January 2008

Spotlight: HMI

The interaction between people and technology is human-machine interface (HMI). Interaction can include touch, sight, sound, heat transference, or any other physical or cognitive function. HMI effectiveness can be measured by a number of components, such as learnability and productivity. These components are sometimes brought together under the title of "usability."

Graphic terminals

The newly launched Telemecanique brand Magelis XBT GK graphic terminals are ultra flexible and can be configured and controlled to precisely match users' requirements. They are particularly designed to operate in severe environments, even in dusty or dirty conditions when the touch screen cannot be used. Instead, positive keypad action enables use of the terminal even while wearing gloves. In addition, the keypad design enables the operator to permanently access command keys. Two keys can simultaneously be pressed to ensure command order security. All keys can be locked during dangerous phases.

The terminals are easily programmable using Vijeo Designer software, a single software package common to the company's complete graphic range for configuration of HMI applications. Magelis XBT GK graphic terminals faithfully reproduce dialogue in all circumstances.

Schneider Electric, www.schneider-electric.com


Visualization product

Proficy HMI/SCADA - iFIX 4.5, provides comprehensive monitoring, control, and data management for companies worldwide. This version of the industry-leading visualization product addresses a wide range of customer-identified needs including advanced reliability to improved ease of use, while adding more power and flexibility. 

Proficy Change Management version 5.7, in combination with iFIX, allows users to gain control over changes to their iFIX systems, enhances security, helps manage the application development Life Cycle, and provides the ability to recover quickly from disasters. 

iFIX 4.5 supports operation on the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. The software automatically adopts the latest operating system look and feel throughout all of its applications and dialogs. Other enhancements include: Dynamo versioning; multiple display instances; double precision math in the iFIX Process Database; support for up to 200 clients connected to one SCADA Node; and better OPC integration and certification. 

Proficy Change Management 5.7 provides improvements to Machine Edition integration, HMI/SCADA support, and improved third party PLC support. 

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, www.gefanuc.com


OPC Web-enabled HMI/SCADA suite

The 64-bit-based OPC Web-enabled HMI/ SCADA suite GENESIS64 includes several modular solutions that simplify connectivity from the plant floor to corporate business systems. Designed from the ground up to take maximum advantage of Windows Vista, .NET, and SharePoint technology, it allows plant operators and IT professionals to integrate real-time manufacturing and business information into a common, Web-enabled visualization dashboard. GENESIS64 continues ICONICS' commitment to furthering OPC Unified Architecture (OPC-UA) technology throughout its industrial automation software solutions. In addition, a solution that is based entirely on Microsoft's Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) integration and XAML helps to provide an enriched user experience. 

Customers benefit from Windows Vista tie-ins to Gadgets, Sidebars, Sideshow, Windows Presentation Foundation with 3D Visualization, Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows Vista Search & Organize technology. GENESIS64 utilizes other key features from Windows Vista, Virtual Earth, and other Microsoft technologies. The suite is completely Web-configurable and utilizes a unique Workbench framework. 

ICONICS, www.iconics.com



SIMATIC Thin Clients are designed to lower the total cost of ownership of industrial computing equipment. The thin clients are available in 10" and 15" touch screen terminals with 64K colors for visualizing and inputting data. The vibration resistant thin clients are connected via Ethernet to a server running the application software. The rugged, hard-disk-free, keyboard-free, and fan-free terminals are rated for IP 54 protection. The terminals are also available with an optional IP 65 degree of protection. The thin clients are cost-effective terminals for the machine-oriented HMI of automation processes. 

Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc., www.sea.siemens.com


Process control software

TopView 6.0 software provides a technologically advanced method of constantly monitoring data measurements from instruments and devices throughout a plant and its remote facilities. When a problem occurs, TopView delivers a customizable alarm to a cascading queue of appropriate personnel without the need for control room intervention. User-designated alarms can be delivered as emails, cell phone messages, pager notices, text-to-speech voice annunciation, audible alarms over speakers, and text messages. It works seamlessly with most SCADA, PLC, and historian set-ups. Free OPC and PI trial downloads are available.

Exele Information Systems, Inc., www.exele.com


Converter switches

The company added Gigabit support to its Magnum line of converter switches with the release of the industrial-grade CSG14 models. The CSG14 allows industrial installations with multi-mode fiber to achieve 2000-meter Gigabit (Gb) connectivity, otherwise only available when using single-mode fiber cable. By using CSG14 Extended SX converter switches on both ends of a multi-mode connection, it is possible to upgrade multi-mode fiber to Gb and still maintain existing fiber cable transmission distances of up to 2000 meters. 

