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Connecting Pepperl+Fuchs HMI Solutions to Rockwell Automation Control Systems

| By Chemical Engineering

We receive a number of requests each month about connecting a Pepperl+Fuchs industrial HMI workstation to a Rockwell Automation Control System. Some of these installations are upgrades of HMI workstations that have failed, others are new installations. The simple answer is – yes we can!

There are a couple of questions you will need to answer:

  1. Which control system platform are you using?
  2. Which network is connected between the HMI and the control system?
  3. What is the area classification for the HMI and the control system?
  4. Which HMI software platform are you using?

The first three questions have easy answers: Fundamentally, any control platform that utilizes EtherNet/IP is the right answer for questions 1 and 2. This includes the older SLC and PLC platforms, and extends to CompactLogix and ControlLogix. Additionally, we have industrial workstations that work equally well in general-purpose, Division 2, and Division 1 areas, as well as Zone 1, Zone 21, Zone 2, and Zone 22 areas.

In most cases, the fourth question – which HMI software platform are you using – is the most difficult and where recommendations are necessary.

Rockwell utilizes the FactoryTalk® View platform. This platform consists of a common design environment named FactoryTalk® View Studio, and can be used on both FactoryTalk® View Site Edition (SE) and FactoryTalk View Machine Edition (ME). Let’s take a look at what’s involved with these two platforms.

FactoryTalk View Machine Edition Station is considered machine-level HMI software that is specifically designed to work with machines and smaller processes, and optimized for the PanelView™ platform. However, this software also runs on PC and client/server platforms, provided the graphics program is compiled properly.

Typically, when connecting to PanelView, the user will select the PanelView model number, i.e., PanelView Plus 1500. For a given PC-based system, you select the native resolution of the LCD panel, rather than screen size as one might expect. For instance, a 19 in. LCD monitor has a native resolution of 1280×1024 pixels, so during the compilation, select 1280×1024 to properly size the graphics. Selecting the network is part of the configuration. Then compile the program, download the program to the industrial workstation, etc.

FactoryTalk View® Site Edition (SE) is arguably more flexible. For stand-alone applications, the “SE Station” is the proper selection. As with the Machine Edition (ME) above, compile the program, download it to the workstation, etc.

Our Intel Atom or Intel Core 2 Duo processors both have sufficient horsepower to run either ME Station or SE Station programs. For ME Client or SE Client applications, our Remote Monitor workstations and panel products are the proper selections, especially as part of a virtualization strategy.

Additionally, and unique to Pepperl+Fuchs, we have instrinsically safe resistive touchscreens in 15 in., 19 in., and 22 in. widescreen formats for use in Division 1 applications.

One final thought: Many users attempt to put a PanelView in a purged enclosure. However, the PanelView touchscreen is not Division 1 rated, and the membrane keys are not intrinsically safe, so you cannot use the PanelView in a Division 1 environment with the front panel exposed to the environment, according to NEC.

Based on our discussion above, you can instead migrate to one of our UL approved Division 1 HMI solutions, be it 15 in., 19 in., or 22 in. These solutions are not just “designed to meet” as many claim, but have an actual UL sticker and serial number for your risk management people to document when underwriting your process plant.