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Operator interface terminals

Reach out and touch three additions to Maple Systems HMI500 Series of graphic touchscreens offering direct RS-232 and RS-485 serial communication to over 30 major PLCs. The company says the latest in analog resistive touchscreen technology permits the Operator Interface Terminal (OIT) user to craft high-resolution screens with any number of touchable objects-which can be any size and placed anywhere on the screen. Text is displayed in eight font sizes and 256 colors. The 1MB flash memory can store over 200 user-defined screens. Want rugged? The OITs meet NEMA 4/12 sealing against dirt, oil, water, and other contaminants.

Panel sips power

Cutler-Hammer's PanelMate Power Pro 5000 is a 24V dc operator interface featuring a 14-inch color TFT display in a compact (3-inch deep) NEMA 4, 4x, or 12 package. "We cut the depth of the electronics platform and moved to 24V dc operation, reducing the weight by 10% and electrical consumption by 40%," notes Jim Thorp, product line manager. The Power Pro 5000 offers simultaneous communications with PLCs or PLC networks. Features include advanced machine diagnostics, less hardwiring for quicker integration, and two DB-9 optically isolated serial ports.

Scalable interface

VersaMax(TM) DataPanel operator interfaces from GE Fanuc are pre-programmed to connect quickly to VersaMax Micro or Nano PLCs without any need for user configuration. Capabilities include simple timer/counter/register access to full-text message displays with numeric keypads. The scalable operator interfaces provide two to four lines of text (on a backlite LCD screen) with upwards of eight programmable function keys and LEDs. Each panel is NEMA 4 rated and has power and status LEDs and an RS-232 serial port. The company's DataDesigner software uses dialog boxes and prompts in tailoring text messages.

Celeron boosts panel PC

A 500 MHz Celeron processor is at the heart of Advantech Technologies PPC-153T Panel PC. While sharing the same 15-inch LCD or touchscreen as the company's earlier Pentium-powered 233 MHz model, designers replaced the motherboard, doubled memory from 128 to 256 MB, and RAM from 4 to 8 MB, to take advantage of Celeron computer. The PC is less than 4 inches deep.

Low-profile display inverter

Packing more punch into a smaller space, Endicott Research Group's 8MD Series closed-loop dc-to-ac inverters use four low-profile transformers instead of the two higher profile ones in the company's previous design, the DMB. As a result, the 8MD measures 8 mm high (while the DMB is 13 mm high) and provides power for backlighting large LCDs having up to four cold-cathode fluorescent tubes. The 8MD design was originally developed as a custom unit, and is now available in mass-production quantities. As with the DMB, power efficiency of the 8MD is upwards of 90%, according to the company. The inverters are of hybrid-encapsulated/open-frame construction for durability with low mass (64 grams).

Sharp monitors

Five additions to CTX International's Professional PureFlat Series of CRT monitors target CAD, CAE, imaging, and graphics users. President and CEO Thomas Han says, "Significantly responsible for the image quality and viewer comfort is FD Trinitron(R)technology" with an optimal curve on the monitor screen. A Multi-Astigmatism Lens System and Extended Field Elliptical Aperture Lens minimize video spot size, mitigating elliptical distortion found with conventional lenses. He also cites the 0.24-mm aperture grill pitch and fast refresh rates for viewer comfort.

Touch-screen text translator

Need to compete in the global market? Omron Electronics has reduced the effort in developing and maintaining touch-screen projects in multiple languages with its Translation Support Utility-cutting the cost of going global. Many OEMs have to translate operation panels and manuals into different languages, which can be costly if complex interfaces are involved. The Translation Support Utility is included at no additional cost with the company's NT-series Support Tool. John Giardina, human-machine interface product specialist, notes the utility extracts all the English strings from the source project and places them into a database column. The MS Access database layout maintains multiple languages, each in its own column, with corresponding cells.

Precision optical filters

Digital-imaging and optical-network products-such as RGB (red-green-blue) filters for LCDs, monolithic color wheels for digital projectors, and virtual micro displays for handheld devices-using Ocean Optics proprietary Dichroic Filter Array(TM) (DFA) technology are now available. Product Manager Rob Morris says, "While such products have been around, this process is different, allowing for microlithographic precision patterning, making sharper images and truer colors." An array of discrete dichroic filters can be patterned on various optical and microelectronic substrates to a size of 5 microns with 2-micron spacing.

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