Virtually, any HMI application can benefit from a Web-based HMI software solution, says Rocco Colauto, president of Kaspro Group (www.kaspro-usa.com). "The usability of the Web interface is related or tied to the type of information being manipulated," he says. "However, local HMI operation and Web-based HMI operation are not mutually exclusive. For example, screens designed for the local operation, such as starting and stopping the machine, are usually useful only on the local station where the operator can control the operation. However, the same application can provide other screens that are used to calibrate the machine from Web browsers hosted in mobile devices like PDAs, which can be conveniently carried by the operator to the specific physical location where the calibration is being done."
Automation systems benefiting from a Web-browser-based HMI include applications requiring connectivity to equipment in remote locations or machines in unmanned areas of a manufacturing facility, says Paul Ruland, product marketing—automation systems, Siemens Industry (www.usa.siemens.com/automation). "This accessibility enables diagnostics, alarming, reporting and even control in some cases," he says. "It also provides more accurate troubleshooting while greatly reducing the need for on-site maintenance support."
Applications that benefit most from Web-browser-based HMI/SCADA solutions don't require constant monitoring and are accessed only on demand, says Kyle Reissner, product marketing manager, GE Intelligent Platforms (www.ge-ip.com). "These typically control or monitor simplistic systems where tag counts are relatively low and have no dedicated access terminals," he says. "When something of note occurs, such as an alarm or a warning, the HMI/SCADA system enunciates it through automatic emails or text messaging, and the HMI is launched on demand by the technicians for debug."
However, there is a place for mixing Web-based and traditional thick clients into mid- to large-scale HMI/SCADA systems, says Reissner. "Businesses typically do this to expand the usage of the HMI/SCADA system, enable instant ad hoc access for their mobile employees and streamline client licensing," he says.
VTS 9.1 monitoring and control system software builds upon event-driven execution, combined with optional support for 64-bit processors. Fully tested for Windows 7, the software also supports up to 2 GB of additional memory for 32-bit versions of VTS. Up to 30 users can be notified sequentially until the alarm is acknowledged. The enhanced WAP interface allows remote updates of analog control values and significant digits for analog displays.
15 in. flat panel monitors with transflective LCD technology are available as a UL-listed Class I, Div. 2, devices. These flat panel monitors are rated for use in temperatures ranging from -10 °C to 55 °C. They accept standard VGA or NTSC inputs from a PC or video camera source. They can multi-sync to any standard video mode from 640x480 to 1600x1200 at scan rates from 60 to 75 Hz.
.NET HMI development components add realistic control panel look and feel to Visual Studio.NET applications by simulating buttons, switches, lights, meters, gauges, sliders, panels and displays. Point-click configuration gives custom applications a real-world feel. The solution is designed to speed operator training and acceptance. The software works on touchscreen PCs. It allows runtime free licensing for custom applications. Free trial version is available.
PAC Display Windows-based HMI development application can create graphical interfaces that mimic a process. Support for alarm management, recipe handling, operator logging, real-time and historical trending, multimedia and unlimited tags are included.
Proficy HMI/SCADA—iFIX WebSpace, a Web client for the iFIX visualization solution, is designed to enable informed decisions from anywhere, anytime. This application has flexible configuration topologies and features the ability to be installed on an independent dedicated server or on the main iFIX server. Multiple WebSpace servers can be installed to scale the total application to a larger distributed architecture. iFIX WebSpace screens are ported instantly from the iFIX application. The iFIX WebSpace is created as a full-featured HMI/SCADA client.
GE Intelligent Platforms
|TOUCH PANEL PC|
TPC-1780H is a versatile fanless Touch Panel PC with a Core 2 Duo CPU, 17-in. SXGA TFT LCD, ultra-slim design (only 3.66-in. depth) and a die-cast aluminum front panel. The TPC-1780H has one expansion slot to allow RS-422/485, PCI-104, CAN-bus and more to be connected. It uses a low-voltage processor and heat sink to achieve a fanless design and has a NEMA4/IP65 front panel. The TPC-1780H provides multiple standard communication ports.