Allen Bradley PLC5 and Other HMI's?


Thread Starter


I am looking for a non AB HMI or SCADA system to hook-up to a Bradley PLC5.(5/40L) Either communicating on the DH+ network or serial DF1 protocol.

Looking for better screen resolution than the standard PanelView 500/600/900 etc. Would prefer VGA type grapics with ability to import some pictures if possible.

I don't have an 'unlimited' budget so I guess the scada option would be a bit difficult (Ind PC + Software = >£!) but you never know, someone may disagree.
(Budget around £3,000.00)

As for other specifications....

Tags.......... min 150, a few more would be nice.

Screen size... min 10 inch (12 or 14 better)

Operator input...... Function Keys + Numeric, alpha would be a bonus. (Touch screen NOT an option due to metal swarf on gloves)

I believe the 'driver' software is the biggest problem in finding what I want?
Has to be compatible with the PLC5 addressing structure.
There seems to be quite a few units available for the SLC500 range of PLCs which has a similar structure and coms protocol, but apparently not suitable?

Can anyone help please.

Gordon Kennedy

We've had great success with marrying Cutler-Hammer PanelMates to A-B PLC-5's. The HMI supports serial connections as well as DH+/RIO with a comms adapter (extra $$$). I'd go serial as it will chew up quite a bit of bandwidth on DH+
and all you need is an RS-232 cable (9 pin on the HMI side, 25 pin on the PLC side). Look on C-H's website - you should find a unit you can use.
I have connected both CiTect and USData Factory Link to PLC5s. Since price seems to be a consideration, CiTect isn't too bad but Factory Link is $$$$ + nickel and dime you broke afterwards. Regardless, you will still need RSLinx from Rockwell anyways, so you might want to look at using RSView, its actually very price competitive.
I have used both Fanucs Quick panel and Koyos EZpanel. The Quick panel will allow you to inport pictures and allow you to be creative with you screens. The koyo is much simpler but has an obvious cost advantage, you can create pages of
entries and buttons. If it were my choice I would go with the largest quick panel I could afford and have fun. Both talk DH+.
Good luck
Hello Richard!
Nowadays, there are a lot of HMIs in the market which are compatible with AB PLCs. One good example is the Wonderware InTouch. This software is fully compatible with AB. The addressing structure is definitely not a problem. IOServer (driver) is also included in the package but you need to buy the module card (KT or PKTx card inserted in the slot of your PC). But if you want
to use your serial COM, you won't be needing it. It can communicate thru DH+, DH485, serial, etc. Most graphics has a 3-D effect and you can also import any bitmaps that you desire so this won't be a problem. The price is not bad (500 tag for around US$3,000, 1k tag for around US$5,000,etc.) Hope you will find this as an option. Regards

Bob Peterson

A few thoughts come to mind.

1. An AB Panelview 1000E or maybe even a 1400E would fit the bill and is close to your budget, depending on the exchange rate. The E series offers VGA resolution, and an RSView like tag database and screen editor and comes with DH+.

2. An RSView/Wonderware/etc system with say 500 tags would probably fit your budget. You can get a low end industrialized PC with membrane keypad for $2000 or so and the software license for around $2500. Pretty close to your budget.

I must admit I am curious why you specified "non-AB".

The best option is you can have Citect MMI package.

It communicate to PLC 5/40 on DH+ network.
But you will require to have RSLinx OEM s/w becoz the driver for Citect to PLC is not provided in RSLinx Lite.& you will require AB's PKTX card.
this comm'n set-up will add Citect cost & some 1600 us$ for PKTX card & RSLInx OEM s/w.

If your PLC is not finalized you can take 5/40 ethernet processor. Then you can comm'n to PLC on TCP/IP protocol which come free with Windows.
This will eliminate need of PKTX card & RSLinx OEM s/w. So you can save near about 1000 us$.

More ever Citect is cheap as compare to other HMI packages. Citect comes with min. of 500 tag limit h/w key. It also has good resoultion.You can import as many pictures as u can.

I think this satisfies your requirments
ok bye

Yogesh Awate.
Aquatech Inc.
<<[email protected]>>


Ronald J. Vissing

Cutler-Hammer's PowerPro 3585K seems to be the best for what you're looking for. 10.4" Active matrix screen, 640 x 480 res., 300 NIT Brightness.

An earlier post suggested serial connection, but the DH+ interface seems make it more "Blue hose ready" if you have an existing network.

Little known tip; They have a trade-in program that allows you to get a discount on the HMI as well as the interface card.

Ron Vissing
R.J. Vissing Associates
[email protected]

Buddy O'Neal

Bill West Inc. (BWI) offers a bundled hardware/software solution to address this very issue.

The hardware is a panel mount industrial PC (Nema 4, etc.) with a 15" touch screen, a Pentium class processor (usually 700MHz+), with all the standard ports offered by a PC (RS-232, RS-485, Par, Ethernet, USB).

The software is Elipse Software's Elipse SCADA HMI/SCADA software.

I think this sells for about US$4,000.00(£2.817.00?)

Contact info is:
Bill West Inc.
http://www.bwi.comTel: 203-261-6027

Elipse Software
http://www.elipse-software.comTel: 252-995-6885

Hope this helps...

[email protected]

Leon A. Purta

Sounds like you have an either/or problem. You have the money to buy either the computer or the software, but not both. ;-D

Have you considered doing your own HMI using Visual Basic? There are several 3rd party drivers out there that will work with DH+. If you look back through the archives of this discussion list you will find lots of suggestions for places to check. These are not real cheap($700 - $1000 US), but a heck of a lot less expensive than buying a whole package like RSView. The down side is you have to spend a lot more time and effort in developing your screens. But you can even get help there because some of these same companies have animated graphics packages geared toward the automation and manufacturing industries. You also have to know something about VB programming.

I don't know anything about it, but there is a guy at Ebay that is advertising a DF1 driver for the serial port for $15 US. It supposedly works
with ethernet too. He can sell it cheap because it doesn't do DH+ which Rockwell gets hefty royalty fees for. If speedy screen updates aren't an issue this might meet your needs. Go to Ebay and do a search on "Allen-Bradley" and you should see it pop up in the listings.
First of all I would like to thank everyone for the support and information given me following my posting. I am now actively researching my options from the suggestions given. Once again, thanks!
I've had some success using AB's RSLinx with my own Visual Basic HMI's. The DDE tends to get a little slow, but with only 150 tags it shouldn't be too hard. You can set the PLC up as a topic and then just use link.topic to communicate.
It's much cheaper than wonderware :)
There are several companies that sell pre-packaged VB HMI tools for use with AB as well.
Hope this helps.
Jack Benner
Nucor Steel

Michael R. Batchelor

Just use the OPC facility of RSLinx instead of the DDE and all your speed problems "should" go away. Obviously I can't guarantee anything since I can't see your application, but we monitor a couple of thousand points on some applications using RSLinx and VB without any issues using a 250 ms refresh. The system is not "guaranteed" to scan every 250 ms (Hey, this IS WinNT 4.0 we're taking about here), but it never misses anything critical for more than a second.

I'm not sure how well that would fly in a steel rolling mill with high speed stuff, but for assembly line conveyors it works fine and saves the customer a ton of money.

Michael R. Batchelor - Industrial Informatics & Instrumentation, Inc.
Linux is like a wigwam...
No windows, no gates.
Apache inside.
J's odd that I've been dealing with VB HMI's for AB PLC's for awhile now, and never bothered to find out about the OPC stuff. Thanks for the heads up, after a little research I'm pretty convinced. Thanks again.
Jack Benner