HMI Thin Client & Thick Client Technologies
The Industrial IoT, M2M HMI thin clients are integrated touch screen computers (clients) that depend heavily on some other computer (its server) to fulfill its traditional computational roles. The exact roles assumed by the server may vary, from providing data persistence to actual information processing on the client's behalf.
Process, Hybrid and Discrete manufacturing all require an operator to visualize and interact with the system. The Human Machine Interface (HMI) is that integral part of the machine handling human machine interaction. In complex systems, the HMI is typically computerized. When designing an HMI to visualize the data for your application, there are a number of HMI hardware, HMI, SCADA and thin client software, and operating system architectures available. These architectures can be generalized into thin clients and thick clients; however, a real-world implementation is typically a mixture of both.
Process manufacturing industries are among the most competitive and dynamic in terms of manufacturing, and companies must evolve to meet the challenges of shifting global demand, the commoditization of products, and pricing volatility in energy, raw materials, and feed stocks.
Process manufacturing is common in the food, beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical, consumer packaged goods, and biotechnology industries.
Discrete manufacturing is often characterized by individual or separate unit production. Units can be produced in low volume with high complexity or high volumes of low complexity. Low volume/high complexity production results in the need for an extremely flexible manufacturing system that can improve quality and time-to-market speed while cutting costs. High volume/low complexity production puts high premiums on inventory controls, lead times and reducing or limiting materials costs and waste.
The HMI in the industrial design field of human machine interaction is the space where interaction between humans and machines occur. The goal of interaction between a human and a machine at the user interface is effective operation and control of the machine, and feedback from the machine which aids the operator in making operational decisions.
A user interface is the system by which people (users) interact with a machine, which includes both hardware (physical) and software (logical) components. User interfaces exist for various systems, and provide a means of: input, allowing the users to manipulate a system; and output, allowing the system to indicate the effects of the user’s manipulation.
The goal of human machine interaction engineering is to produce a user interface which makes it easy, efficient, and enjoyable to operate a machine in the way which produces the desired results. This generally means that the operator needs to provide minimal input to achieve the desired output, and conversely, that the machine minimizes undesired outputs for the human operator.
With the increased use of personal computers and the relative decline in societal awareness of heavy machinery, the term user interface is generally assumed to mean the graphical user interface, while industrial control panel and machinery control design discussions more commonly refer to human-machine interfaces.
AIS HMI thin client and thick clients' technology and product solutions will define and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of these options based on three (3) common requirements of a visualization device: processing, accessibility and cost.
The HMI thin clients are integrated touch screen computers (clients) that depend heavily on some other computer (its server) to fulfill its traditional computational roles. The exact roles assumed by the server may vary, from providing data persistence to actual information processing on the client's behalf.
Thin clients occur as components of a broader computer infrastructure, where many clients share their computations with the same server. As such, HMI thin client infrastructures can be viewed as the provider of some essential computing functions using several user-interfaces. HMI thin client computing is also a way of easily maintaining computational services at a reduced total cost of ownership.
The most common type of modern HMI thin client is an ARM-based and Windows CE-based computer terminal which concentrates solely on providing a graphical user interface to the end-user. The remaining functionality, in particular the operating system, is provided by the server.
HMI thick clients are the integrated touch screen computers (known as the client) in the client–server architecture or network that typically provides rich functionality, independent of the central server.
An HMI thick client still requires at least periodic connection to a network or central server, but is often characterized by the ability to perform many functions without that connection. In contrast, a thin client generally does as little processing as possible and relies on accessing the server each time input data needs to be processed or validated.
The new portfolio of industrial thin client solutions for automation, control and monitoring applications from AIS are designed satisfy a wide variety of industries and customer requirements. AIS’s industrial thin clients offer cost-effective solutions to run an operator station on-site at the machine with great flexibility and high levels of convenience.
