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.