Human Machine Interface (HMI) Solutions
A Human Machine Interface (HMI) is a user interface that connects a person to a machine or system, allowing users to interact with the machine. HMI solutions can vary in sophistication and cost, which depends mostly on the amount of interaction and information exchange needed between the user and the machine. Computation intensive tasks must be taken into account when choosing an HMI solution since HMI usually doubles as a data collection and supervisory communications hub. The advantages of HMI interfaces in industrial application includes improved productivity and efficiency, remote management, and the ability to manage and analyze data. Touch screens, IP / NEMA protection, and increased tolerance for vibration and temperature extremes are some examples of HMI interfaces used in industrial applications and manufacturing plants.
Touch Screen Monitors - Overview
A touch screen acts as an interface between humans and computers in an automation control unit. Unlike keyboards or mice, touch screens provide convenience and user-friendly access to receive information from one computer to another. Touch screens work by detecting touch points according to physical relations and are divided into three types: Resistive type touch screen, Capacitive type touch screen, and Projected Capacitive type touch screen. A resistive type touch screen consists of a glass panel and film screen that functions when a finger or other stylus produces voltage by way of pressure sensors. A capacitive type touch screen comes with a transparent electrode layer that relies on the electrical properties of the human body to detect when and where on a display the user touches. Lastly, the projected capacitive type touch screen, which is similar to the capacitive type touch screen, is composed of a sheet of glass with embedded transparent electrode films and an IC chip that supports multi-touch.
What is a Watchdog Timer?
A watchdog timer (or computer operating properly (COP) timer) is a computer hardware or software timer that triggers a system reset or other corrective action if the main program, due to some fault condition, such as a hang, neglects to regularly service the watchdog. The intention is to bring the system back from the nonresponsive state into normal operation. Watchdog timers can be more complex, attempting to save debug information onto a persistent medium; i.e. information useful for debugging the problem that caused the fault. In this case a second, simpler, watchdog timer ensures that if the first watchdog timer does not report completion of its information saving task within a certain amount of time, the system will reset with or without the information saved. The most common use of watchdog timers is in embedded systems, where this specialized timer is often a built-in unit of a microcontroller. For those embedded systems that can't be constantly watched by a human, watchdog timers may be the solution.
Essentials of Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) and Industry 4.0
From a single control panel design to comprehensive, mission-critical systems, computer-aided engineering (CAE) applications have enjoyed wide-scale use over the past three decades. In many facilities today, the design, manufacturing, and logistic phases of control panel design are optimized individually. However, the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 (Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)), is expanding the reach of today’s advanced CAE tools while tying together the value-added chain in the factory to value-adding networks outside the factory. The use of CAE for control panel design and manufacture in the Industry 4.0 era removes engineering from its isolated island. With Industry 4.0, engineering is digitally connected to planning, purchasing, manufacturing and logistics.CAE using the Industry 4.0 approach, with end-to-end engineering tools, provides consistent standardization across systems. Whether at the factory, at a remote site or at a sister factory, users can select, place and connect hardware, components and wires in to a schematic and quickly create a panel layout using a predefined and automated design process.