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Wonderware and Advantech partner to offer one-click automation

ADVANTECH and Wonderware have joined forces to deliver, what they term as, ‘one-click’ factory automation computing. This collaboration, exclusive to Australia, will see Advantech’s hard ware coupled with Wonderware’s indus trial software. The partners aim to compete with proprietary HMI vendors and offer a user-friendly and easy to upgrade HMI bundle.

“From petrochemical, oil and gas to food and beverage, the applications are limitless,” says Jose Lobato, general manager, Wonderware Australia. For a while, now, the company has been looking for a way to compete against proprietary HMI systems especially in the lower end of the market.

“This collaboration with Advantech allows us to do just that. We can now offer a full Windows XP HMI low cost to service and allow us to penetrate these sectors,” adds Lobato.

The two companies expect to garner interest from small OEMs, general elec trical multipurpose integrators and switchboard manufacturers. “In the past we could not compete,” says Lobato. Prices start from the low $2,800s for a Windows XP-based touch panel.

“Just about any application that needs to control or display a process graphically for a user operator will benefit from our bundled offer,” says Santo Gazzo, general manager of Advantech Australia. He is banking on the industry’s insatiable appetite for more data, more features and more functionality.

“There is no doubt that the cost effec tiveness of this bundled solution will empower engineers to develop new appli cations or use it to replace and enhance existing operator interface terminal appli cations,” he adds. “No operator panel is going to give you all the processing power, the functionality or the flexibility that a PC-based system can offer.”

Advantech’s industrial computer-based HMI models, ranging from 10” to 17” panels, will be bundled with Wonderware InTouch HMI software. Unlike some proprietary HMI panels, which are limited to their own or a select few I/O devices, InTouch is PLC neutral. “Our bundle delivers a simple, easy to use out- of-the-box, PC-based HMI with the widest range of I/O device support. This means more flexibility for users to develop and maintain their systems,” notes Gazzo.

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