LabVIEW gets three human-machine interface platforms -

LabVIEW gets three human-machine interface platforms


Austin, Texas—You can now can use National Instruments 's (NI) flat-panel touch-screen, its touch-panel computer, and its panel-PC HMI s (human machine interfaces) with NI's popular LabVIEW graphical development environment. This hardware and software lets you develop nifty colorful interactive user interfaces.

For its part, LabVIEW’s development environment ensures royalty-free deployment for the interfaces, using a LabVIEW Application Builder . Each touch-panel interface also includes a LabVIEW PDA Module (personal digital assistant) deployment license.

Let's look at the hardware. NI's FPT-1015 is an industrial 15-in. flat-panel comprising a color LCD with a resistive touchscreen. The FPT-1015 HMI connects through a standard VGA port and USB (Universal Serial Bus). The FPT-1015 HMI is priced from about $1500.

The FPT-1015 can be used for PXI test applications with any embedded PXI controller, or for machine vision applications with the company's CVS-145x systems. The HMI with PXI functional test systems can be used on the manufacturing or factory floor.

Embedded Displays

For embedded or machine control applications NI is offering its TPC-2006 industrial touch-panel computer. The TPC-2006 has a 5.7-in. LCD monitor, and like the FPT-1015, it uses a resistive touchscreen. The system runs the Windows CE .NET operating system that can be programmed with the LabVIEW PDA Module. The TPC-2006 HMI is priced from about $800.

The TPC-2006 features low dissipation and a 266-MHz Intel ARM9 microprocessor. The ruggedized design also eschews rotating media, and includes a fanless cooling system. The system meets NEMA4/IP 65 industrial ratings.

When you create HMI applications using this LabVIEW PDA-certified device, the LabVIEW PDA Module automatically compiles LabVIEW VI s (virtual instruments) for Windows CE, and optimizes them.

Pentium Power

Last in the line-up is NI's PPC-2015 . It's a 15-in. color-panel PC that also uses resistive touchscreen technology. It runs a 2-GHz Pentium 4 processor. The PPC-2015 HMI is priced from about $3500.

The PPC-2015 panel PC runs Windows XP and comes with a 40-Gbyte hard drive. Connectivity is provided through Ethernet , USB, two PCMCIA PC Card plug-in ports, and two half-length PCI bus slots. The PPC-2015 provides an HMI for all of NI's PAC (programmable automation controller) platform machine control hardware through an Ethernet port.

The five USB ports and two PCI slots are for connectivity to a range of NI hardware, such as its industrial PCI-based data acquisition boards or external USB-based data-acq modules. The two PCI slots also support motion or vision cards.

Industry-Standard Connectivity

LabVIEW also provides open connectivity to other hardware through industry standards. Using LabVIEW, you can create systems that connect HMIs to PLC s (programmable logic controllers) from companies such as Allen-Bradley, Siemens, GE Fanuc , and others. To do that you'd use OPC (OLE for process control) servers from NI.

You can also connect to factory networks using Modbus TCP/IP via Ethernet, DeviceNet , and CAN (controller area network) hardware. For additional networks, such as PROFIBUS, Ethernet/IP , and PROFINET , gateways from a wide variety of vendors provides connectivity for these HMIs to industrial networks.

For more details contact Ernest Martinez at National Instruments, 11500 N Mopac Expwy., Austin, Texas 78759-3504. Phone: 800-258-7022. Fax: (512) 683-9300. E-mail:

National Instruments , 800-258-7022,

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