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HMI Connects to Any PLC or Fieldbus

HMI Connects to Any PLC or Fieldbus

A new human-machine interface (HMI) eliminates the need for engineers to buy their major motion control components as single package from one vendor.

BrainChild 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 major fieldbuses.

"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, this week.         

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