A new human-machine interface (HMI) eliminates the need for
engineers to buy their major motion control components as single package from
Electronic Co. Ltd. rolled out a new HMI at the Design & Manufacturing
Midwest Show yesterday that connects to virtually any PLC, as well as all
"Up to now, if you bought a PLC from any major supplier, you
had to buy their HMI, too," noted Mahidar Reddy, an engineer for BrainChild.
"But if you buy our HMI, you can connect to any PLC available on the market.
You can also connect to any fieldbus."
Details from the Taiwan-based BrainChild were scarce, but
the company did provide a list to showgoers telling them which hardware
manufacturers its product can communicate with. Hardware manufacturers include
Allen Bradley, Siemens, GE Fanuc, Hitachi,
Toshiba, Yaskawa, Mitsubishi, Schneider, Modicon, Matsushita and many more. In
addition to PLCs, the company's products can also communicate with speakers,
microphones, bar code readers, I/O modules and inverters, as well as Ethernet
and fieldbuses. Compatible fieldbus protocols include Profibus, Profinet IO,
DeviceNet, Ethernet/IP, CanOpen and others.
Brainchild said its product is based on a Windows CE
operating system. The company also said its research and development staff
developed all of the necessary communication drivers.
Five models of the HMI, ranging from 4.3-inch to 15-inch
versions, are on display at the show, which is taking place in Rosemont, IL,