#SPS Operator panels for demanding visualization tasks in harsh industrial environments

The Siemens Industry Automation Division has extended its range of Simatic HMI operator panels to include a new series of devices offering high performance and integrated functionality for demanding visualization tasks.

The Simatic HMI Comfort Panels are available in touchscreen versions or for operation by means of tactile keys – each with screen diagonal sizes of 4″, 7″, 9″ and 12″. Further versions ranging from 15″ to 22″ are currently being developed. This series of panels is configured using the Simatic WinCC V11 engineering software of the new Totally Integrated Automation portal. The Simatic HMI Comfort Panels are designed for use in tough industrial environments and are equipped with brilliant, high-contrast color displays in widescreen format with LED backlighting. In comparison with conventional displays, this offers the user a visualization area that is up to 40 percent larger, thereby facilitating extended display options, even for complex operating diagrams. The new Simatic HMI Comfort Panels supplement the existing Simatic HMI Basic Panels, a series of devices for applications in the lower performance range.

The LED backlighting of the new Simatic HMI Comfort Panels is dimmable up to 100 percent. This not only enables energy to be saved, but also allows the brightness of the display to be adapted to the respective application, which is important for example in marine applications. In addition, the energy consumption can also be reduced by means of the standardized Profienergy protocol. This makes it possible to centrally shut down loads that are no longer required, and to record energy readings. The displays of the Simatic HMI Comfort Panels can, for example, be switched off during short breaks in order to save energy. The high performance of the devices makes short image refresh times possible, enabling the operator to respond quickly to the latest plant status. All Simatic Comfort Panels have interfaces for Profinet and Profibus networks, as well as for the connection of a USB periphery.

The Simatic Comfort Panels offer full security against zero voltage without an additional uninterruptible power supply (UPS) by means of two SD cards. This safeguards not only the data in the internal memory, but also the archive and recipes against power failure. A new feature is the option for system diagnosis in connection with Simatic controllers. Diagnostic information, for which a programming device was previously required, can now be read out via the Simatic Comfort Panel. Projects are loaded by means of Profinet, Profibus or standard USB cable. All device settings are performed simply during configuration: this avoids the need to make additional settings on the device and thereby simplifies the commissioning procedure. All data is saved on a system card that is located in the device and that can be used for uncomplicated project transfer.

The operating panel layout of the key versions corresponds to cell phone keypads, enabling intuitive and fast input of data. All function keys have LED illumination.Visual signals on the keys to be operated provide guidance for the operator. The tactile feedback on operation of the keys offers additional assurance. The touchscreen versions can be installed in portrait format, enabling them to be used for applications where the installation space is limited. The Simatic Comfort Panels with 7″ or larger screens have long-life cast aluminum enclosures. Approvals exist for use in hazardous areas and marine applications.

About Eoin Ó Riain

Sé Read-out iris uaithoibríoch, ionstraim agus stiúradh na hÉireann agus an "Signpost" a áit ar an idirlín! Read-out is Ireland's journal of automation, instrumentation and control and the Instrumentation Signpost is it's web presence.
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