Cybertrol recommends Thin Clients be utilized for plant floor HMI’s. Our experience spans a variety of thin client units and applications.
Using Thin Clients as opposed to traditional full PCs has many benefits:
High Availability: Two workstations are connected to each server. In the event of a server failure, or shut down for support, two workstations are already running on the backup server. The failed stations automatically switch to a control screen where the operator can connect to the backup server and resume control of operations with a touch of the screen. The thin clients have no moving parts, and the servers are located in a back office server rack where they are protected from the dust, vibration, and temperatures extremes of the factory floor.
Remote Support: Plant operators get real-time support through a high-speed VPN connection. The administrator can view workstation sessions, send messages to operators, and access the control system remotely. Administration time is greatly reduced, and operators can get immediate answers to questions and quick corrections if needed.
Operator Station Security: The thin clients have no disk drives and the servers are physically secured in a back office so access to the computer system is well controlled. The operator sessions are restricted to running the control system software and network security is administered through the servers.
Low Cost of Ownership: The thin client hardware costs less than a full PC and is much easier to replace. Administrative time to replace a thin client is reduced to minutes rather than the hours required for a loading software and configuring a PC. The software is installed once on each server, eliminating the need to maintain software versions and licenses on workstations throughout the facility.