Plant-floor HMI for Hazardous Areas

Aug. 23, 2011
Pepperl+Fuchs introduces VisuNet Industrial KM915 and KM919 Operator Workstations.
VisuNet KM915 and KM919 operator workstations enable process end users to benefit from PC-based visualization in Class I, Div. 2 hazardous locations. They consist of a 15 in. or 19 in. monitor encased in a thin but rugged NEMA 4/4x Stainless or painted steel SlimLine housing suitable for washdown environments, and one of three internal KVM Extenders that enable plant operators to safely operate workstations up to 400 m (1300 ft.) from the server. They are well suited for use in any number of oil and gas, chemical, food and beverage, and flavor and fragrance applications."VisuNet KM9x industrial operator workstations extend control room HMI to the process floor without additional software licensing. They provide high quality video over long distances, enable users to keep computers and servers in a safe centralized location far away from any environmental hazards, reduce space requirements on the process plant floor, and are very easy to install, even in hazardous areas," says Kristen Barbour, Product Marketing Manager. "Their adaptable design also enables operator workstations throughout the plant to have the same look and feel, but with different functions."The VisuNet KM9x's enclosure design features continuously welded seams that are ground smooth, and mitigates heat without the need for venting or cooling fans. The KVM extenders are a small transmitter and receiver pair that enable users to send keyboard, video and touchscreen or mouse signals over long distances, while still maintaining high quality VGA or DVI video resolution. Available options include mounting hardware, as well as chemical and microbial-resistant keyboards."Modern processes are increasingly being visualized, not just in the control room, but also on operator workstations on the process plant floor. The trend toward decentralizing monitoring and control tasks also aims to minimize equipment exposure to harsh environments, and mitigates risk by making process control more accessible," explains Barbour. "An equally important shift is in the way machine automation is controlled and visualized. Control System-based proprietary operator interfaces are being replaced by better, more cost-effective PC-based visualization."Leveraging a desktop PC for process automation control can be attributed to a number of factors, including: Large displays clearly present critical information, avoiding the need to toggle between HMI screens Affordable electronics Superior processing speed for high-end graphics desired by many machine builders Open Windows® based software systems offer the greatest flexibility and integration, while minimizing learning curvesThe harsh ambient conditions in processing plants can be extremely problematic, and the equipment in continuous production facilities must meet the demands of constant use. Visualization systems can be subject to moisture and extreme temperature shifts, as well as solvents chemicals and pressure cleaning. KM9x Industrial operator workstations and KVM extenders solve this problem by enabling users to place only the most essential components in the field, and using data lines to establish connections to the desktop PC equipment in a safe area.Pepperl+Fuchs -

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