High-quality HMI access goes where it’s needed most

When you want to provide the best, you need to attend to all the details. Integrated Web Finishing Systems, or i-Web, is a supplier of inline and offline finishing equipment and systems for the graphic arts industry. Formerly JetWeb USA, the company has supplied the global printing industry for more than 25 years.

05/01/2008


When you want to provide the best, you need to attend to all the details.

Integrated Web Finishing Systems, or i-Web, is a supplier of inline and offline finishing equipment and systems for the graphic arts industry. Formerly JetWeb USA, the company has supplied the global printing industry for more than 25 years. i-Web facilities in Avon, MA, house all engineering, manufacturing, spare parts and technical services for its products.

i-Web engineers made use of larger screens to improve machine operability and incorporate troubleshooting utilities.
i-Web engineers made use of larger screens to improve machine operability and incorporate troubleshooting utilities.

i-Web has recently expanded its manufacturing base, adding multiple new CNC machining centers. The company also incorporated the latest in engineering solid modeling software, added to its technical staff, and implemented full in-house assembly of all electronics and machinery. They already were proud to declare that their machines incorporate “state of the art servo technology.” The problem was, the human machine interface (HMI) hardware they were using was not of the same high quality, nor high functionality. Their customers deserved better, and their rapidly improving inhouse processes could benefit from easier HMI upgrades and installations.

i-Web engineers wanted the ability to have their machinery operated by any of the six to 10 HMIs on a given finishing line. They also wanted to integrate high resolution graphics without increasing the physical size of the HMI. Their previous HMI supplier could not do this.

They found Monitouch HMI, a division of Fuji Electric Corp. of America, practically in their backyard in Tyngsboro, MA. With sales and service offices throughout North America, Asia, and Europe, Monitouch HMI is a global partner

that ships more than 8,000 HMIs per month. The company’s more than 20 years of HMI manufacturing experience is applied to graphical operator interface products ranging in size from 5.7 inches to 15 inches. Monitouch also offers high-quality services such as local inventory, technical support, application development, comprehensive training, and repair services.

Technically, Monitouch products were also exactly what i-Web wanted. For the same cost as before, i-Web and its customers got vastly improved features and benefits:

  • Customers now have a choice of HMI size without the cost and time associated with screen re-engineering. One SVGA application can be used seamlessly on a 8.4-in., 10.1-in. or 12.1-in. interface. Single configuration software for all HMIs also means set up time and costs are reduced.

  • The Monitouch model V708iSD HMI allowed i-Web to upgrade to a larger 8.4-in. screen size with more capabilities for almost the same price it was paying for a 5.7-in. screen with Ethernet capability. The Monitouch panel also eliminated the hassle of adding an Ethernet board and ribbon cables.

  • Monitouch HMI screen resolution and bigger screen size allow for enhanced visual appeal, and let i-Web engineers fit more on the screen. i-Web engineers made use of the increase in visual real estate, improving machine operability and incorporating troubleshooting utilities into the HMI.

  • Monitouch HMI graphic capabilities enabled i-Web engineers to develop more attractive and intuitive screens overall, which improved the operation of the printing lines.

  • Future customer offerings could include fieldbus communication or up to four channels of live video, since the HMIs now support both.

i-Web customers can now operate their machinery from any of nine HMIs along the finishing line. Source: i-Web
i-Web customers can now operate their machinery from any of nine HMIs along the finishing line.

Monitouch HMIs allow data from the entire process, not just the HMI and PLC, to be displayed as needed. With the ability to connect to more than 300 dedicated protocols, and powerful Modbus connectivity, any Monitouch HMI can report the status of any connected device.

i-Web engineers benefitted from this extensive interoperability. Monitouch set up a finishing line so I-Web customers could have their machinery operated by any of nine HMIs on the line. “All of our HMIs from Monitouch look the same, have the same functions, and can communicate with different systems,” explained Gilbert Petersen, technical director, i-Web. “All the functionality of our gluer machine and our cutter machine, for example, now can be changed from any HMI [in the line]." This can also be expanded to more HMIs, as needed. The configurable Modbus TCP/IP communication allowed i-Web engineers to optimize network traffic to obtain previously unattainable speeds, regardless of the number of HMIs in the system.

The remote monitoring and control capability will let i-Web cost effectively maintain and troubleshoot its install base. i-Web also does a lot of custom systems and customer requests. With the connection/programming flexibility and the inherent scripting capabilities of the Monitouch HMI, these tasks are much easier.

i-Web has additional expansion plans for 2008, and with a high-quality HMI supplier in place, they’re ready for anything. “With our experienced technical staff, combined with upgraded engineering modeling software, additional manufacturing capabilities and full in-house assembly, we are now perfectly positioned to provide innovative technology to the graphic arts industry,” said president Bob Williams. “Together with [our partner] GI, we provide our customers the opportunity to obtain top of the line finishing systems along with expert installation, parts and components and any other press equipment needed to exceed their press room expectations.”



Author Information
Renee Robbins is senior editor with Control Engineering. She can be reached at renee.robbins@reedbusiness.com .




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