GarrettCom, www.garrettcom.com

CompactRIO systems

The NI cRIO-9072 and cRIO-9074 CompactRIO systems give engineers and machine builders an ideal solution for rapidly deploying industrial machines at high volume. These systems have an integrated hardware architecture that combines an embedded real-time processor and a reconfigurable FPGA within a single chassis, lowering the cost of CompactRIO for OEM applications. Engineers can design, prototype, and deploy the customizable, commercial off-the-shelf hardware systems for embedded machine control and data acquisition systems using the LabVIEW graphical development environment. 

National Instruments, www.ni.com

Fiber optic illuminator

The Fiber-Lite DC950H Machine Vision Fiber Optic Illuminator for machine vision integrators is a 150-watt quartz halogen regulated illuminator, which has been improved to produce a higher output with greater reliability, and is now RoHS compliant. It features DC regulated output, fast lamp response, and a 0-5 VDC remote intensity control interface with linear voltage adjustment (8 bit D/A module available). The DC950H can be operated remotely and offers remote notification of lamp failure to decrease downtime.  

Dolan-Jenner Industries, www.dolan-jenner.com


Ethernet isolators

Intrinsic safety FieldConnex Ethernet Isolators are galvanically isolated and allow users, for the first time ever, to connect high-speed data devices located in hazardous location applications directly to a standard Ethernet line. They also allow for back-to-back "pass through" applications without requiring any separate hardware. Original Equipment Manufacturers can benefit with a specialized PCB-mounted version that allows the OEM to seamlessly integrate intrinsically safe Ethernet into their own equipment. 

Pepperl+Fuchs, www.am.pepperl-fuchs.com

Weight controller

The HI 4050 general-purpose weight controller is now available with Profibus DP network communications. The Profibus interface has passed testing and is certified by Profibus Nutzerorganisation e. V. that it meets all test specifications for a Profibus DP slave device. The HI 4050 weight controller includes WAVERSAVER to eliminate the effects of surrounding vibration for fast, stable weight display, C2 electronic calibration without test weights, a Secure Digital (SD) based Secure Memory Module card for fast transfer of configuration data, and INTEGRATED TECHNICIAN for system diagnostics and troubleshooting.

Hardy Instruments, www.hardyinstruments.com


Automation system

The MXProLine Foundation is a pre-configured version of the company's MXProLine automation system for the plastics, film, and non-woven fabrics industries. MXProLine Foundation features a robust scanning measurement and reliable process control platform. The system is designed to minimize plant commissioning effort and risk. MXProLine Foundation allows original equipment manufacturers and plant engineers to install the system at their own facilities, eliminating the need for a gauging expert. It features easy-to-use setup displays, calibration utilities and single-variable control tuning. 

Honeywell International, www.honeywell.com


The 4500 Series of intrinsically safe isolators are specifically for process industries. The 4500 Series represents the next generation of isolating interface units. This family easily integrates with the I/O equipment of all major instrumentation and DCS suppliers in the same secure manner as its predecessor.  The product line incorporates over two dozen intrinsically safe isolators for analog and digital inputs and outputs, enabling it to address virtually any process application.   

MTL Incorporated, www.mtl-inst.com


Foot switches,  pushbuttons

Foot switches, in single and double units, are designed for machines such as shearing and spinning machines, lathes, wrapping machines, and riveting mach-ines and presses. Foot switches are available in two operational formats: free movement and foot switch locked in neutral position.   The company has also extend- ed its line of 22mm metal pushbuttons to include 24V and 120 V LED illuminated pushbuttons, selector switches, and pilot lights. Replacement LED bulbs are available in convenient two-packs.  

AutomationDirect, www.automationdirect.com  


Welding power supply

The welding system M200 power supply offers ease of use, portability, and 200 amp capability, all at a weight of less than 50 lbs. (23 kg). A high-resolution, 12.1 in. (307 mm) color industrial touch screen gives users a simple, intuitive pathway to enter weld programs. Users can choose from one of three forms to enter weld programs, including automatic weld schedule programming. The M200's automatic shield gas control (patent pending), simplifies set-up of shielding gas, requiring no use of a separate flowmeter. Multi-language capability is built in to the M200. 

Swagelok Company, www.swagelok.com


The iTCX Transmitter gives you real time readings, letting you monitor temperature from two independent thermocouple channels over an Ethernet Network or the internet.  The transmitter features iServer technology which requires no special software, just a web browser. This virtual chart recorder logs data in standard formats for use in a spreadsheet or data acquisition program such as Excel or Visual Basic. It can also send critical information via e-mail or text message over the internet, reporting the status or alarm condition to any person or distribution list.  

