Logan Aluminum Rolls Out ACP Thin Client Technology


Named for the county in Kentucky where it made its home in the early 1980’s, Logan Aluminum, a joint venture between Arco Aluminum and Alcan, specializes in the production of rolled aluminum. The 1.5 billion pounds of metal that passes through this plant each year makes up about 1/3 of the rolled aluminum used by the entire US aluminum can market.

The Challenge: Update the Aging HMI System Without Affecting Production

The Logan Plant only shuts down only one day each year, and new products must be installed without risking Logan’s World- Class Production and Utilization numbers. Like many factories, Logan was using PCs throughout to monitor and control pro- duction, but the management team was becoming tired of system updates and ongoing PC maintenance. Whatever HMI they settled on, they wanted a way to dis- tribute the user interface without relying on the traditional distributed PC model.


Thin Clients Down Under

The government of Australia has clearly recognized the value of Thin Client computing.  They are in the process of looking for a Thin Client solution that can be used for 95,000 users of their Department of Defense.

The reasons they are pursuing the change is that they are convinced it will save them money.  Here is a quote from their document requesting bids from Thin Client providers:

“Defense is seeking a renewed desktop environment that delivers a reduction in hardware costs, an increase in the life of desktop hardware, improvement in existing desktop functionality and monitoring”. (more…)


Zero Client and Cloud Computing – What are they?

The term Zero Client came about because the line between Thin Clients and PCs has become increasingly difficult to determine – and companies who produce the thinnest clients needed a way to differentiate themselves.

If you can install and run all your applications on a Windows Server (think ‘mainframe’) then to view them remotely you only need a basic CPU, VGA driver, network I/O, keyboard and mouse – a Windows Terminal.

However today you can find “Thin Clients” with local storage, XP operating systems, and a host of local applications.  In my opinion this has crossed the line and has become a PC. (more…)


Terminal Server Sizing

The typical industrial user is a special case, and therefore does not fit into the Terminal Server sizing requirements usually advertised by Microsoft. This article discusses some of the factors associated with most industrial applications that may make them unique.

So What is a Thin Client?

As best I can tell, Tim Negris is the man who coined the term Thin Client when he was with Oracle. It originally described scaled down applications that ran in conjunction with a full version of an application that was loaded on a server.

When Windows OS versions that allowed multiple users came on the scene, one of the first hardware companies to start selling client hardware was Wyse with the introduction of their WinTerm in 1995. This made sense – Wyse was already a huge seller of “dumb” terminals for mainframes and providing a Windows Terminal was logical.