Monday, September 23, 2013

Mobility: A solution that stretches beyond the ordinary HMI

A market study company, ARC Advisory Group, reports that “HMI software must be in a position to offer solutions, such as HTML5, for mobile devices as well as the growing acceptance of personal devices being used in business, “bring your own device” (BYOD), which is accelerating the adoption of wireless tools. The adoption rate of these devices is increasing and by the end of the study’s 2017 forecast period may become a default part of an HMI software offering norm”….“Delivering real-time information to the smartphone provides value ranging from plant executives to maintenance technicians. Tablets are replacing some HMI panels in some manufacturing installations, and they will become a common method of operating equipment remotely located. It will be much simpler and less expensive to build, for example, a pump control panel for a remote pump station with a Bluetooth connection, and have an operator walk up and operate it from the tablet versus building a conventional control panel. Some HMI software and services suppliers support devices, such as iPads, through a remote desktop, while others” (6)

The industrial automation market has progressed to the point that there are multiple vendors now that provide mobile access to their applications.  Invensys, for example, has 7 different applications that use some factor of mobility. Its newest capability,  The InTouch Access Anywhere solution enables users to access plant-floor data via the company’s InTouch HMI, the world’s number one human machine interface. Using any browser from anywhere and at anytime, the InTouch Access Anywhere solution runs entirely and securely inside a web browser, so users can connect to other InTouch Applications from Microsoft Surface, iPads, iPhones and Android devices, Macs and Linux as well as from traditional Windows PCs and laptops. In addition, there is no software to install on the end-user device, so the offering is easy to deploy, manage and maintain.

In summary, as manufacturing facilities continue to fight for survival and dominance within their respective markets, they must take steps that will maximize their resources. Providing casual users with reliable and secure remote access to plant data is rapidly becoming a vital element in an organization’s success.
Mobile technologies for manufacturers come in a variety of formats and functionalities, to match not only your data access needs, but the types of information you need displayed and monitored.
HMI in a mobile Browser is the ideal solution for controlling the HMI access via the Wifi or Internet—easily and affordably. Users, both local and remote, are given seamless and transparent access to their HMI & SCADA  data, anytime and anywhere, greatly enhancing productivity.
With any mobile solution,  organization benefits from an optimized IT infrastructure, enhanced security, reduced costs of travel and managing desktops, and inherent business continuity capabilities. (5)

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