No doubt current trends in industrial controllers, programmable logic controllers (PLC) and human-machine interfaces (HMI) include driving down the cost of control. Here is one that is an integrated HMI/PLC for less than $400. Interestingly, this is the first product pitched to me in years that touts RS485 serial connectivity. I’d darn near forgotten all about those serial protocols.
Anyway, here are some specifics from SPLat Controls.
The HMI430 board-level programmable logic controller (PLC) with an integrated 4.3-inch color touchscreen is available at nearly half the cost of previous products with similar functionality. With onboard, ruggedized digital I/O, analog I/O, and the SPLat MultiTrack built-in multitasking operating system, the HMI430 delivers “professional-quality control that is affordable and easy to program, minimizing development time.”
According to the press release, “With multiple serial ports HMI430 offers OEMs an ideal way to flexibly integrate a touchscreen into their solution for small- and medium-sized industrial control applications. The touchscreen—a 4.3-inch 470×272 pixel screen with resistive touch and 64K colors—comes with a repertoire of standard buttons, fonts, and other screen elements. With support for alpha blending, image files, and Z-ordering, HMI430 offers sophisticated visual effects at a price point that OEMs can afford.”
“With the advent of smartphones, all controller applications—medical, industrial, building control—are affected by the end-customers’ expectation of a GUI-driven interface,” noted David Stonier-Gibson, CEO of SPLat Controls. “The HMI430 with an integrated color touchscreen enables OEMs to respond to this ‘iEffect’ and provides the innovative edge that helps small- and medium-sized equipment manufacturers make their products smarter and more competitive.”