EFCO Electronics

3 questions to Helmut Artmeier

17. März 2023, 8:00 Uhr | Tobias Schlichtmeier
Helmut Artmeier
Helmut Artmeier, EFCO Electronics.
© EFCO Electronics

EFCO Electronics develops and produces industrial embedded computers. The manufacturer from Taiwan has a subsidiary in Deggendorf, which Helmut Artmeier leads. In 3 questions, he answers the most important topics at embedded world.

At embedded world 2023, EFCO is focusing strongly on customer-specific human-machine interfaces (HMIs). Why?

Helmut Artmeier: Quite simply: We see the need. That's why we have developed an additional keypad as a modular addition to our touch panel industrial PCs (IPCs). It accommodates up to eight display or command devices and connects them directly to the IPC. Because the additional keypad is based on standard interfaces, it is suitable for any embedded computer used in an industrial environment. This makes us an ideal fit for this trade show.

What exactly do you mean by »standard interfaces«?

We integrate display devices and non-critical command devices via USB. The programming interface (API) supplied as standard with our IPCs offers convenient system integration options here.

We deliberately do not go beyond the 16 digital I/Os of our computers, because they should remain free for control tasks, so that our IPCs can replace small PLCs. For example, in machines that require extensive image processing but otherwise have only simple sequential control. Critical operating elements such as an emergency stop must be connected in accordance with the standards or the intended Safety Integrity Level (SIL).

For many developers, who have a background in software, the mechanical integration of individual display and control devices into an HMI is a challenge. Can your toolkit help?

Absolutely. On the one hand, the additional keypad is available in blank form, but with standard-compliant punch-outs in accordance with the IEC 60947 standard as a maker version for individual pieces or prototypes. With this, even a controller based on Arduino or Raspberry Pi immediately looks like industry.

On the other hand, we supply custom-equipped keypads from as little as 20 pieces. So in principle, HMI developers only have to specify the control elements and not worry about mechanics, procurement, warehousing, work preparation, assembly or testing.

Thank you very much for the interview, Mr. Artmeier.

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