The human-machine interface — or HMI — is one of the most important components of an automation system, making communication possible between machinery and its human operators. However, standard HMIs sometimes lack versatility and advanced capabilities, while full-scale industrial PCs are often too complex or costly for normal applications. Filling a niche between these two extremes is a new open-platform HMI from Maple Systems, Everett, Wash.
The UL-listed Touchscreen Open HMI comes in both a 7 and 10-in. screen size, with high-resolution widescreens that run a pre-installed version of Windows CE. The 16:9 display offers 30% more viewing area than standard 4:3 screens of similar size. What's more, graphics get a clarity boost from the 800 x 400 pixel screen resolution, 65,000 colors in the LED display, and a RISC processor that handles graphic-intensive applications, such as the optional SCADA software, Web Studio. Connectivity comes in the form of a preloaded Internet browser, Ethernet, USB, and serial communication ports, an SD card slot, and an audio jack.
On display: Touchscreen Open HMI
Key features: 16:9 widescreen high-resolution display; Windows CE pre-installed; Ethernet and USB ports; CE certified, RoHS compliant, and UL listed for U.S. and Canada; available in 7 and 10-in. screen sizes
What it means to you: An open-platform HMI with greater capabilities than a standard HMI and lower cost than a full-fledged industrial PC
What else: 128 MB of flash memory, 64 MB of DRAM, and 400 MHz 32-bit RISC processor for fast response; operating temperature range of 32° to 113° F; fanless HMIs draw only 12 W and produce less heat than industrial PCs, so can be used in tight spaces or sealed environments
Innovator: Maple Systems Inc.