Monday, August 07, 2006

HMIs can be accessed through standard web browser

A web-based module allows human-machine interfaces to be accessed using a standard web browser, from an Internet connection such as thin-client PCs, pocket PCs, PDAs and WAP mobile phones.
Human-machine interfaces (HMIs) can now be accessed using a standard web browser, from any location with an Internet connection. This is thanks to the new active-server Factorycast web-based HMI module from the Telemecanique brand of Schneider Electric, the pioneer in the use of web technology in industrial automation applications. Simplicity is a key benefit for Factorycast HMI users, because most will already be familiar with the standard web browsers used for access.

Another gain is its low cost, since the use of web technology allows access via any browser-capable device, including thin-client PCs, pocket PCs, PDAs and WAP mobile phones.

Finally, the flexibility enables updates and expansion with just a single set of modifications at the module - no changes are needed at the point of access.

Moreover, since suitable browser software is already included with all Windows operating systems, the expense of runtime software licences for clients accessing the HMI is completely eliminated.

Unlike other web-based remote-access automation solutions, which typically use a vulnerable PC platform and provide only indirect access to process data, Factorycast HMI is implemented as secure PLC module which is designed to withstand the rigours of industrial environments.

It is also unaffected by PC viruses.

In addition, security measures ensure access is only available to specified personnel.

Factorycast HMI integrates fully with Telemecanique TSX Premium and Quantum PLCs, allowing it to have direct access to all process data, eliminating the errors prevalent in systems that rely on intermediate data storage.

Since Factorycast HMI uses active server technology, its operation is independent of the PLC, which minimises PLC load and scan times.

To minimise set-up time and cost, Telemecanique Factorycast HMI modules are supplied with pre-configured diagnostic, adjustment and alarm management web pages for the PLC.

Additional space is available for user-defined web pages that can be constructed using any standard HTML editor.

A library of Java applets, which can easily be inserted into the custom pages, is provided for PLC communications.

Integrated web services provided by Factorycast HMI include data acquisition and on-board management of realtime data; data logging to remote databases using, for example, SQL, mySQL or Oracle; automatic transmission of emails which may be triggered by an alarm event and which can include live data; and data processing with powerful built-in logical and mathematical functions.

Factorycast HMI is part of the comprehensive family of HMI solutions available in the Telemecanique brand of Schneider Electric.