But its second line, the PanelView Standard, was one of the most popular and expansive of them all.
It was also the first line to originate from Rockwell’s Milwaukee, WI manufacturing facilities.
The original PanelView, later renamed the PanelView 1200, was made for Rockwell by Dynapro in Canada.
Dynapro was the same company which made ControlView and RSView software products for Rockwell.
Rockwell would go on to acquire the Dynapro division responsible for the above mentioned products shortly after acquiring Icom (maker of the popular AI and WinTeligent Series) in the mid-nineties.
The first product to launch in the PanelView Standard line was the PanelView 550 back in 1993.
It was designed to fill a gap in Rockwell’s HMI product line, as at the time Rockwell didn’t have a small graphical HMI for use with it’s SLC-500s.
OEM’s using the SLC-500 balked at the price and size of the original PanelView and its 12″ CRT.
Back to the PanelView 550, it released with a 5.5″ backlit monochrome LCD display with a pixel resolution of 256 x 128.
Interestingly, the back-light used was a high intensity replaceable lamp located behind a removable cover on the back of the unit.
Its light was focused on a fiber optic bundle which brought the light around to just behind the LCD to illuminate it.
While the design was innovative, the lamp ran hot.
And when the lamp was incorrectly installed too close to the fiber bundle, or the HMI was installed in too hot an area, the fiber bundle could melt in such a way to make the display unreadable as the LCD was not visible without the light from the lamp.
As far as operator input options, the PanelView 550 originally came in Keypad only, or combination Keypad and Touch models, with the touch models sporting a very visible restive touch screen overlay.
The PanelView 900
Initially it was available in a 9.8″ Gas Plasma display with either Keypad or Touch input, and had a pixel resolution of 640×400.
This unit was very popular for its brightness, however in later years its life was cut short due to the display manufacturer abruptly ceasing production.
One cool tidbit about the original PanelView 900 is that for many years it was used as a prop in the waiting area of the very popular Terminator 2 3D Theme Park Attraction at Universal Studios in Orlando FL (some of the other automation in the theater also used Allen-Bradley controls.)
Demand for color displays emerged in the mid nineties, and by 1996 Rockwell had released a color version of the PanelView 900 with an 8.4″ VGA (640×480 pixel resolution) active matrix TFT LCD display.
Eventually though, customer demand resulted in several addition communication networks being supported.
The first addition was (sadly) Remote I/O in 1996. It was followed by Data Highway Plus, ControlNet, DeviceNet, and DH485 over RS232 by 1998, with DF1 and Ethernet coming later.
The PanelView 600, 1000, 1400
By 1998 the PanelView Standard line had grown to include the PanelView 600, 1000, and 1400.
It featured a roughly 5″ color active matrix TFT LCD display with 320×234 pixel resolution.
The PanelView 1000, which eventually replaced the 900, came in both grayscale (aka orange scale) and color, with Keypad or Touch input.
The PanelView 1400 terminal, which on the outside looked very much like the PanelView 1400E terminal, had a 14″ color CRT with Super VGA (800×600) resolution, and also came in Keypad or Touch.
As a side note, I’ll never forget the Rockwell distributor meeting in which the PanelView 14oo 14″ CRT unit was announced.
That said, the confusion about these two models persists to this day.
The PanelView 300, 300 Micro, and updates to the 550 and 600
Touch only versions of the PanelView 550 and 600 were also released, along with combination Keypad and Touch models of the 600 and 1000.
And after many years of users suffering from overheating of the original PanelView 550’s lamp and fiber optic bundle design, Rockwell completely revamped the 550’s display by replacing the original design with a monochrome (blueish white) backlit LCD.
If you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to continue the conversation, you’re invited to head over to my forum on the subject here.
And if you’d like to know more about the PanelView Standard, including a tour of the hardware styles as well as how to use the software, check out my inexpensive PanelView Standard Quick Start course over at TheAutomationSchool.com.
Until next time, Peace ✌️
Shawn M Tierney
Technology Enthusiast & Content Creator