Allen Bradley HMI Selection Guide

Allen Bradley has long offered an extensive line of HMI products for any application. From standalone machines to complex control systems integrating entire operations, they provide reliable, accurate, and robust HMIs for any need.

These HMIs allow operators, system designers, and technicians access to real-time machine conditions and process status by choosing the appropriately sized HMI product for the required application.   Decision-makers from the shop floor level to the back office can count on accurate and highly visualized data to allow them to make the best decision for the situation.

Choosing an HMI

Machine Level HMIs

PanelView Plus 6

The PanelView Plus 6 HMI was one of Allen Bradley’s earlier HMI products. It is now under “End of Life” status but is still available both surplus and refurbished. The PanelView Plus 6 is available in six screen sizes, including 7”, 10”,12.5”, and 15” (designated as the 700, 10000,1250, and 1500 respectively). The Plus 6 is also available in 4” and 6” (400 and 600) as a Plus 6. All models operate using the Windows CE operating system.

The Plus 6 does not offer any high-performance features and offers only PDF viewing capability, although other viewers can be added as an option. Alarms are HMI-based only. Key performance features include:

  • Controller Connectivity – The PanelView Plus 6 has a broad range of controllers to connect. These include the CompactLogix 5370 and 5380 and the ControlLogix 5570 and 5580. It can also connect to PLC-5/SLC controllers for EtherNet as well as MicroLogix Serial DF1.  The PanelView Plus 6 can connect to Micro 800 controllers as well as third-party controllers. It does not allow connection CompactLogix 5480.
  • Software: The PanelView 6 Plus works with the FactoryTalk ME software versions 3.2,4,5.x,6.x,7,8.x, and 9.x.


Communication for the Plus 6 covers a wide range of protocols, including:

  • EtherNet /IP
  • DF1
  • DH-485
  • DH+, DH-485, and ControlNet are available with an additional communication module on screens 7” and above.
  • Third-party EtherNet and RS-232 through Modbus TCP/RTU when using a Kepware server.
  • Storage/Memory: The Plus 6 line offers 512 MB of RAM except for the smaller 400 and 600, which offer 256 MB.
  • Screens/Controllers/Alarms – The Plus 6 is versatile enough to offer multiple screens, alarms, and controller connectivity. There is no limit to these devices, and the only limiting factor is memory.
  • Remote Access: The Plus 6 offers remote access via multiple options. It can be accessed via a web-based HMI server using FactoryTalk Viewpoint. It can also be accessed by a VNC or FTP server and a VNC client or as a remote desktop client.
  • Trending: The ability to visualize machine states is critical in HMI applications. The Plus 6 offers both real-time and historical trending.

PanelView Plus 6 Compact:

 Like the PanelView Plus 6, the Plus 6 Compact is also near “End of Life” status but is still available both surplus and refurbished. The Compact comes in three sizes: 4”, 6”, and 10” (400,600,1000). 

Many of the features of the Plus 6 are the same within the compact line. However, there are key differences to allow for the device’s smaller size and footprint. Differences between the Plus 6 and Plus 6 Compact include:

  • Controller Connectivity: The PanelView Plus 6 Compact has the same controller connectivity as the Plus 6. The exception is that the Plus 6 Compact does not offer PLC-5/SLC controller connectivity to DH+ and ControlNet controllers.
  • Software: Like the PanelView Plus 6, the Plus 6 Compact works with FactoryTalk ME software. However, the Plus 6 Compact uses different software versions, including 5.1,7,8.x, and 9.x.
  • Communication – Communication for the Plus 6 covers a wide range of protocols, including:
  • EtherNet /IP
  • DF1
  • DH-485
  • Third-party EtherNet and RS-232 through Modbus TCP/RTU when using a Kepware server.
  • Storage/Memory: Memory on the 400 and 600 is set at 256MB while the 1000 has 512 MB.
  • Screens:   Designed for compact use, the Plus 6 Compact is limited in screens, controllers, and alarms. While the Plus 6 is limited only by memory, the Plus 6 Compact is limited to 25 screens, a single controller, and a max of 200 alarms.
  • Viewers – Compared to the Plus 6, which allows additional viewers as an option, the Plus 6 Compact is limited to PDF only.

PanelView Plus 7 Standard

The PanelView Plus 7 Standard HMI was designed as a generational change from the PanelView Plus 6. The Plus 7 Standard also offers a wider variety of screen sizes. The line offers a 6”, 7”, 10”, and 15”, but it also provides widescreen options of 4”, 9”, and 12”. It offers many of the features common to the PanelView 6 line, such as Windows CE 6.0 and the same remote access options and HMI-based alarming. 

