ADLINK PanKonix all-in-one HMI panel PC fully satisfies motion control, data acquisition and visualization needs

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Advances in AIoT technologies have given rise to burgeoning smart applications in a variety of use scenarios including factories, power plants, traffic control, data centers and electric vehicles (EV). When business owners attempt to incorporate smart applications, they often face challenges and have to purchase all kinds of software and hardware systems in order to meet their needs for control, gateway and visualization capabilities. These systems add to upfront costs, occupy spaces, impose integration challenges and burden maintenance staff.

As a leading edge computing solution provider, ADLINK brings cross-sector integration creativity into full play and launches the market's first all-in-one (control/gateway/display) HMI device, named the PanKonix HMI panel PC series. Available in 10-inch, 15-inch and 21-inch models, the PanKonix panel PCs are all based on Intel Core i processors to deliver the computing power that distinguishes them from conventional HMI devices.

According to Simon You, Director of Smart Machine Division, ADLINK, the HMI market can be divided into small-, medium- and large-size segments. The small-size segment primarily includes 4.5-inch, 7-inch and 10-inch devices. The medium-size segment primarily includes 12-inch, 15-inch and 18-inch devices. The two are often used in machine automation (MA) application scenarios for PLC and IO module controls. Their uses may further include data access and acquisition, edge analysis, cloud data transfer and IIoT. Large-size HMI devices primarily come in 21-inch, 23-inch and 27-inch dimensions and are generally used in the control room or on the factory floor as visual display units. They are more for factory automation (FA) applications. Available in various sizes, PanKonix meets a complete range of MA and FA needs.

The HMI panel PC eliminates the need for IoT gateways and costly motion control PLC modules

Conventional HMI devices are for the most part used to control PLC modules. PanKonix has more than 300 built-in PLC drivers to not only meet basic PLC control needs but also feature better compatibility than conventional HMI devices. The use of just one PanKonix touch panel PC can accommodate all types of PLC modules. On top of that, PanKonix integrates ADLINK's exclusive SuperCAT (software-defined EtherCAT) motion controller, which controls traditional PLC modules as well as EtherCAT motors and IO modules.

You notes that PLC modules and HMI devices have been standard equipment on factory production lines. However, with growing AIoT needs, gateways are being added onto production machines for data acquisition and visual display. As gateways are also PC-based, why not add gateways to the panel PC? This gave rise to PanKonix's first and foremost feature – eliminating gateways. By supporting Modbus RTU and Modbus TCP/IP on the OT side as well as OPC UA, MQTT and RESTful API on the IT side, PanKonix satisfies every need, whether it's for IoT data collection, visualization or cloud upload, making it an extremely cost-effective integrated solution.

"Another highlight of PanKonix is that it eliminates motion control PLC modules as well," says You. Featuring software-defined PLC and motion control with very user-friendly designs, PanKonix enables IT engineers unfamiliar with OT to easily use IT languages to do PLC programming while allowing OT engineers unfamiliar with IT to make use of No Code/Low Code environments to complete IoT programs for data transfer. This means companies can leverage their existing IT/OT teams to realize their digital transformation and build up their competitive edge.

Harnessing the power of SuperCAT to break the IT/OT barrier

PanKonix boasts many features from the hardware design perspective. Based on AUO IP65 panels, PanKonix is built with slim-bezel capacitive touch screens featuring world-class color saturation to present a chic feel. Compared to traditional HMI devices with resistive touch screens, PanKonix enables superior touch control user experience.

Furthermore, PanKonix comes with built-in GUI-based control software that is simple and easy to use and highlights the "no code" feature. Developers can intuitively drag and drop icons or fill out forms and charts to effortlessly link HMI programs to IP addresses of PLC modules, inverters, motors or other devices and enable monitoring capabilities in a snap. The GUI-based control software provides a vector graphics library, allowing users to resize the graphics without distortion. Even if users switch to screens of different sizes, there is no need to redesign the UI. Companies that originally operate in PC-based development environments can leverage PanKonix's GUI-based control software to overcome the HMI development barrier and easily design a premium-quality HMI, helping them meet their customer needs more swiftly.

In view of ADLINK's 25-year experience in motion control R&D, the market has high hopes for PanKonix's built-in SuperCAT software. According to You, SuperCAT replaces the physical card, thus enabling controller miniaturization while supporting the control of a greater number of axes and IO points. Moreover, users can control most devices on the market with standard EtherCAT buses instead of PLC. This frees users from the reliance on a single brand that controls the price and delivery schedule. With SuperCAT's API support, IT engineers can effortlessly create OT control programs without spending time learning PLC programming.

SuperCAT supports 125μs EtherCAT control cycle, doubling from the previous-generation traditional motion control cards. The number of synchronized axes has also increased from 64 to 128. These are the top-rated spec in the industry today. Also featuring IEC 61131-9 support, SuperCAT enables factories to collect the operation time of sensors or main equipment components, allowing factories to accelerate preventive maintenance implementations.

With these features, PanKonix has grabbed the attention from users that were relying on MA applications (such as electronics manufacturers) after its launch. This also broadens PanKonix's applications in scenarios where ADLINK rarely set foot in. For example, data centers use PanKonix to monitor operation environment parameters. Machinery factories use PanKonix to add state monitoring capabilities to their products. Large power plants and traffic control centers use PanKonix for remote equipment monitoring. Electric Vehicle charging stations use PanKonix to keep an eye on the battery status on all their charging equipment. With its applications extending far beyond where existing HMI devices are used, PanKonix is bringing unlimited HMI possibilities.

Simon You, Director of Smart Machine Division, ADLINK

According to Simon You, the PanKonix panel PCs are all based on Intel Core i processors to deliver the computing power that distinguishes them from conventional HMI devices.

PanKonix integrates ADLINK's exclusive SuperCAT

PanKonix integrates ADLINK's exclusive SuperCAT (software-defined EtherCAT) motion controller, which controls traditional PLC modules as well as EtherCAT motors and IO modules.