pocketHMITM Provides Small and Handy PLC
Data Access on Palm Computing Connected Organizers
NC., August 4, 1999 -- Software Toolbox®, Inc. and Narly Software announced today their new pocketHMI family of Human
Machine Interface software products for the Palm Computing®
Platform. The pocketHMI family of
software products will provide a convenient, easy to use, and low cost way to
access PLC data using the popular Palm Pilot® Organizers based on
the Palm Computing Platform from 3Com. Users of the pocketHMI software will
include plant engineers and maintenance personnel, OEM’s, and systems
integrators. With an installed base
of millions of units, the Palm Computing Platform currently holds 73% of the US
personal companion market (IDC, May 1999).
John Weber, President of Software Toolbox, said “If you talk to
engineers you’ll see that there are a lot of engineers out there already using
Palm Pilot’s for their personal organization, appointments, notes, and address
book because of their simple yet powerful user interface and attractive price
point – extending the reach of these units to be able to access data in PLCs
on the plant floor is a natural extended use of the Palm Computing Platform.
By using this off-the-shelf high volume hardware platform, the user
benefits from the easy availability and low cost of the hardware driven by Palm
Computing’s high production volumes. The
engineer takes a $195 piece of software and puts it on an off-the-shelf piece of
hardware available at any electronics store to put an HMI in their pocket
ready-to-use whenever they need it.
Clifford Jones, President of
Narly Software adds,
“Imagine a machinery OEM mounting a Palm Organizer with every machine they
ship with the pocketHMI program loaded – the OEM gets a very low cost
off-the-shelf hardware platform that is easy to maintain and can be replaced at
your local electronics store rather than having to stock expensive spares for
proprietary hardware. Imagine the
integrator or maintenance person being able to walk up to a control panel and
not have to remember to bring proprietary HMI hardware with them or lug a laptop
with programming software just to check out some memory areas in the PLC – the
possibilities are endless here.”
The pocketHMI software will provide functionality to
read and write specific memory addresses in a target PLC or monitor selected
datapoints on a polled basis while connected to the PLC. The pocketHMI software
puts a portable, flexible, battery driven HMI in the engineer’s pocket.
The user interface leverages the simple point and tap interface of the
Palm Computing Platform to minimize the amount of effort the user puts forth to
get connected to the PLC. Connection
to the PLC is made through a simple serial communications cable connected to the
built in serial port on the Palm Connected Organizers and the programming or
serial port on the PLC. The
engineer will be able to walk out to their PLC, pull their Palm Computing
Connected Organizer out of their pocket with the pocketHMI software loaded and
connect up to the PLC immediately and see what is happening in the controller.
Built-in online help provides complete instructions on how to use the
pocketHMI at a single touch.
pocketHMI software will be available for delivery in September 1999 for the
Allen-Bradley, Modicon, and Mitsubishi PLC platforms followed by GE Fanuc and
PLC Direct in the 4th Quarter 1999.
About Narly Software
Founded in 1998,
Narly Software’s mission is to take the concept of a personal digital
assistant and bring it to the next level. This
next level will be communicating with many different types of equipment on the
factory floor in a much more useful role than in the past.
Narly Software is found on the internet at www.NarlySoftware.com.
and will be focusing on the development of
automation software applications for the Palm Computing Platform. Narly
Software has partnered with Software Toolbox to leverage the marketing and sales
expertise and worldwide reach of Software Toolbox to bring the pocketHMI
products to market.
About Software Toolbox
in 1996 to address the growing need for a single source for industrial
automation users to find, evaluate, purchase, and get support for component
software including the pocketHMI from Narly Software, Software Toolbox has over
500 products available for purchase via secure online transactions at www.softwaretoolbox.com
or by phone at 1-888-665-3678 or 704-587-9545.
Adding value to this single convenient source for eCommerce transactions
for automation software is a deeper eBusiness strategy that provides knowledge
dissemination through the breadth and depth of technical knowledge and
information available to users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This includes technical articles, white papers, online training
materials, technical datasheets, product trials, documentation, application
notes, technical support notes, and more. For an electronic copy of this release
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