Parker Automaton-CTC Announces the Release of InteractX With Enhanced Tools | Automation.com

Parker Automaton-CTC Announces the Release of InteractX With Enhanced Tools

October 122004
Parker Automaton-CTC Announces the Release of InteractX With Enhanced Tools
Version 1.91 adds more improvements to award-winning Windows HMI solution

MILFORD, OHIO (October 12, 2004) — Parker Automaton-CTC announces the release of InteractX version 1.91, a new iteration of its award-winning, OEM-friendly HMI system. InteractX software runs in Windows® on any office or industrial PC. Designed specifically for machine control and OEM needs –particularly in reliability, ease of application, and reduced long-term costs of ownership – InteractX offers the most advanced graphics of any Windows product.

With this latest version, InteractX Windows-based machine control HMI includes ActiveX tool enhancements, a boost in runtime performance and more than 20 updates to the free communications drivers with every system. There is no cost for current InteractX customers to upgrade to 1.91, and users will find upgrading to 1.91 is easy with the installation wizard.

“Among the key features of this new release are the runtime performance enhancements,” said Jerry Koch, CTC Product Manager. “Real-time data acquisition has been updated to automatically optimize the amount and efficiency of data being acquired from controllers. With our unlimited tag runtimes, data is acquired for active tags, and all inactive tags are removed from the data acquisition until they are needed. In addition, runtime has been optimized to update panels faster, require less CPU time and prevent 100 percent utilization of the system’s available idle time.”

Another key feature is the InteractX is the ability to run MachineLogic for Windows Slot Card, which is CTC’s deterministic PC-based control solution that includes an OPC server capability. “This new driver allows you to communicate with the MachineLogic Slot Card when it is installed in the same or different PC that is running InteractX,” explained Koch.

Other InteractX 1.91 features include enhanced ActiveX control support, Tag Editor updates, COMM Server updates and additional support for Ethernet drivers. InteractX’s ActiveX support integrates HMI seamlessly with other, third-party applications such as DVT vision products.

Also included with InteractX 1.91 are updates to many of the 45+ standard communications drivers that come with the product. “We don't think you should charge for drivers and extra tags,” said Koch. “We think these should be part of the standard product, part of the application essentials. We wanted to provide our customers with the full functionality needed to create an HMI application – one software package scalable to a whole range of runtime systems.”

CTC’s InteractX has also lowered application costs by providing unlimited tags, which can save users up to $1000 and more on many installations. This compares with the practice of providing limited tags for a basic Windows application and assessing hidden costs for additional tags, Koch pointed out. In some cases, the incremental costs for tags and communications drivers can approach the original cost for the software, he noted.

InteractX runs on Windows/2000/NT/XP and Embedded NT operating systems and CTC’s PX PowerStations, which can now run InteractX, and other fully functioning Windows applications, on their standard CompactFlash drives, potentially making a hard drive unnecessary. “Now you can run true Windows applications without rotating storage media that reduces system reliability in the rigors of production,” said Koch.

“We’ve designed our Windows HMI software for affordable platforms that address machine builder’s functional requirements, without having to deal with system features they don't need – dragging them into the IT world.”

PX Series PowerStation workstations provide a bundled HMI solution for users who want higher Windows functionality along with a choice of 10”, 12”, 15” or 18” high-resolution touchscreen displays. Unique among Windows HMI developers, CTC offers InteractX bundled into hardware/software solutions, specifically engineered for industrial applications. “This bundling lets OEMs avoid the integration issues with hardware and software products from different companies, the typical practice until now with Windows HMI,” stated Koch.

InteractX complements CTC’s original INTERACT HMI software, installed in thousands of applications around the world, said Koch. CTC will continue offering the original INTERACT package, especially targeting the dedicated HMI marketplace. “This combination lets OEMs tailor control solutions across the entire range of machine applications from one source and avoid the complexity of multiple suppliers,” he explained.

About CTC Parker
Since 1980, CTC has been designing, manufacturing, and marketing both hardware and software to provide factory-floor, machine-operator-interface solutions for automation projects worldwide. In 1998, CTC became a unit of the Parker Hannifin Corporation (NYSE:PH), Cleveland, Ohio. With annual sales exceeding $6 billion, Parker Hannifin is the world's leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of commercial, mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. For more information on Interact or InteractX HMI, as well as other factory floor automation solutions, contact: Parker Automation-CTC, 50 W. TechneCenter Drive, Milford, OH 45150. Phone: 513-831-2340. Fax: 513-831-5042. Internet: www.ctcusa.com.
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