Available in 7”, 10.1”, 12.1”, 15”, 17”, 18.5” and 21.5”; ACP ThinManager allows AIS Thin-Manager-Ready thin clients and controls terminals to be configured in a central location instead of individually at each client. Learn more »
The AIS ThinManager-Ready®, Rugged Thin Client Touch Screen Terminal with ACP-enabled BIOS is designed and certified to meet NEC/CEC Class/Division, ATEX Directive 94/9/EC, and IECEx Zone standards for increased safety in industrial PCs in Division 2 and Zone 2 control, measuring, testing, data collection, and communication applications. Learn more »
The AIS ThinManager-Ready®, Compact Thin Client IPC with ACP-enabled BIOS is a compact embedded computer, providing centralized management solutions for the modern factory & office by simplifying management of applications and visual sources. Learn more »
The AIS ThinManager-Ready®, Rugged DIN-rail Mount Thin Client with ACP-enabled BIOS is designed and certified to meet NEC/CEC Class/Division, ATEX Directive 94/9/EC, and IECEx Zone standards for increased safety in industrial PC in Division 2 and Zone 2 control, measuring, testing, data collection, and communication applications. Learn more »
AIS has an extensive set of tools for HMI panels & displays design, simulation, and testing. We offer a wide range of electrical, software, mechanical, health, safety, and the environmental design capabilities. AIS designs to meet: automotive, industrial, commercial, hazardous, military, marine, ISO, IEC, UL, CE, MIL, DNV, ATEX, SAE and/or customer specific applications.
AIS implements the latest quality control practices and techniques (APQP, FMEA, Gage R&R, PV&V, SPC CAR/CAPA) to meet the demands of international regulations and standards (ISO 9001:2008 and ISO/TS16949).
Design Technology Capabilities
Designing Break-Through Technologies with People, the Environment & Profitability in Mind
AIS aspires for total excellence in everything we do. Creative and technical problem solvers who respond critically and resourcefully to the demands of technology innovation…a company who appreciates the importance of technology designed for life, company and the environment…and a resource committed to sustainability, profitability and efficiency. This sums up the spirit and approach of the AIS design technology team when solving complex engineering challenges and dilemmas.
The design cycle is a tool used to develop technologies to solve a problem. Knowing how to apply their immense technical expertise and hands-on experience, gained through years of solving real world problems, is what differentiates AIS from the rest.
AIS adheres to a four-stage process for in-house development of new product designs and technologies – a time proven methodology that has helped create numerous ground breaking technologies and solutions for their customers. The design cycle is a model intended to be the central tool to help AIS create and evaluate products/solutions. The AIS design cycle consists of four major stages as they relate to the objectives of the new product development.
AIS Design Cycle System for New Product Development:
- Inquire & Analyze Stage: AIS identifies and analyzes the problems to be solved and objectives of the overall project and then summarizes findings with action plans
- Ideation Stage: In this creative process stage, product design ideas and concepts are generated. Once the appropriate design concept and strategy is selected, AIS plans the entire design through execution phase of product development
- Creation Stage: Demonstrating their technical skills, AIS uses state-of-the-art equipment, tools and techniques to produce the new product/solution and make any necessary justified design changes if required
- Assess Stage: AIS evaluates the final product/solution and testing methods. If necessary revisions or upgrades for further refinement are made then proceed to final production
Innovating Electrical Designs while Meeting the Necessary Specifications and Standards
AIS has an extensive set of tools for electrical circuit design, simulation, and testing. Offering a wide range of electrical design and engineering capabilities, AIS provides custom integrated electronics system design and development, including evaluation and analysis to several standards. Some of the key standards that AIS’s designs meet include: automotive, military, marine, ISO, UL, CE, MIL, and/or customer specific applications. The combination of talented and highly trained design engineers and state of the art equipment and tools, allows AIS to deliver a design optimized for functionality and manufacturability.
- Electronic Circuit Design: Analog circuits, digital circuits, mixed-signal circuits
- Printed Circuit Board Design: Single-sided, double-sided, and multi-layer boards
- Embedded Logic and Signal Processing Board Design: RISC microprocessors or controllers, ARMs, DSPs, and FPGAs
- Industrial Embedded Board Solutions: Single board computers, computer on modules & extension single board computers with integrated high-performance embedded processors. Some of the microcontroller/processors manufacturers used by AIS are: Intel, AMD, TI, Freescale, and Samsung
- Electronic Circuit Simulation and Analysis: Analog or digital electronic circuit simulators, and mixed-signal electronic circuit simulators
Embedded Software Solutions from Conceptualization through Implementation
There are many aspects to consider in the design of an embedded software solution. The importance of each aspect should reflect the goals the software is designed to achieve. With this in mind, AIS offers complete software design, coding, testing, and documentation services using a software development process in a controlled environment.
