Widescreen operator panels enter the industrial arena

01 April 2007

In Hollywood they produce movies in widescreen (16:9) format, so why not follow the expansive trend and bring it to the factory floor?

'Have you ever wished for more horizontal space in your operator interface?’ is the rhetorical question posed by Troy Lin of Beijer Electronics. He knows what the answer will be, of course, because just about everyone,
given the choice between more or less, wants to have more information on their screen. It may mean that they don’t have to switch over to another screen to view some important data; they could keep it all on one screen for easier viewing.

His company recently launched a new widescreen operator panel, based on a new seven inch TFT display concept that is itself fairly new; it is an LCD concept which was only introduced to the general market about six months ago, when Samsung and Toshiba began mass production of their seven inch TFT LCDs with 800 x 480 resolution. The two manufacturers made it easier for control panel makers to integrate it into their product lines because the LCD screen uses a single-chip driver.

Industrial panels
‘Now Beijer Electronics offers a widescreen operator panel as an option for the traditional 6.5 inch screen size,’ he says. ‘The 7 inch (16:9) TFT display provides 800 x 480 pixels, creating possibilities for everyone who's been wishing for that extra process value or indicator on the operator panel.’ Until recently, a seven inch LCD typically had a relatively low resolution of 480 x 234 pixels. Higher resolution terminals, such as 800 x 480 were available only in eight and nine inch LCDs, but not on seven inch models.

‘But the high-resolution seven inch screens are here now,’ says Mr. Lin, and we’ve taken advantage of them to offer an operator interface panel which in effect gives 25% extra space.’

Beijer Electronics is offering the new product, the H-T70, in the same cutout size as the previously released H-T80. The difference is that the widescreen H-T70 is a colour TFT that supports 64k colours, while the standard H-T80 has colour STN (supertwist nematic) with 256 colours. Also, the resolution is 800 x 480 vs. 640 x 480. The H-T70 comes equipped with 8 MB of flash memory, which means customers can have more pictures and larger projects designed.

But the two are both the same size, and will fit in the same panel cut-out space.

For more information, visit www.beijerelectronics.com

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