Home » Industrial Automation and Rackmount LCD Panels: A Perfect Fit

Industrial Automation and Rackmount LCD Panels: A Perfect Fit

by M Asim

Industrial automation relies on rugged monitoring and control solutions that provide 24/7 visibility into plant floor operations. Rackmount LCD panels offer industrial automation engineers durable displays perfect for visualizing data and overseeing equipment in compact spaces.

Rackmount LCDs consolidate monitoring, control and system access into dedicated automation stations for a streamlined operator experience. Let’s examine key aspects that make rackmount panels a prime choice for deploying human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and supervisory stations in automated factories.

Rugged Construction Withstands Harsh Conditions

The oily, dusty and high vibration environments of industrial facilities demand equipment built to take abuse. Flimsy consumer-grade monitors fail rapidly under punishing conditions. Rackmount LCD panels utilize heavy-duty materials and components selected for unrelenting operation.

Steel and die-cast aluminum construction protects vulnerable display electronics. Vibration damping mounts absorb shocks from adjacent motors and hydraulics. Copper-beryllium EMC spring contacts ensure reliable power delivery. Rackmount LCD panels shrug off factors that destroy commercial displays.

24/7 Continuous Operation 

Factory automation systems run perpetually to keep production flowing. Downtime equates to profit loss. Rackmount panels utilize industrial-grade LCDs designed to run uninterrupted for years. Redundant power supplies and fans prevent single points of failure.

Ruggedized electronics resist burning out like consumer monitors. Stable components selected for long mean time between failures (MTBF) ensure reliable monitoring even in hot high-demand environments. Rackmount LCDs match the always-on needs of manufacturing.

High Brightness for Sunlit Spaces

Production floors are rarely dim clean rooms. Overhead lights and sunlight streaming through windows can overpower standard displays. Rackmount LCDs pack extra bright panels rated for 1000 to 1600 nits or more. Optical bonding eliminates internal reflections. 

High brightness allows rackmount LCD panels to be readily visible even in full daylight. Operators can check data at a glance without glare hindering readability. Bright wide-viewing panels are essential for harsh real-world plants.

Range of Sizes For Flexible Installs

Rackmount LCD panels come in displays ranging from compact 7-inch operator terminals to expansive 24-inch screens presenting entire dashboards. Convertible designs allow the same unit to be rack, panel, wall or arm mounted.

Smaller units like Advantech’s 7-inch UNO-136 series are ideal for local control boxes. Larger 21.5-inch widescreens like their AMi-FB613 provide expansive visualizations in space-constrained racks. Flexible sizing tailors LCD panels to specific deployments.

Touchscreen and Multi-Touch Options

Select rackmount LCD models offer integrated resistive or capacitive touch overlays for direct operator interaction. Touchscreens streamline navigating HMIs and entering data compared to keyboards and mice. Multi-touch facilitates pinch, pan and swipe gestures for added convenience.

Touch-enabled displays like Advantech’s 21.5-inch AMi-PC216 panel provide intuitive real-time control right from the visualization screen using familiar gestures. Touchscreens enhance rackmount LCD usability.

Broad Video Connectivity 

Rackmount LCD panels offer universal video connectivity to industrial computers and visualization hardware. VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort and USB-C video inputs on panels accommodate any video source. Some models like Advantech’s AMi-FB613 have quad view support.

User programmable function keys speed toggling between video feeds. Automatic video source switching simplifies broadcasting different workstations. Comprehensive input connectivity enables broad rackmount panel compatibility.

Advanced Thermal Design Mitigates Heat

The cramped confines of automation racks necessitate smart thermal engineering to protect LCD panels from overheating. Strategically placed vents, conduction plates andinternal air channels maintain proper airflow. External ventilation addons direct heat buildup out of the enclosure.

Fanless designs like Advantech’s AMi-PC216 rely on fins and conduits to passively channel heat away from crucial components. Whether active or passive cooling, thermal considerations ensure the rackmount LCD’s reliable thermal performance.

IP Ratings For Dust, Oil and Moisture

Rackmount panels carry IP ratings denoting the level of sealed protection against intruding contaminants. Common ratings like IP65 indicate dust-tight and water jet resistant constructions suitable for grimy industrial settings.

Front bezel seals and closed cell gaskets block debris from entering the chassis. Internally conformal coatings encapsulate the PCBs. Hermetically sealed designs operate reliably despite exposure to contaminants that corrode electronics over time.

Modular Designs For Tailored Configurations

Automation engineers often need specialized panel configurations matching required inputs, peripherals and software. Modular rackmount LCDs allow integrating optional touchscreens, webcam modules, RFID readers, storage and other addons.

Advantech’s AMi-FB613 comes in application-ready bundles with off-the-shelf or customized features factory installed. The ability to tailor rackmount LCD hardware to operational needs avoids field retrofits.

Simplified Deployment and Maintenance 

Rackmount panels neatly install into automation enclosures using included rack rails and braces for quick setup. External latches make servicing internal electronics straightforward. Captive faceplate screws stay attached when removed to prevent losses.

Consolidated internal layouts eliminate cable clutters. Advantech’s high-density designs allow true side-by-side mounting. Smart construction speeds deployments, upgrades and repairs to maximize uptime.

Universal Mounting and Articulation Flexibility

Robust rack ears, feet and optional DIN rails let rackmount LCD panels be mounted just about anywhere needed. VESA patterns accommodate arms. Tilt/swivel mounts provide adjustable viewing angles. Slide rails simplify sliding units in and out of racks.  

Heavy-duty articulating arms like Advantech’s ARM-211 position LCDs at ideal heights and depths. Panel stability remains rock solid even when moved to remote locations. Mounting versatility ensures LCDs can be placed for maximum ergonomic access.

Available Panel Security Options

Protection for sensitive automation data shown on panels is critical. Rackmount LCDs offer password authentication, physical locks and IP/MAC filtering to control access. One-way data diodes prevent malware infiltration. Custom security configurations match user needs.

For government and defense security, Advantech’s AMi-FB613 is available with removable solid state drives using data-at-rest encryption. Security options keep visualization data protected from prying eyes or cyberattacks.

Broad Selection of Supported Software

Rackmount LCD panels come preloaded with Windows or Linux-based OS and visualization software for rapid application deployment. Panels readily integrate SCADA systems, databases, Azure IoT, VMware and hundreds more applications using included APIs.

Advantech’s AMi-PC216 comes pre-installed with VisiView software for quick creation of HMI screens connected to industrial assets. The diverse software support simplifies complex multi-system automation programming.


Rackmount LCD displays provide automation engineers ultimate flexibility for deploying rugged HMIs and control interfaces within space-constrained automation racks.

Their compact yet powerful designs withstand constant unfinished environments while delivering durable touchscreen control and expansive dashboards.

For fast-paced smart factory settings, rackmount panels are proving the ideal platforms for efficient visualization and management. Their unlimited versatility will continue driving automation productivity gains long into the future.

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