Windows CE open operator panels from a new source

Beijer, Wonderware partnership gives machine builders more options.
By Control Engineering Staff March 7, 2008

Malmo, Sweden and Lake Forest, CA – Terminals running the Microsoft Windows CE operating system are an increasingly available option basic operator terminal products and industrial PCs. Beijer Electronics and Wonderware , a division of Invensys, have signed a strategic agreement that increases user options further: high-end Windows CE-based touch panel hardware from Beijer combined with a runtime license for a subset of Wonderware InTouch 10.0 software.

The bundled solution will be sold as Wonderware Compact Panels worldwide. Models include three touch interface panels with 6.5-in., 10.4-in., and 15.1in. TFT displays. For Wonderware, the Compact Panels complement an existing line of industrial computers, expanding it into the Windows CE-based human machine interface (HMI) market.

Mark Watson, a market analyst with UK-based IMS Research , says, “An open operator terminal with a

Microsoft Windows CE-based operating system

provides higher levels of functionality and flexibility in comparison to other operator terminal product types.

Watson says the reliability of an operator terminal’s operating system is paramount in ensuring that downtime is minimized, and that the tracking and processing of data is performed in a secure environment.opting the product type typically need a higher level of functionality than is offered by a touchscreen or graphical operator terminal, but do not want to significantly increase their expenditure with the purchase of an industrial PC. 

From left: Bob Chunko, Regional Sales Manager West for Beijer Electronics Inc.; David Gardner, WIC Product Manager Industrial Computers for

Conny Persson, CEO of Beijer Electronics Products, said Wonderware and Beijer Electronics cooperating like this is an example of “an alliance that we will see more of in the future. In a global industry with increasingly high demands for flexibility and quality, new types of partnerships between suppliers are required to provide the best possible solutions for end users.”

“This cooperation with Wonderware is inspiring to us,” Persson added, “and to our hardware development in particular, in meeting the specific needs and demands of a hardware-only HMI solution. Our own complete HMI solutions bring high value to our customers. This shows that we can also help others create value for their customers by combining our different product offers.”

David Gardner, Wonderware’s WIC product manager, Industrial Computers, said, “The operator panel platform from Beijer Electronics met our requirements for Class I, Division 2 applications.

Since the development environment for Compact Panels is the same Wonderware Development Studio that Wonderware customers are currently using, with InTouch 10.0 and Wonderware System Platform 3.0, Gardner said “any of our existing customers will be able to quickly build applications and use the new Compact Panels as part of a networked software solution.”

Control Engineering provides other recent coverage of Wonderware .

— Edited by Renee Robbins , senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
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