Operator interface terminals improve operations for lobster processor

By Control Engineering Staff October 13, 2005

Know Tech Environmental Inc. has selected human-machine interface (HMI) equipment from QSI Corp. to help manage the processing of its lobster and aquaculture products.

Qterm-G70 operator interface (OI) terminal is being used with the company’s Tally Ho! Weighmeister, a machine for styro-packing operations, to record the weight of boxes of lobsters and generate printed shipping manifests for each order. In addition, a Qterm-G70 graphic terminal is being used in the Visual Sorter, a product that simplifies lobster grading based on color.

Operator interface terminal from QSI Corp. (left) helps in processing lobsters, performing weighing and grading operations. Terminal and programming language provide a flexible platform for building custom touchscreen applications.

The terminal is a rugged, Ethernet-enabled, graphic operator-interface device with a touchscreen user interface. The rugged unit has industrial-grade hardware and options, including a 320 x 240-pixel, lighted graphic-LCD (color or grayscale); 100Base-T-Ethernet with TCP/IP support; touchscreen with optional PS/2 keyboard connection; EIA-232, -422 or -485 serial-interface; and 4-MB-Flash/16-MB-RAM. It is NEMA-4 and CE certified for use in harsh environments.

Using its proprietary, object-based graphic-terminal programming- language, called Qlarity , the facility can create a simple control panel interface design or a complete stand-alone application using pre-defined objects. The ability to edit existing objects or author objects provides added flexibility. Qlarity Foundry, a PC-based design tool, includes a Microsoft Windows environment for screen creation, application simulation, debugging, and downloading to the Qterm-G70 terminal.

“We believe our new lobster packing and grading products represent breakthrough advances in the highly competitive lobster processing industry,” said James Shand, president of Know Tech Environmental. Terminals and accompanying programming language “provide a great platform for building our industrial applications. The cold, seawater-drenched operating environment has been a real challenge and the device has performed flawlessly. Our customers especially appreciate the colorful graphic capabilities and the built-in touch screen interface.”

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