The AIS software design team has worked on developing a variety software products for diverse categories, applications and market uses with visualization, control and monitoring equipment. From complex, military qualified, real time software design, to easy-to-use graphical user interfaces, AIS is your total embedded product software solution.
- System Drivers: BSP for a variety of hardware boards, including development/porting of the device drivers for various peripherals such as serial and Ethernet communication, graphics display, touch screen and Keyboard controller, PCI/USB/ATA bus-architectures, audio and video drivers, etc.
- System BIOS: BIOS flash is a tool that allows customers to update and backup the BIOS on AIS hardware platforms
- Operating System: Windows Embedded 8/7/XP/CE , embedded Linux, and QNX embedded solutions are total BSP to help customers speed up their project development
- Embedded Firmware: A wide range of embedded firmware solutions, no-OS environment, straight code-to-hardware, hardware architectures: 8-bit, custom (optimized) 32bit processors
- Real Time Operating System (RTOS): Real time Linux and Windows CE
- Application Programming Interface: A set of routines, protocols, and tools to build software applications
- Bootloader: A custom u-boot with specific configurations
A Thorough and Comprehensive Process for Embedded Software Lifecycle Management Success
Embedded software is a key driver in the success of today’s industrial equipment and products. AIS embedded software solutions enable the innovation and flexibility customers require achieving success in increasingly competitive markets. In light of this need, AIS’s approach to embedded software lifecycle management goes well beyond conventional thinking, techniques and tactics. They employ a comprehensive process to managing the entire lifecycle of an embedded software solution. The AIS lifecycle management process includes: project planning and scoping, architecture design, coding and integration, system design testing and debugging and support through entire life of the solution.
Turning Complex Engineering Ideas into Mechanically Viable Products and Solutions
Pulling together the combined resources and expertise of AIS’s cross-discipline design team allows them to efficiently develop and execute mechanical designs that are right for the project. Their flexibility enables them to adapt throughout the mechanical design process and deliver the proper solution for their customers.
AIS selects or designs product enclosures to satisfy the customer’s unique application and environment. Fabrication techniques include machined, cast, metal, and molded. In addition, AIS always considers requirements for EMI, fluid sealing, thermal transfer, ease of assembly, and cost when designing a mechanical solution. Our mechanical and system design expertise includes:
- Design-to-manufacturing methods
- Detailed drawings and documentation
- 3D CAM/CAM/CAE
- PCB Design & Simulation Software
- In-House Prototyping
Optimal Viewing from Every Angle, No Matter the Environment or Condition
AIS integrated leading-edge TFT-LCD panels ensure superior performance and excellent color quality and imaging in a broad range of indoor and outdoor operating environments. From measuring instruments, automatic teller machines (ATMs), retail point of sale terminals (POS), to factory automation equipment (FA) and touch screen kiosk, AIS integrated TFT-LCD panels have all the earmarks of superior performing panels and monitors. AIS TFT-LCDs deliver:
- High Reliability: AIS integrated LCD panels feature wide operating temperature range, forward compatibility, RoHS compliance, low EMI technology & long life lamp.
- Optimal Visibility: With excellent display characteristics even when viewed from extreme angles, AIS integrated LCD panels also offer ideal visibility and viewing in less than optimum conditions
- Outdoor Use Technology: Low reflection, high brightness and Transflective LCD modules and other features ensure AIS integrated LCD panels are ideal for continuous outdoor use.
Brilliant Color Conversion and Reproducing True-to-Life Images
Leveraging the very latest in color optimization and image reproduction technologies, meeting industry design standards and offering the ideal product mix for industrial and critical military applications, AIS high reliability imaging and vision processing devices support all your specific requirements. With a typical display the reproduction of images is visibly different from the original source because of display device characteristics and design. AIS integrated LCD panels with original Natural Color Matrix optimization technology separates color data and luminance components, while controlling individual display colors (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, yellow) for optimized performance. Natural Color Matrix optimization delivers balanced color conversion without the loss of panel color properties to ensure color quality is extremely close to the original image.
