AB Panelview Component vs. AB Panelview Plus

Allen-Bradley/Rockwell rolled out the Panelview Component mainly to offer a lower cost platform to engineers who required a cheaper "dumb" HMI to mate with a small PLC. The Panelview Plus platform has been tailored to integrate with the RS Logix5000 series of processors. Being aware of this, AB/Rockwell's unofficial position is that the Panelview Component was developed to better integrate with the RS Logix500 series of PLC's, though I've never had (nor have I heard of any) problems with mating a Panelview Plus graphic interface to a Micrologix 1400 or even a SLC -5/05 processor.

The Panelview Plus (PV+) line of graphic interfaces from Allen Bradley are excellent products, and in my experience, work very well with all of their PLC platforms, regardless of if those platforms are RS Logix5000 based or 500. The software to program the PV+ units was originally called RSView Studio, but now the software is called FactoryTalk View Studio. The FactoryTalk View software is excellent, giving the programmer a host of tools to create an innovative and aesthetically impressive, functional display. The only downside to the PV+ hardware/software is the expensive price tag. List price for a 10" PV+, Color Touchscreen will approach $4,000. If you have the $4K to spend on a user interface, you can't go wrong with the Panelview Plus.

The Panelview Component (PVC) line of user interface products is, in my humble opinion, the biggest turd that Rockwell has rolled out since the Pyramider days. The software for the PVC (Panelview Component) screens is free - and is located within the terminal. Users must interface with the terminal and use the embedded software to design new applications via an internet browser. Rockwell recommends that you utilize Mozilla FireFox as the user interface to program the PVC. I've found that FireFox 2.0 works the best. You can download FireFox 2.0 HERE. I tried to program the PVC initially using IE7 and experienced several software crashes. The experience was much less cumbersome when I did finally utilize FireFox to program the terminal. The tag database for the PVC is not very intuitive and more closely resembles the tag database of the old PanelBuilder32 software. You cannot drill down to the bit level as you can with the tag database of the FactoryTalk View software. The price tag for a 10" PVC is a lot easier on the pocketbook than is the 10" PV+; however, you can find much better panels just about anywhere.

If you have a RS Logix500 based application and you're unsure about using a PV+ screen, my advice would be to go ahead and use the PV+. I have never experienced any problems with the PV+ on any platform and I haven't heard of any of my integrator friends experiencing problems. I have, though, received my share of profanity-laced depictions of experiences with the PVC - from almost everyone I know who has utilized one. Though the 2nd. time you have to use one will be much easier than the 1st., my advice would be to go ahead and spend the additional money to get the PV+.