HMI Anywhere

July 7, 2009

Adding input to industrial equipment is always a difficult challenge. Siemens is addressing this with an HMI line that provides flexibility with a number of variations for both physical mounting and architectural formats.

The Siemens Division Industry Automation has broadened its Simatic HMI product line with a series of rugged HMI devices that feature stainless steel and composite IP65 protection. A key benefit is a versatile mounting structure.
“These are encased, so they don’t need to go into a cutout, they can go anywhere. You can mount them on a boom or on the equipment," says Paul Ruland, Marketing Manager at Siemens. The units weigh less than their predecessors, making it easier to install them in hard to reach areas or where there’s no room for support structures.

The line is also designed to be easy to maintain after installation. The rear panel can be easily removed so technicians can install new cables or replace a memory card, among other upgrades.

Along with versatility, they provide ease of use. The 15-inch display has high resolution, so even the smallest window can be read easily. It employs touch input so operators don’t have to use a keyboard or mouse.
The HMI devices can be configured in three formats. At the low end, they can be used as operator interface panels that connect to PLCs, or as monitors connected to PC-based controllers. The Simatic Flat Panel Monitor Pro monitors can be located up to thirty meters away from the PC.

In a multi-panel mode, they can include a PC architecture with Windows CE, XP or another operating system. That gives operators the flexibility of a PC without adding another enclosure. Simatic Multi Panel 377 Pro, a high-performance device that can be expanded when necessary, is intended for use with the Simatic WinAC MP 2007 control software.

Yet another option is to use the screens as a thin client in distributed systems. That makes it possible to set two HMIs at opposite ends of a large machine, giving each operator the data they need while also giving them insight into what’s going on at the other station. The Simatic Thin Client Pro can also be used as a second workstation for web-client applications.

For more information on Siemens HMI products, please click here.

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