The global site of the UK's leading magazine for automation, motion engineering and power transmission
24 November, 2020

Product and Supplier Search

HMIs open up to the benefits of Windows CE
Published:  01 February, 2002

HMIs open up to the benefits of Windows CE

Siemens is adopting the Windows CE operating systems for a new generation of Simatic operator panels and HMIs. It has also developed a "lite" industrial PC to fill the gap between office PCs and rugged shopfloor computers.

Siemens, which claims to be the world`s largest supplier of operator panels, hopes that the new ranges will help to secure its position in a market that is growing globally by about 10% a year. In the UK alone, the panel market is reckoned to be worth around £16m, with the industrial PC market adding a further £23m.

Siemens believes that adopting "open" standards such as Windows CE will help to cut development costs and allow the use of drivers for other suppliers` PLCs. The CE-based panels will also be able to run third-party software such as Scada packages, as well as a software-based PLC package that Siemens plans to launch in the second quarter of this year. The panels come with built-in Web browsers.

Users of Siemens previous panels which had proprietary operating systems will be able to migrate easily to the CE-based devices using Siemens` ProTool HMI software. The new family includes six models with displays from 14.5-26.4cm, and touchscreen or keypad entry. Prices start at under £500.

The "lite" industrial PC is available in either a rack-mounting version or one with a built-in touch-sensitive display. By dispensing with some of features needed to produce a fully ruggedised industrial PC, Siemens has been able to keep the cost down to around £2,000 for a version with a 30cm touchpanel - about £800-1,000 less than a toughened PC.

  • To view a digital copy of the latest issue of Drives & Controls, click here.

    To visit the digital library of past issues, click here

    To subscribe to the magazine, click here



Drives Show 2022The next Drives & Controls Exhibition and Conference will take place in Birmingham, UK, from 5-7 April, 2022. For more information on the event, visit the Show Web site


"Do you think that robots create or destroy jobs?"



Most Read Articles