White Paper: Choosing the Optimum Operator Interface, from Pro-face

Find out the answer to the question: which is better — an open computer system or a closed one? Without hesitation, 9 out of 10 computer savvy consumers will say “open.” This response is the result of nearly 30 years of PC development during which the hardware has been open and the various Microsoft operating systems have been de-facto open.

The open system has created high performance, relatively low-cost hardware, and masses of third-party software running on Microsoft operating systems.

Most people tend to take the “open system is good” attitude with them to work. When their work involves manufacturing or processing, consumer-side assumptions should stop at the entrance of the plant. Once across that threshold, openness equates to general purpose, and closed — dedicated — means lowest lifecycle cost and highest performance.

To understand the reasons for this shift in the relative merits of open versus closed, it is important to first of all describe the technical differences in today’s industrial operator interface products. Then it will be easier to determine which operator interface products are right for an application on a machine, line, plant, or for the enterprise.

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