TFT touch panel PC with display depth of only 45 mm

Paul Boughton
Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) are increasingly being used to operate machines and systems. As the name indicates, these devices provide an interface between humans and machines. To ensure error-free operation, however, Human Machine Interfaces need more than just high computing intelligence and performance.

Work studies have shown that if the machine operator likes the ‘look-and-feel’ of an HMI and finds it easy to use, unnecessary machine downtimes can be avoided. Researchers have also discovered that a noisy fan to help cool the built-in computer can easily distract the operator, increasing the likelihood of mistakes.

Furthermore a fan contains many moving parts, which only increases the chance of failures and hence errors.

A standard and ergonomic design for the industry is more than just pleasing to the eye. Striking at first glance is the refined and streamlined look of ELMA’s new 19-in TFT touch panel PC. The display is especially flat, with a depth of only 45 mm. If the display panel should happen to break, a quick release mechanism allows it to be replaced by a single person in just 30 seconds. Once a new panel is installed, the S Line interface automatically logs on and is ready to go in no time.

The operating panel features a robust aluminium housing that has no sharp corners (soft design with an 8 mm radius) and thus has protection class of IP65. A variety of aluminium surfaces and finishes as well as foil designs and labels allows customised solutions. In its standard 12 kg design, the HMI remains lightweight for industrial use and both its hardware and software can be individually expanded and configured with options such as an RFID card reader, built-in 2D bar code scanner, magnetic card reader, biometric fingerprint reader and keyboard tray.

The high performance computer in the new S Line is passively cooled by a rear side heat sink and is specifically designed for continuous operation in ambient temperatures up to 50°C without the use of a fan. It comes with processors ranging from the Intel Pentium M to the Core 2 Duo with 2.4 GHz.

The optional dual monitor capability and the ability to connect up to five external devices means almost any customer requirement can be met. Only electronic components with high MTBF (mean time between failures) are used to provide extended uninterrupted operation. A high level of system performance is ensured by a 40 GB or larger hard drive (fast-swappable) and up to 4 GB of RAM. LAN and wireless LAN, additional expansion slots, digital control of the TFT display via LVDS, automatic restart after power failures, Wake on LAN, customer-specific BIOS and many other options allow customized system solutions to satisfy any customer need.

Production time is money, which means fault-related downtimes are costly. To minimise downtimes, the patent-pending QuickLock device allows the display to be replaced by a single person in only 30 seconds without the need for tools. To do so, simply remove the two attachment screws, lift up the display and the system will then automatically log off and disconnect from the power supply and all LAN and USB connections. The system will restart as soon as the replacement display is in place. An identification option enables automatic detection of the IP address and log-on to the computer network. Base and support arm assemblies with various pivoting angles are available. The resisting torque of the rotary axis can be adjusted and locked as well.

The 19-in TFT display has a resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels and a >160° horizontal and vertical viewing angle. The display has a brightness of >300 cd/m² and contrast ratio of >500:1.

A transflective TFT is also available for outside use in sunny conditions. The system is operated by means of a resistive touch screen. Another highlight is the touch screen that is compatible with SAW: The Surface Acoustic Wave technology sends ultrasonic waves across a robust glass panel, which are then absorbed when the display is touched. All touch screens can be used with gloves.

The new S Line from ELMA can also be custom-configured in small production runs. Its high computing capacity is particularly energy efficient. This future-oriented solution offers high quality, a long lifecycle and easy servicing.

S Line