2008 New Product Compendium: HMIs and Industrial PCs
The following products were introduced in 2008, and participated in the Control Engineering Engineers' Choice Awards competition.
Descriptions were provided by vendor companies. For more information, visit the Website listed. To learn which products won the competition, and which received honorable mentions, visit www.controleng.com/awards .
To jump to a specific category of products, click on the following links:
PanelMate ePro PS Classic Operator Interface
The Eaton Corp. PanelMate ePro PS is the next generation’s operator interface and features increased memory, better display, faster performance and a variety of model options.
The high performance, cost-effective PanelMate ePro PS operator interface features increased memory, better display, faster performance and a variety of model options. Although it is physically the same size as previous ePro models and fits in the same panel cutout, the new ePro PS has more memory to run larger applications and store and run additional third-party software. The next generation PanelMate ePro PS builds on Eaton’s tradition in providing reliable and capable operator interfaces. The operator interface combines the flexibility of Microsoft Windows XP Embedded technology with the stability and reliability that is achieved through solid-state hardware design and exclusive Protect Mode that provides protection for the operating system and software. Eaton’s Protect Mode technology means that the operating system and all application programs are protected from unwanted changes or corruption. Protect Mode locks out unauthorized modifications to the operating system and protects critical application programs and drivers. In other words, the ePro can be treated like a PLC while accessing many of the benefits of Windows XP’s extensive networking, third party hardware/software support and plug-and-play capabilities.
EZAutomation says it offers the first dedicated human machine interface (HMI) with remote Internet control by introducing Webserver/remote control to the EZSeries touch panels. HMI enables remote control.
This introduction shifts perception of PLC HMIs, since users previously had two choices for remote Internet control:
1) Use a dedicated operating system in a touch panel, which needs less memory and is faster and more reliable, since the microprocessor is used only to display graphics and communicate to PLCs.
2) Use an HMI with a Microsoft Windows CE operating system, which give the panel Internet capability to send emails when alarm conditions occur and serve Web pages for remote view. This can interfere with PLC communications and is inherently less reliable, slower, and uses a lot of memory.
Universal Verbalizer, UV1000
The UV1000 converts sensor measurements into speech by announcing the readings in the proper engineering units.
The UV1000 Universal Verbalizer (patented) from Omega Engineering provides an entirely new way for engineers, technicians, and operators to monitor measurement and control information on the plant floor or in the laboratory. This electronic speech device converts the sensor measurements into speech. The UV1000 accepts signals from many different types of sensors and announces the readings in the proper engineering units. The output of any sensor that generates a 0 to 10 V dc or 0 to 20 mA current loop output, or a Type K thermocouple sensor can be verbalized, so the UV1000 can be used to measure nearly any parameter, including voltage, current, temperature, flow, pressure, force, and conductivity, to name a few.
The UV1000 can verbalize over 100 types of engineering units in 23 categories. Announcements provide both a value and the proper unit. English and Spanish speaking models are available now with other languages due in the near future. The UV1000 Universal Verbalizer is suitable for a wide range of applications and situations. It can be used as a stand-alone signal annunciator or co-connected to a standard display for both audible and visual monitoring.
Precision Digital Corp.
ProVu process meter provides more precise information. Second line displays user-defined engineering units, custom legends, set points, maximum/minimum PV values, and more.
Precision Digital Corp. introduces a 1/8 DIN panel meter with 6-digit dual-line LED display. The ProVu process meter provides the operator with a more precise and informative view of their process for better overall control, according to the company. The large main display is complemented by a second line of display which can be configured to read user-defined engineering units, custom legends, set points, maximum/minimum PV values, and more. The second display also makes setting up and programming the ProVu more intuitive and user-friendly, according to the company. Three function keys on the front panel can be configured to acknowledge alarms, reset maximum/minimum values, disable/enable output relays, hold outputs, and more. These events can also be triggered remotely using ProVu’s digital I/O module. This capability, for example, could provide a remote means for disabling all output relays (interlock, safety).
The 24-in. all steel enclosed touch screen LCD Monitor is built to withstand the demanding effects of harsh environments typically encountered in industrial plant floor applications.
