For over a decade, Automation Control Products (ACP) has been changing how the industrial automation sector does business in the competitive, fast paced, global marketplace with the ThinManager Platform. Today, ACP is a worldwide leader in the automation industry that provides full-feature centralized thin client and terminal server management software. Our unique platform offers trendsetting centralized management solutions for the modern factory by simplifying management of applications and visual resources. When combined with ACP’s ThinManager, each client has performance and features unmatched by products from any other company.
With our rapid growth and expansion into the international markets, Process and Control Engineering Magazine (PACE) recently sat down with Keith Jones, International Sales Manager for ACP to discuss the basics of thin client technology and how ThinManager manages thin clients, as well as servers.
Can you outline the key business benefits of Thin Clients?
The business benefits of a Thin Client architecture come from lower capital costs for hardware, improved availability and security, and ongoing general operations costs, which using the right hardware and software architectures can be reduced by up to 70% annually.
Traditionally, people have implemented automation solutions with computers everywhere – on the plant floor, in control rooms, in the administration buildings. The PCs are connected with an automation network on one side and an office network on the other.
The two don’t mix. If you contrast that with a Thin Client setup, what you have at the operator station is a low cost, ruggedised, diskless, fanless unit.
This unit only needs to have the user interface which communicates over the network to the application running on a server. ACP’s flagship product, ThinManager, is used to enable easy and secure management of such architectures.
Using Thin Clients enables users to drastically reduce the number of PCs in their organisation and there are several good reasons to do this. PCs are an inherently weak link and have a limited life span.
I like to quote the example of one of my customers who has a smelting plant. He has 50 PCs operating in a reasonably dirty environment. Even by putting these PCs in boxes, their lifetime is about two years. Essentially, every fortnight he needs to attend to a failed PC…
Read the entire interview here:
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