enables communication between operator terminals and Palm handhelds. Freeware is designed for convenience and safety in remote facilities that have no networks, where maintenance and updating of HMI systems could be handled only by a PC on the factory floor. Now, a Palm handheld can hold system programs and project files for operator terminals. Files stored in the Palm cannot be edited, making this a safe and convenient way to upgrade an application. If new HMI functions become available, a machine builder can simply send a Palm handheld with the new system program, project, or other files that need updating—instead of traveling to the site. Software consists of three applications to allow transfer of projects, files, and system programs as easily as reaching for your pocket. Wonderware Training is offering three new online Getting Started With tutorials. The three programs include:

Getting Started with IndustrialSQL Server

Getting Started with SuiteVoyager

Getting Started with QI Analyst

Each course takes only an hour or two to complete. Click here for more information and to access the training .

—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering, jkatzel@reedbusiness.com