Stealth Technological Advancement: The first rugged, NEMA 4 industrial grade LCD monitor with Wide Screen Capability designed for HMI applications. Market Impact: Allows engineers to now deploy widescreen technology (16 X 9 aspect ratio) in an industrial application. Its new large size LCD format has not been seen before in process and discrete control applications. HMI/MMI software companies have designed for future widescreen technology as it eventually becomes and industry standard. Service to the Industry: Non proprietary. Utilizes industry standard technology that is compatible with standard PC technology. Requires no drivers or special interfaces and as a result is easily supported for the long term.
Compact color all-in-one PLC/interface device enables machine builders to reveal greater details, display vivid, attention-grabbing alarms, and brighten up their systems.
Color displays enable machine builders to reveal greater details, display vivid, attention-grabbing alarms, and in general brighten up their systems. Unitronics’ new Vision350 incorporates all these color advantages into a compact all-in-one PLC/interface device. This PLC and enhanced HMI is equipped with a color touchscreen, an improved processor, and diverse I/O options. Adaptable to most TCP/IP or serial protocols, the Vision350 offers exceptional communication features, such as Ethernet connection via TCP/IP, GSM/SMS/GPRS, Modbus, CANopen and UniCAN, and also includes free remote access utilities.
Proficy HMI/SCADA - iFIX 5.0
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms
Best-in-class supervisory control software features next-generation visualization and real-time information management.
iFIX 5.0 from GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms is packed with innovative new features and advanced capabilities delivering value across multiple industries including pharmaceuticals, water, and oil & gas. The new look and feel enables companies to be more efficient in their configurations, enhanced failover provides increased reliability, and charting and Historian integration offer more analytic tools than ever before. iFIX 5.0 comes with a completely new Look‘N’ Feel for Workspace and Database Manager, based on the Microsoft Fluent User Interface (UI) technology. The new UI follows the Ribbon Bar concept which allows users to easily access tools during application development, and configure Quick Access Toolbars to access frequently used tools.The new UI organizes all the configuration tools in the form of Galleries that provide a view of all available options on the go and reduces the user’s “time to access.” iFIX 5.0 is operating system neutral, meaning that users operating on Microsoft XP to Vista can take advantage of the upgraded features of the software.
Genesis64 is the first 64-bit, Web-enabled, OPC-integrated HMI/SCADA suite, providing 360 degrees of visualization and control of organizations’ business processes, while reducing application engineering time and costs.
Iconics’ Genesis64 suite, Certified for Microsoft Windows Vista and the first industrial automation solution to be Certified for Microsoft Windows Server 2008, is the culmination of converging technological trends:
• Hardware manufacturers upgrading from legacy 32-bit processors to 64-bit, improving speed and memory utilization.
• Microsoft creating new operating systems to take advantage of the emerging 64-bit processors.
• Iconics, anticipating the 64-bit wave, developing new software to integrate with the multiple new features available in these Microsoft operating systems. The largest cost within any automation project is in engineering the application. On average, that amounts to 60% of a project’s total cost. To stay competitive, companies need fully utilize 64-bit hardware and optimized Microsoft operating systems.
Genesis64 helps reduce costs while making it faster and easier for developers to design automation solutions. New features available to Genesis64 users today include:
• Universal Data Connectivity using Windows Communication Foundation (WCF);
• Real-time KPI Gadgets and Windows Vista Desktop Sidebar Technology;
• Enriched User Experience with Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF);
• Hardware-accelerated Graphics for 3D Imaging;
• Increased Security via User Account Control (UAC) Integration;
• Virtual Earth Geographical Information System (GIS) Integration; and
• Open Connectivity Based on OPC-UA Technology.
FactoryTalk View Machine Edition
Machine-level human machine interface (HMI) that supports open and embedded operator interfaces.
FactoryTalk View Machine Edition (ME) from Rockwell Automation is a machine-level human machine interface (HMI) that supports open and embedded operator interfaces to help enhance, monitor and control individual machines or small processes. It accesses information from local FactoryTalk servers and standard third-party OPC servers; tags need to be defined once and their values can be logged and displayed in the historical trend object.
Scalable, animated Web HMI applications remotely monitor plant-floor operations status: Among the first commercially available, thin-client applications for manufacturing using the new Microsoft Silverlight technology.