AIS is fully dedicated to continuously monitor product line improvements and embraces the latest technologies in designing and manufacturing LCD displays that achieve realistic and true-to-life image reproduction. In line with these goals, AIS performs many base line tests to guarantee the best monitor performance, viewing and image quality achieved.
• Dark Black Level
• Perfect Pixel Tracking/Phase
• High Video Bandwidth Index
• Smooth Grey Scale with 256 Intensity
• Accurate Gamma
• RGB High Frequency Balance
• Wide Viewing Angle
• High Quality Scaling
• Few Motion Artifacts
• Screen Uniformity
• High Peak Brightness
• No White Saturation
• High Contrast
• No Bad Pixels
• No Ringing and Overshoot
• Weak Reflections
• Weak Streaking
• White-Point Color Temperature,
• Brightness and Contrast Controls
Visualizing Advanced Embedded Video & Vision Solutions
Embedded video and vision has emerged as one of the fast growing technologies for industrial and commercial applications. Its powerful functionality and advanced visual capabilities has completely changed the user interaction experience in a variety of applications in industrial, automotive, military and aerospace. AIS TFT LCD modules are designed for high reliability, optimal visibility, and enhanced view-ability. They add powerful imaging, video and vision processing capabilities to industrial embedded system applications. With expert integration experience and knowledge, AIS’s market-leading TFT LCD modules, applications processors and system-on-chip solutions offer the perfect combination of programmability, performance and power for both mobile devices and industrial systems. Moreover, AIS’s video and vision design capabilities help their customers realize success in the embedded vision market for areas such as automotive vision systems, industrial machine vision and more. Some key application opportunities include:
Video & Vision Applications Overview
- Machine Vision: Machine vision refers to applications where operational guidance is provided to equipment for the execution of functions based on the capture and processing of images. Providing the "sight" or "vision" to the equipment greatly enhances its capabilities, resulting in improved product quality, increased productivity and decreased costs.
- Driver Assistance Systems: With keen focus on improving safety, automotive vision control systems process digital information from sources digital cameras or other sensors to perform tasks such as lane departure warning, drowsiness sensors, or parking assistance. The processed information can be displayed on screens or announced via acoustical warning signals.
- Radar/Electronic Warfare: Integrated GPS guidance, image processing for target recognition, and real-time flight path guidance computations are all enabled by high performance processors. AIS integrated multicore processors meet the demanding requirements of mission critical functions in a variety of military and aerospace applications.
Taking Industrial Design Ideas into Sophisticated, High Performance Industrial Embedded Systems
Industrial embedded systems, ranging from operator interface terminals and mobile devices to process control equipment, become increasingly sophisticated and run on an ever diverse set of hardware and software platforms. This presents increasingly complex issues and requirements for manufacturers to continually create new applications and maintain existing ones.
Recognizing these challenges for their customers, AIS provides complete engineering solutions and services to help them create winning embedded industrial solutions. This comprises hardware and software services to create complete industrial systems, including integration of microcontrollers and processors, LCD displays, touch screen interfaces, video and audio subsystems, connectivity stacks and device layer integration and optimizations. Based on open architectures platforms such as Texas® Instruments (TI) ARM, Freescale™ Semiconductor, Inc. i.MX 6 and Intel® Atom microcontrollers and processors, AIS Embedded Systems designs offer the ultimate in flexibility and migration.
Many years of embedded hardware and software design has afforded us a unique understanding and insight optimizing solutions for our customers. Our software integration strengthens the performance of the hardware and reaps maximum processing power. Regardless of specification and/or system requirements, AIS has the total in-house resources, industry knowledge and expertise to design specific hardware and software that is cost-effective, reliable, efficient and superior in performance.
