Consider this…… If a vendor is confident their product is the best, would they go through effort to lock you into their hardware/software? This is what happens all the time. Take a look at any hardware based HMI you have used and ask this question….. If this fails, do I have the option to replace it with another vendor’s product without going through a major re-write? If the answer is “no”, then there is a good chance the vendor is putting your money as top priority through forced repeat business.
AdvancedHMI has always put your best interests as a priority. If you use one of our HMI panels, and it happens to fail, you are not obligated to replace it with our hardware. If you use AdvancedHMI software, it will run on hundreds of different panels made by countless vendors giving you open choices and the fastest path to acquiring a replacement.
Manufacturing Automation is also a system integration company with a lot of time spent on the factory floor. We understand very well the importance of machine up time, therefore we offer a product line with the best interest of control engineers in mind. We believe strongly in our product line and feel that you will come back as a repeat customer by your own choice, therefore we do not feel the need to trap you into a proprietary system.
This is a question asked quite frequently, so I wanted to explain how AdvancedHMI can be free. The parent company behind the AdvancedHMI software is a company named Manufacturing Automation which is based out of South Carolina. Manufacturing Automation is a system integration company that does various things such as software development, control system design, electrical panel design, PLC programming, etc. In order to better serve customers and provide them exactly with systems they request, the AdvancedHMI software began it’s development in 2006. The software was originally intended for internal use only. After a few years, a decision was made to publish the software and let others use it for free. The driving factors behind this decision was believing that a larger user base meant the software would be more extensively testes and it would be a great way to show our capabilities in software development. Along the way this model hit a few bumps and was refined, but has proven to reach the intended goals.
Although one of the primary purposes was to be used as a marketing tool, it has missed target slightly and became more of a stand-alone product with less association to the parent company of Manufacturing Automation. Instead of forcing the association, it was decided to let it continue the path of becoming viewed as a separate product. In the future you will begin to see more things to expand the AdvancedHMI product line such as various hardware that has been tested and proven for use with AdvancedHMI.
But for right now, the primary income generating business of Manufacturing Automation is its system integration projects. Therefore it continues to be possible to publish AdvancedHMI for free. The future roadmap continues down this path as we want to offer freedom and flexibility that no other HMI/SCADA vendor has ever offered before.
I am frequently asked questions about the capabilities of AdvancedHMI. If asking whether it can do a certain task, the answer will always be yes. Since AdvancedHMI is merely a toolset for creating applications with Visual Studio, any software that can be created with C#, VB, or any language supported by VS can be done with AdvancedHMI.
A more appropriate question to ask would “How much effort does it take to do this with AdvancedHMI?”. If a tool is already created for the task, it will most likely be very easy to do. If the tool does not exist, then the amount of effort will vary on how complex the task.
So if someone asks whether AdvancedHMI can do a certain task, the appropriate response would be…. Maybe you are meaning to ask how easy is it to do this task with AdvancedHMI.