Just as sports fans use Internet-capable devices to get the latest information about favorite teams, manufacturers can remotely monitor plant-floor operations status with FactoryTalk ViewPoint software from Rockwell Automation. It is among the first commercially available, thin-client applications for manufacturing built using the new Microsoft Silverlight technology. The initial release extends visualization and real-time decision capabilities beyond FactoryTalk View clients to browser-based remote users. The software supports scalable and animated Web displays of existing FactoryTalk View Site Edition (SE) and Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus applications from the office, home or on the road via any Internet browser. The initial release is Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) compatible; additional browser and device support is planned. IE's active hyperlinks and the navigational functionality deliver an interactive experience in addition to typical browser functionality such as Favorites, and Forward and Back navigation buttons.
Industrial PC s
Kontron Industrial Silent Server (KISS)
Kontron Industrial Silent Server (KISS) powerful 1U rackmount industrial computer has Intel multi-core processing and quiet (&35dbA) operating platform with dual 32-bit PCI slots.
The Kontron Industrial Silent Server (KISS) 1U industrial computer offers the latest Intel multi-core processing capabilities in an extremely quiet (&35dbA) operating platform. The standard backplane configuration features dual 32-bit PCI slots to accommodate any combination of full length 5V or universal PCI cards. An optional configuration, consisting of a single x4 PCI Express slot and single x16 PCI Express slot, allows for the latest high-speed PCI Express expansion card technology along with a leading-edge PCI Express graphics solution capability. The Kontron KISS 1U is offered with the long-life Kontron PCI-960 PICMG 1.3 system host board, based on the Intel 945GM chipset and up to mobile Intel Core 2 Duo processor support. Up to four SATA 2.5 inch hard drives can be internally mounted, with the option to have two configured as an external hot-swappable RAID 1 array using Kontron’s KISS Stor Slim. The Kontron KISS 1U comes standard with a 270W AC ATX power supply. Fully configured systems start at $1,700.
Modular Industrial Computers
NEMA 4X Industrial Panel PC with unique removable computer module. Design allows the computer to be removed for service without also removing the panel monitor.
Modular Industrial Computers PowerPanel PC/ FS provides users the power and flexibility of Intel Core 2 Duo processor technology in a panel mounted industrial computer platform. Available as a 15-, 17-, 19- or 21-in. LCD display touchscreen, the PowerPanel PC/FS features a unique removable PC module that facilitates a tool-less service of the computer. The Field Serviceable (FS) PC module can be detached from the monitor and allows the user to take the computer module off the production floor for service or reprogramming. Unlike other traditional industrial panel computers, which require a complete removal of the monitor, and the computer, leaving an opening in the enclosure, open to the plant environment. The PowerPanel PC/FS specs include Intel Core 2 Duo 1.86Ghz, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 120 GB HDD, 4 USB, 2 Serial, 10/100/1000 Base T LAN Ethernet, and rated up to 55 deg. C. The PowerPanel PC/FS is a drop in replacement for our legacy line of industrial panel PCs. Additionally, Modular offers a no charge bezel modification to allow this computer to replace any similarly sized competitive panel PC. Pricing begins at $2525 (15-in.) to $3045 (21-in.)
Industrial PCs that include Core Duo CPU performance plus advance data protection via exclusive integrated factory alert system, hot-swappable hard drives, and RAID-enable data redundancy.
Technological advancement APL3000 are the only Industrial PCs that include UL Class 1 Div 2 certifications, data redundancy, and exclusive integrated factory alert system. The Factory alert system monitors PC operation and performance such as voltage, fan speed, internal temperature, touch panels, backlight, and hard drive failures. Enterprise- wide instant notifications are generated via sight, sound, on-screen, and remotely, plus system drives a digital output to a PLC so the process can automatically switch to safe operations mode. Market impact The APL3000 Series targets mission critical data intensive applications where downtime is not an option. The factory alert system, RAID, and hot-swappable hard drive were designed for data redundancy.
UL certified for Class 1, Div 2 hazardous environments, they provide much lower cost solution for the oil and gas market than purging enclosures to meet the specifications. Product is designed for global market with global certifications allowing easy acceptance for machines shipping overseas. Service to industry APL3000 maintains 20+ years of cutout compatibility, and dro- in replacement for Xycom PC products. This reduces need for panel redesign and ensures the industy’s lowest total cost of ownership. The hot swappable hard drive allows fast field replacements, and ensures that production lines remain operational
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Annual Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.