Omega Engineering, www.omega.com

Plastic seal gauge

The Series PLG combines a plastic diaphragm seal with an industrial pressure gauge, creating an isolated pressure sensing solution. This unit comes from the factory mounted, filled, and ready for installation. The plastic diaphragm seal is ideally suited for chlorine service and other corrosive environments.  Applications include: plastic piping systems, wastewater treatment, seawater, chemical plants, the plating industry, and the fertilizer industry.  The diaphragm seal housing is available in PVC, Polyproplene, or Kynar.  

REOTEMP Instrument Corp., www.reotemp.com


Thermal imaging camera

The addition of a Long Distance model to the line of Heat Spy Thermal Imaging Cameras is now available. The Long Distance model HSI3003 offers narrow angle 9.1° x 6.8° field of view optics, which en-ables detection and temperature mea-surement of small objects over long distances. This affordable thermal imager is light, compact, easy to operate, and design- ed for hand-held use. It also features a tripod mount for remote use. The HSI3003 is fully radiometric and measures the temperature of every pixel. 

Palmer Wahl Instrumentation Group, www.palmerwahl.com  


Automation computer

The UNO-2182 embedded automation computer with a Core 2 Duo 1.5GHz (L7400) CPU and 1 GB DDR2 RAM is fanless, diskless, and compact (255 x 152 x 69 mm) for space-constrained environments. With DVI-I interface; the UNO-2182 provides excellent display capabilities, supporting extra large panels for the digital signage industry.  The UNO-2182 supports SATA storage devices internally & externally, providing higher transmission speeds, third party connectivity for optical devices, and RAID capability.

Advantech Corporation, www.eautomationpro.com/us

Rugged notebook computers

Three new business-rugged notebook computers are available: the ultraportable W7, the tablet alternative T7, and the thin-and-light Y7. The Intel Core 2 Duo-based W7, T7, and Y7 notebooks offer an ideal combination of the latest computing power, extremely light weight (from 3.0 to 3.7 lbs), and long battery life. The business-rugged 7 series notebooks are drop- and spill-resistant, have strong magnesium alloy cases and chassis, shock-mounted hard drives and LCDs, and internal flexible connectors for additional protection. The 7 Series business-rugged products offer a range of embedded wireless options for anytime, anywhere connectivity. 

Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, www.panasonic.com  

Differential pressure gauge

The XP2i-DP, a new digital Wet/ Wet differential pressure gauge with 0.1% of reading accuracy, is rugged, intrinsically safe, ATEX certified, and offers high accuracy long-term vacuum measurement. All XP2i-DP gauges are tested and calibrated inside environmental test chambers using computer controlled pressure controllers. They are CE certified and are manufactured under an ISO 9001 registered quality system. The XP2i-DP is customizable for panel mounting and portable configurations; it has datalogging capabilities and can be programmed for custom engineering units.

Crystal Engineering, www.crystalengineering.net

Industrial Ethernet switches

The newest models in the Lanolinx line of Industrial Ethernet Switches offer 5 and 8 port unmanaged Ethernet switches that are 45% thinner than our previous models. The design of the LNX-500A, LNX-800A and LNX-800A-T maintain a metal housing with an IP-30 rating.  In addition, the industrial temperature ratings of -10°C to 70°C for the standard units and -40°C to 80°C for the -T units (Extended Operating Temperature) are maintained.  The units also have a Redundant Power Input and a Contact Closure for a local alarm. 

Aaxeon Technologies, Inc., www.aaxeon.com   


Single-chip SMT LED

The Diamond DRAGON is a super-bright LED that achieves brightness of up to 250 lumens, and is available (beginning this month) in whites ranging from 2700K through 6500K, as well as all monochromatic colors. The company will offer an LED ideal for indoor and outdoor general lighting, automotive forward and signal lighting, and other high performance applications. The maximum junction temperature of 175°C makes these LEDs extremely robust and enables applications where the LED cannot be easily cooled. 

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, www.OSRAM-os.com  

Temperature transmitter

The TFZ Programmable FOUNDATION Fieldbus Temperature Transmitter can be installed on the same segment with all standard FOUNDATION fieldbus devices. The TFZ converts a temperature sensor input to a FOUNDATION fieldbus H1, two-way digital communication protocol that is ready for interface to a DCS, computer-based SCADA system, or asset management software. The TFZ saves wire and installation costs by allowing up to 32 field devices (126 with repeaters) to be networked onto one, low cost FOUNDATION fieldbus H1 segment.  It requires only 10.5mA for normal operation. 

