Kontron is promoting its multi-touch panel PC range. The recently launched Kontron Micro Client 3 series is suitable for monitoring and controlling individual production lines, while the Kontron OmniClient series is for supervising and managing complete manufacturing facilities. A major feature of these panel PC ranges is the multi-touch display that makes them easy to use. Another attractive feature is their widescreen format that provides a smooth, edgeless display.
Already the multi-touch panel PCs are being used as shop-floor systems in processing industries such as the chemicals and pharmaceutical sectors, food and beverages, and the power sector, plus sophisticated machines and plants or factories and facility management. They are proving to eb popular whenever machine and plant operators feel the need to have convenient panel PCs to improve the monitoring and management of their production processes.
The two lines of panel PCs enable users to rotate and zoom complex visualisations with two fingers, and swipe to scroll through lists of data. These actions can be carried out with great precision due to the highly touch-sensitive design. Their widescreen format also increases the size of the display by one-third, providing more space for gesture control and visualisation. Utilising the panel PCs in a portrait format allows for a complete virtual keyboard to be shown in the lower part of the screen, thereby eliminating the need to provide an actual keyboard - which saves space and cost.
Both of the panel PCs also serve dedicated roles, depending on the customer requirements. The feature-sets are related to their performance, size of the displays, and interfaces provided. The Kontron Micro Client 3 panel PC family, based on the Intel Atom processor D2550 with two 1.86GHz cores and up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, covers the mid-range performance class and is fitted with all the standard interfaces, including support for wireless LAN communication. It is available with display sizes of 10.4inch, 12.1inch, 15inch, 15.6inch and 17inch. The Kontron OmniClient can be scaled from 15.6inch to 21.5inch and provides a broader range of interfaces, as well as considerably more multicore performance based on the second-generation Intel Core i5/i7 processors, which have up to four 2.7GHz cores and as much as 16GB of DDR3 memory.
Multi-touch panel PCs in detail
Both lines of Panel PCs have a projected capacitive touch widescreen made of glass and a range of interfaces matched to industrial needs. The Kontron Micro Client 3 features two Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0, one RS232 port, a graphical output (DVI, DP) for a secondary display and several further options including CAN, WiFi and RFID. The Kontron OmniClient comes standard with a larger feature set that includes three Gigabit Ethernet, two Display Port, DVI-I and six USB 2.0 ports. Optionally, the OmniClient can be extended to include 18 GPIOs, as well as two serial ports that can be configured as RS232/485/422 or CAN Bus. Further options include WiFi, WiFi with Bluetooth and RFID. For application-specific expansions the Kontron Micro Client 3 offers a single mini PCIe socket while the Kontron OmniClient features two mini PCIe slots and one PCIe x16 slot. Data storage media may be connected using a SATA connector suitable for 2.5inch media. The Kontron OmniClient also integrates up to two 3.5 SATA hard drives. Both the Kontron Micro Client 3 and OmniClient lines additionally support rugged and small-sized flash memory devices by way of a mSATA connector.
Besides being fitted with a projected capacitive touch widescreen made of glass, the Kontron Micro Client 3 is also being produced in a 4:3 format with resistive touch technology for display sizes 10.4inch to 17inch. To ensure high reliability and freedom from maintenance, Kontron employs only high-quality components, such as gold capacitors used as BIOS-level voltage buffers and LED backlighting with a service life of at least 50,000 hours. Each front panel is protected to IP65.
Windows XP, Windows 7 and embedded Linux operating systems are all supported. Window 8 is available on the Kontron OmniClient.