In, out, and about HMI: Touch panel computers, LED drivers
Fanless touch panel computers from the eAutomation Group of Advantech now feature RoHS compliance.
New products in the HMI marketplace include fanless, compact, touch panel computers from the eAutomation Group of Advantech and a family of LED drivers from Endicott Research Group (ERG) for high-bright LEDs used in LCD backlighting applications.
TPC-66S 5.7-in. QVGA STN LCD and TPC-66T 5.6-in. QVGA TFT LCD fanless touch panel computers now add RoHS compliance to their features, which include an industrial-grade, ultra-slim design with the same light form factor as previous TPCs. Computers have an XScale PXA270 416 MHz processor to minimize power consumption without sacrificing performance. They also feature a 10/100 Base-T Ethernet port, two RS-232 ports, one RS-232/485 port, an easy-to-access CompactFlash slot, and Microsoft Windows CE 5.0 bundled on 64 MB of internal flash memory. Advantech says these CE OS platforms offer a flexible, open HMI environment for system integration solutions such as thin-client applications. The platforms are designed for use in harsh NEMA 4/IP65 environments.
Smart Force family of LED drivers from Endicott Research Group provide a flexible, open HMI environment for high-bright LEDs used in LCD backlighting applications.
Smart Force family LED drivers for high-bright LEDs used in LCD backlighting applications come as an LED driver board or a complete kit including driver board and LED rails. ERG calls the line a compact, reliable, electrically efficient, and low-cost technology for driving high-bright LEDs to backlight LCDs from 6.4 to 20-in. diagonal and larger. Driver boards use a dc-dc boost to provide voltage to a constant current driver and LED rail. Boards with input voltages from 5 to 48-V can be designed. Small size of the driver boards and thermal management used to dissipate heat from the LED junction make the product unique, says ERG. The products are offered standard with input voltages of 12-, 24-, or 48-V in single-, dual-, or 3-channel versions. The 48-V input voltage board measures 34 x 50 mm. Custom designs are available.
—Edited by Jeanine Katzel , senior editor, Control Engineering
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.