Moore Industries-International, www.miinet.com

Coriolis mass flowmeter

The ROTAMASS XR Coriolis mass flowmeter is capable of handling a maximum flow rate of 600 t/h. Designed specifically to address the requirements of the oil & gas and petrochemical industries, it offers state-of-the-art accuracy-0.1% of measured value for liquids and 0.5% of measured value for gases-as well as excellent zero and long-term stability. It is based on a self-draining design and can carry out bi-directional measurements on mass flow, density, and temperature as well as derive the values of concentration, volume flow, and net flow. 

Yokogawa Corporation of America, www.yokogawa.com

Spectrum analyzer

The VSA-1225 Vibration Spectrum Analyzer is on the Windows Mobile / Pocket PC platform. This PDA-based vibration analyzer/data collector includes new version 1.8 of the Datastick Spectrum software suite. The VSA-1225 joins Datastick's line of Palm-based VSAs in enabling cost-conscious companies to use vibration analysis in machine condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, and routine troubleshooting. The VSA-1225 consists of Datastick hardware and software, plus the Hewlett-Packard iPAQ handheld computer, and one or more sensors. The VSA(TM)-1225 hardware module attaches firmly to a HP iPAQ hx2400-series or hx2700-series handheld. 

Datastick Systems, Inc., www.datastick.com

Pressure sensor

The AST4900 is a competitively priced, high-quality pressure sensor for use in the measurement of gases and liquids in high purity applications.  Utilizing Krystal Bond Technology, these stainless steel sensors are free of oil-fill, welds, and internal O-rings, all of which eliminate the risk of system contamination in extreme conditions. The AST4900 media isolated pressure sensor also holds a CE EN61326 Certification and UL/cUL508 Approval.  The AST4900 is available in two standard fittings: 1/4" NPT Male and 1/4" VCR Male.  Each sensing element is machined from 316L stainless steel and electropolished to remove any contaminates.  The AST4900 can be scaled with pressure ranges of 0-25 PSI [0-2 BAR] to 0-10,000 [0-700 BAR]. Compound ranges are also available for the AST4900.  

American Sensor Technologies, www.astsensors.com


A new technology, NO-ARC, developed by company engineers extends the life of relays incorporated in its temperature and power switching controllers used in heating applications requiring a high volume of cycles. A NO-ARC relay is a mechanical relay with arc suppression provided through the use of smart electronics. The technology reduces the amount of arcing across the relay contacts and greatly extents the life of the relay. Relays without NO-ARC typically have a life cycle of about 100,000 cycles at rated amperage, while a NO-ARC relay will have a life of more than 4 million cycles.  NO-ARC technology can handle high current without a large heat sink. 

Watlow, www.watlow.com

Ethernet switches

The Stride line of industrial-grade unmanaged Ethernet switches and media converters are built for industrial environments. The Ethernet switches are designed specifically for PLC, HMI, and drive users. Available are 5-port and 8-port Ethernet switches, 4-port and 8-port Ethernet switches with one 100BaseF fiber port, and an Ethernet to Fiber Media Converter. Once connected to the network, Stride Ethernet switches are true plug-and-play devices, which start operating at power up. The Stride switches support 10BaseT (10 Mbps) and 100BaseT (100 Mbps) on RJ45 ports. Each port independently auto-senses speed and duplex, interfacing with legacy (10 Mbps) or fast (100 Mbps) Ethernet devices. All units feature redundant power inputs with industrial surge and spike protection.

AutomationDirect, www.automationdirect.com

IP-based telemetry solution 

The company introduced a firmware update that allows its T-BOX line of RTU products to communicate with a network of Coronis Systems wireless sensor products. The T-BOX RTU line is the first IP-based telemetry solution that enables complete integration of SCADA, control, and communications functionality in one rugged package. The driver brings the benefits of T-BOX technology to SCADA system applications such as automated meter reading, industrial monitoring, and infrastructure management. The T-BOX RTU can serve information including alarms, live status, machine health, trends, and historical reports to multiple recipients via the Internet, Intranets, e-mail, or SMS text messaging. The T-BOX RTU further provides programmable control functionality. 

Semaphore, www.cse-semaphore.com

Industrial radio

The 802.11abg Industrial Hotspot comes with IP65-rated water resis-tant, dust-proof enclosure (RLX-IH65W). This radio functions as an access point, repeater, or client, and its water resistant enclosure permits it to be directly installed in areas exposed to harsh industrial or environmental conditions, in-cluding wash down areas, offshore oil rigs, and outdoor towers. The RLX-IH65W offers Power over Ethernet (PoE), which allows the radio to be installed next to the antenna, reducing antenna cable loss and maximizing range. 

ProSoft Technology, www.prosoft-technology.com