First Project Hardware Details: Ignition Edge (Machine HMI), OnLogic, Hope Industrial Touch Screen

I started my Winter project today, and I’m trying to make good hardware choices for Ignition Edge hardware without any experience. I’d like to place an order for the OnLogic computer and the Hope Industrial Touch Screen by Friday, but I’m uncertain about some of the details in choosing the right OnLogic computer. I’m thinking about where it’ll be located, the connection to the Hope Industrial screen, and enough unused power to assure it’ll not have any latency or communication issues, plus be able to run all the trends for multiple temperature zones, pressure trends on the main run screen, and any other graphic animations. Right now, the PLC connection will be to a ControlLogix, 1756-L71S PLC, currently running version 20 firmware. The customer would like to have the ability to run, or check on the machine from his office, like we did with the last Red Lion HMI I installed. So, two separate network cards, one for the machine, and one for the plant network. Some of the questions are:

  • Do I want an “Edge Gateway”, or “Industrial Edge Computer”? I’m unsure about this use of the term “gateway”.
  • Why wouldn’t I want primary storage? 256 GB SSD seems the correct choice.
  • Auto Power On? So… power to the input turns it on, but you have to boot it down??
  • I’m guessing USB connection for the touch screen input from the Hope Industrial Touch Screen?
  • Ubuntu versus Windows 10? I have no idea which would be better.
  • The pre-loaded Edge license seems higher than my Inductive Automation quote. I’m guessing I would want to load my own license, or is there a reason I’d want it pre-loaded? OnLogic lists several Ignition Edge versions, and I can’t determine what the right one is for this machine HMI.
  • Fanless? Is the computer going to have heat issues in that small panel? There is a small fan on the side of the cabinet, but there is also a 17" HMI screen mounting in the door.

I’m sure I’ll look back and the answers will seem obvious once I’ve finished this project. But right now, can someone help me figure out the right choices? Money is not the primary factor, but I don’t want to be foolish either. Availability is a big factor. Heat considerations are a factor. The power to operate without any hiccups is absolutely crucial.

By the way, I’ll be moving some things around and eliminating some switches to fit the 17" screen and the OnLogic computer.

Those sound like marketing terms–not sure what they mean either.

That should be plenty of local storage. Unless you’re planning to store a lot of data on it, 64 GB is generally sufficient in our experience running Windows 10 IoT. Doing local trending, getting extra is probably a good thing as SSDs do wear out with use.

This means it turns on automatically on return of power after an outage–generally a good thing for on machine HMIs. It’s just a BIOS setting.

Yes.

Lots of people will recommend Ubuntu. If you’re maintaining it, whichever you’re most familiar with is probably the best choice. In our case, corporate standard is Windows so everything on machine is Windows 10 IoT.

You’d need Edge panel and possibly some additions, depending on what you want to do. We’ve considered Edge, but always ended up going to a limited 1 client Vision or Perspective license as most of our installations end up growing to multiple HMIs over time.

Unless the panel itself is in a hot environment, I wouldn’t be concerned about heat from the computer and touch panel.

We like the Hope Industrial panels and they’ve held up well for us in dirty environments (though yours looks pretty clean in comparison).

I’m not sure on Edge, but on a full Ignition install limited to a single client, you get one local client and one remote client (at least in Vision, have not tested with Perspective). This works great on machine HMIs as you get the on machine HMI plus a remote client you can use to view it for troubleshooting, etc.

Final note–we used to use OnLogic fanless units (under their previous name). We’ve had some weird failures with them over the years and are now using Beckhoff PLCs (without the TwinCAT license) instead. Availability is a bit of an issue right now though–our preferred units have ridiculous lead-times. We’ve been able to get substitutes that either cost more that what we’d usually get, or have only 4 GB of RAM. I wouldn’t recommend less than 8 GB RAM for any gateway at this point, though we do have a number of older single machine HMIs.out there running on 4 GB for years and upgraded to Ignition 8.1.9 without issues.

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@witman pretty much covered it.

If I can add my $0.02;

For Edge, quad-core and 4GB RAM is plenty.

DIN rail brackets from them, see two panel pics attached, I prefer the vertical mount. I have attached the spec of that one. I went for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, now I’d recommend the 20.04 LTS which is good to 2025 for support. If you’re new to Linux, get them to install it, it’s like £7. Installing Ignition is harder than on Windows but the guide in the IA manual covers everything.

For the lower end models, note the power range supported for the NUC is likely less than 24V DC. Hence in the larger panel I have a traco power 24V->12V DC converter. The other option is to install an outlet socket and run off this, but here that would mean you should RCD it any case anyone decides to use it for other purposes. The higher end models are 9-36V DC I think. Note, again in this larger panel, it’s literally a power lead and ethernet cable into the NUC, there’s a cellular router there and everything else is managed remote from the central server or via OpenVPN tunnel.

Any other queries feel free to ask.

nuc spec


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When you’re using the Traco DC converter, how are you connected to the NUC? I assume you needed to find the right plug that fit into the NUC, then strip and connect the other end to the converter terminals. Did you find a pre-made power cable/plug to use, or did you make one?

I used the one that came with the NUC, cut it stripped and terminated into the Traco (with an additional fuse)