Product Exclusive

By Staff August 1, 2005

Multimedia PLC touchscreen

EZCE Touchpanel from EZAutomation division of AVG features Microsoft CE .Net 4.2 and multimedia capabilities in a diskless computer with more than 50 PLC drivers. Prices start at $799 for a 6-in. monochrome unit and range up to $2,799 for a 15-in. color device. Flat panel HMI can download, store, and display training and maintenance information, including electronic photos, videos, PDFs, and other text documents. The capabilities dramatically reduce tech support, points out Brian Sandrock, marketing coordinator. For example, he says, “When proximity sensor performance degrades on a machine, a PLC could signal the operator and launch a video showing where the prox is and how to replace it.”

Previous screens developed on EZTouch or EZPanel HMIs can be enhanced easily via a PC and ported to many devices. EZCE matches the existing EZPanel eight screen sizes and has the same footprint as the original EZTouch and EZPanel enhanced models. EZPanel enhanced programming software is common to and interchangeable among all three models. The devices also run Visual Basic or C++.

Other product features include 3-D high-speed vector-based graphical objects with scalability; 128 colors for use in objects and graphics; user-selected display text in nine languages; built-in Symbol Factory; and screen and object password protection. Drivers for 15 major logic platforms are supported. EZCE has various import/export capabilities for tags, messages, and alarms to/from Excel or CSV files; multi-state bitmap object (bit or word selectable); multi-state indicator/message object (bit or word selectable) that allows up to four embedded data variables in messages; bitmap button objects; and floating point support for meters, bar graphs, PID, and line graphs. EZAutomation

Scripting for CE devices

Web Studio v6.1 from InduSoft (IWS 6.1) introduces VB scripting for Microsoft Windows CE-based devices and Web browsers. Latest release to the SCADA software package also adds a new trending tool, sophisticated screen translations, an advanced development environment, and database management functions. An optional wizard imports legacy PanelMate applications.

Current scripting language is still supported while allowing developers to work with Visual Basic as well. VBScript allows scripted applications to be ported to Windows CE devices, such as PDAs, or viewed on Web browsers with no limitations on code complexity. Users can move information between enterprise and field; build applications quickly; download, collect, display, modify, and automatically sync data; create database applications without programming; and convert PC or paper-based processes into mobile applications. Data move seamlessly in real time or over intermittent connections.

Trend Object expands options for viewing data. It places no limits on the number of pens and each can be configured. Users can choose between Step and Smooth displays. Historical and real-time data can display simultaneously. Other enhancements include simplified translation for operator interfaces; an export function automatically creates the spreadsheet. IWS 6.1 also uses tabs to keep several screens open and navigate among them, and it has two database tools: IWS database interface for CE has been enhanced; ActiveX Data Objects provide a way to integrate plant floor data with a corporate database. A new IWS grid interface allows direct interfacing to SQL from within IWS using grid objects. Finally, an optional PanelMate import tool converts legacy PanelMate applications into IWS applications running on an NT or CE platform. InduSoft