Whitepaper: Small form factor HMIs evolve
Embedded computers are fueling advances in these useful devices.
HMIs have mutated and changed over the years as new technology has emerged, and they are more flexible and capable than ever before. While they’ve been doing that, they’ve also become smaller and more useful. “Once found in only complex control systems, like distributed control systems in refineries and other process plants, HMI systems are now found in many guises and many locations, from games to industrial machines and tooling systems, with many stops in between,” said Hector Lin, Advantech Corp. Industrial Automation Group and author of the company’s The Advantages of Small Form Factor HMI white paper.
Advances over the years have included touchscreen and LCD displays. Lin said the biggest advance was in small form factor embedded computers, which made it possible to replace the two-line display on a typical tool or transmitter with a full featured HMI. “Small form factor HMIs coupled with small form factor embedded computers have revolutionized the use of HMIs on the plant floor,” he said.
Increased power usage has given rise to the need for computing devices with lower power requirements.
Small form factor HMIs are found in a variety of applications and vertical markets. Other highlights of the Advantech whitepaper include an in-depth explanation of HMI, what it is, and how it functioned in early computers. Other segments cover portability, increased reliability, reduced cost, and better cost-benefit ratios today.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey