In 1969, Tetsuro Mori, a senior engineer at Yaskawa, is said to have coined the term “mechatronics.” It meant a new approach in engineering design and production based on integration of two classical engineering disciplines, namely mechanical and electrical engineering, along with computer science and software engineering.
For the machine builder, mechatronics can represent a way to improve the design process in machines by integrating the best available development practices and technologies to aid machine design, prototyping and deployment.
Modern HMIs play a big role in creating the best machine. According to a research report from Frost & Sullivan (www.frost.com), “during prototyping, every designer needs to understand that the human-machine interface (HMI) determines the perceptions that operators will have about the machine. It is extremely important to make the operator trust the machine. This is possible by empowering the HMI with features such as ease-of-use, ease-of-programmability, easy understanding and clear display of information.”
The study goes on to say “Web-based HMIs are increasingly popular in manufacturing units and plants since they offer the possibility of extending their usage to various business aspects such as logistics and maintenance in a cost-effective manner. Displays should also focus on operator’s attention on relevant issues they are monitoring rather than hindering because they could be distracted by three-dimensional animation that provides no real value.”
|STAINLESS STEEL HMIS
Stainless steel, PC-based displays with touchscreens and/or keyboards, operator panels and text displays, or thin clients for remote visualization via Ethernet, can be used in clean and hygienic applications. Users choose from IP65 protection, mounting on a swing arm system or directly on the machine, user guidance with LEDs and input control with transponder systems or chip cards.
B&R Industrial Automation
|PLANT FLOOR DISPLAY
Plant Floor Marquee is a multi-color LED display that communicates critical machine status and product data across the factory. Readable to 600 ft, it has a graphical three-color display, available in four sizes that can convey production targets, machine faults and other custom messages.
Red Lion Controls
Exter T150-bl-sr HMI tailored for outdoor use offers the same functionality and configuration software as the standard Exter HMIs but can be viewed in the direct glare of sunlight. It also has a dimmable backlight for use at night.
|MACHINE BUILDER’S HMI
NP-Series HMIs connect to multiple-vendor PLCs and combine a touchscreen with programmable function keys. They have both RS232 and switchable RS422A/485 ports. USB thumb drives enable fast application uploads/downloads, eliminating need for a laptop to load recipes and parameters.
Omron Industrial Automation
Proficy HMI/SCADA iFIX 5.0 software offers next-generation visualization and real-time information management. It comes with Look ‘N’ Feel for Workspace and Database Manager, based on Microsoft Fluent User interface (UI) technology that follows the Ribbon Bar concept for user access to tools during application development, and to configure Quick Access Toolbars for frequently used tools.
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms
Simatic MP 377 Multi Panels offer 64K of colors in 12-inch TFT displays and 15-inch and 19-inch touchscreen models. Suited for the WinAC MP 2007 operating platform, the unit has 2 MB of user memory as well as 12 MB of additional memory.
Siemens Energy & Automation