Rockwell Automation's New PanelView 5000 Will Not Disappoint
Rockwell Automation's PanelView 5000 HMI Will Not Disappoint
by Robert Janociak, PLC/HMI Product Manager
Every customer has a unique perspective on the PanelView5000 family. Some think it’s old news. Others are not familiar with it at all. Rockwell Automation continually offers new products with new features and benefits – but the tech savvy person (me included) is always wary of the latest and greatest product offering. Does it do everything it is supposed to? Are there any bugs or as I like to call them “Undocumented Software Features”? These things are inevitable with new products, but I have decided that now is the time to seriously start thinking about the PanelView 5000 and here’s why.
First, let me share some history. If you attended the 2015 Automation Fair in Chicago there was a sneak preview of the PanelView 5000 prominently on display. It was exciting to think that
Rockwell was going to offer the next generation of PanelView’s to replace the PanelView Plus Family. After the show, Rockwell Automation quietly took the product away, redesigned it, and recently relaunched it. Of course, when a manufacture first releases a product, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that you would expect. It was a work in progress. Most people steered clear of the new HMI’s and were waiting until more features were released.
So fast forward to today. Rockwell currently offers two models; the 5310 and the 5510. As with past PanelViews, there is a “Lite”version that typically has less hardware/software capabilities, but is an optimal, affordable option for many applications. Then there is a “Full” feature version for more demanding applications. However,the biggest change in the new PanelView 5000 line is the operating system. No more Windows CE!!! The new platform runs a proprietary Linux Operating System that ensures a long product life.
Today’s PanelView 5000 uses a new software called ViewDesigner and it’s included with Studio 5000 V27 and above. View Designer is very intuitive. Simply put, it takes a fraction of the time and less clicks to make a basic screen when compared to Factory Talk View ME. Scalable vectorgraphics with built-in animation make for visually appealing displays. There are also features like pre-made system error pop-ups that give you greater troubleshooting capability and a home button that pops-up all your navigation buttons to save screen real-estate.
The key benefit of having View Designer included with LogixDesigner is that you can automatically share tags between the two.This includes access to Logix Designer’s new extended tag properties which include Min/Max Values and Logix-Based Alarms.
Logix-Based Alarms are unique because you create the alarm in Logix under the extended tag properties; including how it’s triggered and how the message needs to be displayed. No longer do you have to regenerate the entire alarm tag list in your HMI software. This saves not only time in developing, but also eliminates the excess polling communication that happens in the background. Now, the controller will just push the alarm to the HMI with the exact time and date stamp as it occurred.
One question that we get asked all the time is, “Is there a conversion utility from my existing Factory Talk View ME software to View Designer?” The answer is not at this moment. There are just too many unique things that View Designer does differently that would make a conversion utility challenging to produce.
I know that not everyone is ready to make the switch to the new PanelView 5000, and if you are one of them, don’t worry. The PanelView Plus family along with Factory Talk View ME are not being discontinued and will continue to be supported and enhanced. However, if you are working on a new application, I would seriously consider the PanelView 5000. By the way, If you have Studio 5000 installed, go ahead and give View Designer a try. You will not be disappointed.