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Intrinsically safe industrial PCs for operator control and monitoring in hazardous areas

The Industry Automation Division of Siemens is extending its rugged industrial PCs with two intrinsically safe HMI (Human Machine Interface) devices for Ex zone 1/21 and 2/22 hazardous areas. The resilient and completely maintenance-free Simatic HMI Panel PC Ex can be flexibly configured and is suitable for use directly on the machine or outdoors at ambient temperatures from minus 20 to plus 50 degrees Celsius.

The panel PC is particularly suitable for operator control and monitoring, measuring and testing as well as data collection and communication. Simatic HMI Thin Client Ex was designed for operation and monitoring as a flexible remote HMI station, for example as a thin client in a remote terminal environment.

Both units are suitable for use in the presence of ignitable gases, vapors and air/dust mixtures, for example in the manufacture of gasoline, pharmaceuticals and cement or the processing of flour and cereals. Simatic HMI IPC3077 Ex is the first panel PC from Siemens for hazardous areas.

Simatic HMI Panel PC Ex and Simatic HMI Thin Client Ex can be used directly in hazardous zones 1/21 and 2/22 without the need for special measures such as complex and expensive enclosures or additional certification processes. The units are capable of withstanding considerable vibrations and shocks and have been certified for use in shipbuilding.

The rugged Simatic HMI Panel PC Ex is equipped with a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor and offers high computing capacity with a low power consumption of only 2.5 W thermal power dissipation. The unit manages without fans, rotating mass storage media or a battery, and is thus completely maintenance-free. The high IP66 degree of protection on the front and IP65 on the rear enable direct use outdoors at ambient temperatures from minus 20 to plus 50 Grad Celsius. A heated housing option is available for use down to minus 30 degrees.

Thanks to diverse configuration variations, the panel PC can be adapted flexibly to each individual task and can be integrated in an existing infrastructure. Displays are offered in 15 and 19 inch versions with touch functionality and eight function keys. The 15-inch unit is also available with a particularly luminous display for use in daylight applications. CompactFlash cards with 4 or 16 GB, 60 or 120 GB hard disks and a USB flash drive with 8 GB are available as mass storage devices. Ethernet networking can be realized electrically via a copper cable with 10/100 Mbit/s (Ex e) or optically via a fiber-optic cable with 100 Mbit/s (Ex op is). The Windows XP Professional or Windows XPe operating system is pre-installed and activated for simple engineering and fast commissioning. The modular structure and service-friendly design enable low-cost repair, for example when replacing individual components.

The Simatic HMI Thin Client Ex for operator control and monitoring facilitates flexible connection as a thin client or monitor, via Ethernet at an unlimited distance from the associated processor unit. In the thin client architecture, the RDP or RealVNC remote protocol is used for communication with the server. Additional software on the computer that takes up memory space or can cause changes in the server's operating system is not necessary.

The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen, Germany) is the worldwide leading supplier of environmentally friendly production, transportation, building and lighting technologies. With integrated automation technologies and comprehensive industry-specific solutions, Siemens increases the productivity, efficiency and flexibility of its customers in the fields of industry and infrastructure. The Sector consists of six divisions: Building Technologies, Drive Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility and Osram. With around 207,000 employees worldwide (September 30), Siemens Industry achieved in fiscal year 2009 total sales of approximately €35 billion.

The Siemens Industry Automation Division (Nuremberg, Germany) is a worldwide leader in the fields of automation systems, industrial controls and industrial software. Its portfolio ranges from standard products for the manufacturing and process industries to solutions for whole industrial sectors that encompass the automation of entire automobile production facilities and chemical plants. As a leading software supplier, Industry Automation optimizes the entire value added chain of manufacturers – from product design and development to production, sales and a wide range of maintenance services. With around 39,000 employees worldwide (September 30), Siemens Industry Automation achieved sales of €7.0 billion in fiscal year 2009.

Reference Number: IIA2010032225e

Gerhard Stauss | Siemens Industry
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