System Design Capabilities Overview:
- Complete in-house embedded system design capabilities for operator interfaces, mobile devices and control equipment
- Help customers address current requirements and stay ahead of new ones
- Delivering synergistic, integrated embedded hardware and software solutions
- Open architecture platform system design for the ultimate in flexibility
- Total in-house design resources and expertise for cost-effective and powerful solutions
Designing for Reliable Performance in Extreme Environments and Conditions
In some applications equipment failure is not an option. Designing and building visualization, control and monitoring equipment that can withstand and perform reliably in extreme environments and conditions is something AIS has amassed extensive experience in. AIS designs, tests, and qualifies products that are exposed to severe environmental and EMI conditions in military, automotive, and industrial applications. Testing is conducted using in-house resources or their network of independent testing labs. As standard operating procedure, AIS routinely tests its designs for compliance to severe military (UL Class/Division, MIL-STD-810, MIL-STD-461, and MIL-STD-1275), various SAE automotive and UL/CSA/CE/TUV/ATEX /DNV safety requirements or customer specifications.
- Military Standard MIL-STD-810: Tested to the MIL-STD-810 standard methodology for a range of extreme conditions including drops, shock, vibration, humidity, altitude, rain, dust and sand-resistance, temperature extremes and thermal shock
- Military Standard MIL-STD-461: Tested to the MIL-STD-461 standard methodology for EMI and EMC
- Maritime Environment Standard: Tested to the DNV standard methodology for a range of extreme conditions including temperature, humidity, vibration, EMC compatibility and enclosures
- ANSI/ISA-12.12.01-2013: Nonincendive electrical equipment for use in class I and II, division 2 and class III, divisions 1 and 2 hazardous (classified) locations
- ATEX 95 Equipment Directive 94/9/EC: Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
- IEC 60079: Standard and general requirements for explosive atmospheres equipment
- EN 50155: Railway applications - EN standard for electronic equipment used on rolling stock
- EN 60721-3-2 : Railway applications - EN standard for classification of environmental conditions
- EN 1672-2 Hygiene: This standard specifies common hygiene requirements processing machines for machinery used in preparing and processing food for humans, and where relevant, animal consumption to eliminate or minimize the risk of contagion, infection, illness or injury arising from this food
- Highly Accelerated Life Test (HALT): AIS engineers using HALT stress testing methodology to accelerate product reliability testing during the engineering development process; cold step/hot step/rapid temperature cycling/stepped vibration (random)/combined environment stress (temperature cycling and random vibration plus power switching and power margining)
Systems comprised of electrical and/or electronic elements had been used for many years to perform safety functions in most application sectors. Functional safety is an integral part of the overall safety of AIS embedded system and HMI display, including the safe management of likely hardware failures and environmental changes. AIS computer-based systems and displays are being used in all application sectors to perform safety functions.
AIS functional safety design engineering is fundamental to enabling complex technology used for safety-related systems. It provides the assurance that safety-related systems will offer the necessary risk reduction required to achieve safety for the equipment.
Machinery Safety Legislation
- European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC
- ISO EN 14121: Safety of machinery -- Principles of risk assessment
- ISO EN 12100: Safety of machinery - Basic concepts, general principles for design
- EN 60204: Safety of machinery - Electrical equipment of machines -- General requirements
- EN 13850: Safety of machinery - Emergency stop -- Principles for design
AIS Functional Safety Standards
- ISO EN DIN 13849: Safety of machinery -- Safety-related parts of control systems
- IEC EN 61508: Functional safety of Electrical/Electronic/Programmable Electronic Safety -- Related Systems (E/E/PE, or E/E/PES)
- IEC EN 62061: Functional safety of electrical, electronic and programmable electronic control systems
- IEC EN 61511: Functional safety -- Safety instrumented systems for the process industry sector
- ISO 26262: Road vehicles -- Functional safety
- EN 50126/IEC 62278: Railway applications -- The specification and demonstration of reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS) -- Basic requirements and generic process
- EN 50128: Railway applications - Communication, signalling and processing systems -- Software for railway control and protection systems
- EN 50129: Railway applications -- Communication, signalling and processing systems -- Safety related electronic systems for signalling
- ISO 25119: Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry -- Safety-related parts of control systems
- ISO 15998: Earth-moving machinery -- Machine-control systems (MCS) using electronic components -- Performance criteria and tests for functional safety
Integrated Quality Measures & Analysis for the Lowest Possible Final Costs & Waste
Quality leadership is something AIS strives for on a daily basis. AIS implements the latest quality control practices and techniques to meet the demands of international regulations and standards. Stringent and comprehensive quality control measures every step of the way assures total customer satisfaction from beginning to end. From quality policies and planning, to product lifecycle management and document control, AIS quality initiatives will result in a product that meets or exceeds even the most demanding standards, specifications and customer expectations. AIS quality programs include a complete list and menu of services and capabilities.
- Quality Policy, System And Manual: AIS operates quality management systems which comply with specific requirements of ISO 9001:2008 for manufacture and distribution of industrial grade displays and panel PCs
- Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP): The AIS APQP quality system is a structured method of defining and establishing the necessary steps to ensure that a product satisfies the customer. This system provides complete tracking of all the information required for process documentation, and features direct links to FMEAs, control plans, inventory items, and customer information.
- Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA): AIS reliability, safety and quality engineers implement FMEA as a design tool used to systematically analyze postulated component failures and identify the resultant effects on system operations including functional design, and processing FMEA.
- Statistical Process Control (SPC): AIS SPC quality system enables real-time tracking of product and process quality to facilitate continuous improvement efforts.
- Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility (R&R): The gage R&R feature in AIS quality system provides the user with the necessary tools to conduct measurement system analysis to assess the accuracy of gages and operators in measuring parameters.
- Product Verification and Validation (PV&V): The AIS PV&V quality system ensures that a product, service, or system meets the needs of the customer. The PV&V system evaluates whether or not a product, service, or system complies with a regulation, requirement, specification, or an imposed condition.
- Corrective Action Request (CAR/CAPA): The CAR quality system enables AIS to document, manage, schedule, assign, and track their corrective action activities and provide instant communication to dependent departments such as customer service.
- Engineering Change Order (ECO): The AIS ECO quality system provides a centralized location to control item revisions, bill of material changes, and more. E-mail notifications are sent through a web-based approval process to the individuals responsible for each step, requiring review and/or approval, and facilitating the exchange of ideas.
- Product Lifecycle Management (PLM): The AIS PLM quality system provides a complete audit trail of a product's lifecycle from the design and quoting process through manufacture and maintenance, to the end of life of the product.
- Document Control: The AIS document control quality system manages workflow and external documents, providing complete control and visibility over the entire life cycle of documents.
- Cost of Quality: The AIS cost of quality system helps drive tighter cost control by allowing the quality management team to identify and eliminate poor quality and high production costs in areas such as rejects, unscheduled machine downtime, and returns or reworking.
Efficiently Managing the Flow of Goods & Materials for Timely Delivery of Solutions
Supply chain management is the systematic, strategic coordination of functions and tactics for the purpose of improving long-term performance of the individual companies and the supply chain as a whole. AIS supply chain activities cover everything from product development, sourcing, production, and logistics, as well as the information systems needed to coordinate these activities.
Managing the flow of raw materials in its supply chain network with expert precision, AIS is committed to meeting the on-going delivery needs and sustainability requirements of their customers. Moreover, their ability to move products and information to, from and between members of its supply chain is critical to achieving total customer satisfaction. The AIS supply chain provides framework for the businesses and their support to jointly deliver goods, services, and information efficiently, effectively and relevantly to customers. AIS provides the business processes and strategic solutions to its clients to achieve integrated, superior logistical management.
From Beginning to End, Total Product Lifecycle Management with an Improved Bottom Line
Product lifecycle management presents complex engineering challenges and considerations for companies when developing new products. AIS’s considerable PLM experience and capabilities allows them to easily comprehend the issues and see through all the pitfalls of product development. Managing the entire lifecycle of products from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products, AIS demonstrates their value-add as a true partner and resource for their customers. In reliability engineering, AIS has the knowledge, tools and equipment to help customers along the widely known product “bathtub” curve of life from a products’ infancy, through useful life and onto final wear out. This valuable reliability engineering expertise and practice greatly enhances product reliability, significant cost savings and bottom line results.
- New Product Design
- Reliability Prediction Analysis
- Functional Test Development
- Environmental Stress Testing
- Compliance and Sample Testing for Reliability
- Field Failure Analysis
- On-going Cost Reduction
- EOL Management