Differences between the PanelView 6 and the PanelView 7 Standard include: 

  • Controller Connectivity: The PanelView Plus Standard offers the same controller connectivity as the Plus 6, except the Plus 7 Standard does not provide connectivity to PLC-5/SLC MicroLogix controllers using Serial DF-1.
  • Communication: A significant difference between the Plus 6 and Plus 7 Standard is in communication. The Plus 7 Standard offers only EtherNet/IP with an optional DLR support and the ability to support third-party Ethernet Protocols with a Kepware server. No other communication protocols are provided by comparison.
  • Storage/Memory: The Plus 7 Standard offers 512 MB of RAM for all sizes, a level that varies in the Plus 6 depending on screen size.
  • Screens/Controllers/Alarms – The Plus 7 Standard allows a screen count of up to 100 and connectivity to one controller. It also offers up to 500 alarms when using the FactoryTalk View Machine Edition v11 or newer software.
  • Viewers – The Plus 7 Standard only offers PDF with no additional viewers as an option.

The Plus 7 also comes in an iteration called the ArmorView Plus 7 for harsh or rugged environments.  The ArmorView Plus 7 has more robust enclosures and protections for the unit and can be mounted on a swivel arm to move the HMI out of the way when not in use. It also offers additional features for e-stops, handles, and tougher pushbuttons suited to the environment.

PanelView Plus 7 Performance

The PanelView Plus 7 Performance is designed for larger control systems and a wide variety of multi-device systems. Plus 7 Performance terminals come in sizes of 10”, 15”, and 19”, giving them a somewhat larger screen offering than the Plus 7 Standard. There are also widescreen sizes of 9” and 12”.  

The Plus 7 Performance has many of the same features as the Plus 7 Standard, including the same controller connectivity, FactoryTalk software, remote access options, etc. 

However, there are several critical distinctions given its use in more extensive control and HMI systems. Differences include:

  • Screens/Controllers/Alarms – The Plus 7 Performance is like the Plus 6 in screen/controller/alarm configuration with screen, controller, and alarm count limited only by memory and CPU. Contrast this to the Plus 6 Compact and the Plus 7 Standard, both of which are used in smaller systems and have a limit to screens, controllers, and alarms.
  • Viewers – Another distinction of the Plus 7 Performance compared to the Plus 7 Standard, the Plus 6, and Plus 6 Compact are in the viewers offered. As part of a larger system build where remote access may be more common, the Plus 7 Performance offers multiple viewers, including:
  • PDF
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Word
  • Web Browser
  • Media Player

PanelView 5310

Designed to offer operators a clear and dynamic visualization into the machine state or process state of any environment, the PanelView 5310 and 5510 utilize the more robust Studio 5000 development environment allowing better design and monitoring of information shared between the HMI and Logix platforms. 

Screen sizes include 6” and 10” standard screen sizes and 7”, 9”, and 12” widescreen. One key distinction between the 5310 and 5510 is that the 5310 is intended for small to medium-sized control systems.

Features of the 5310 include:

  • Controller Connectivity: The 5310 and above represent a departure from connectivity to older controllers. Using the Studio 5000 software, the 5310 can connect to controllers, including the CompactLogix and ControlLogix 5370 and 5570 (v 27+ of Studio 5000). It can also connect to CompactLogix and ControlLogix 5380 and 5580 (v29+), and it can connect to CompactLogix 5480 (v31+).
  • Communication: PanelView 5310 only uses EtherNet/IP.
  • Storage/Memory: The 5310 and 5510 use animated graphics to provide operator insight into machine and process state. Because of this, memory is higher compared to older models. The 5310 offers 1GB of RAM as well as 1GB of user storage.
  • Screens/Controllers/Alarms – The screen count for the 5310 is a max of 100 for up to 4 controllers. It also allows up to 4000 alarms.
  • High Performance – Another generational distinction between the 5310 and 5510 compared to the Plus 6 and Plus 7 models is that the 5310 and 5510 offer high-performance features. These include:
  1. High-Speed on-Screen Buttons
  2. Scalable Vector Graphics
  3. Property Binding
  4. Automatic Rescaling
  5. Alignment Guides
  6. Events and Commands (when using Designer v6 or higher)
  7. Soft Navigation Buttons
  8. Predefined Controller/Network/Terminal Status Screens
  9. Smart Runtime Error Notification
  • Alarming – Another difference compared to the Plus 6 and Plus 7s is that alarming for the 5310 uses an automatic display of Logix-based alarms as well as HMI-based alarms.
  • Remote Access: Remote access is more limited in the 5310 and 5510 than the Plus 7 and Plus 6 lines. The 5310 only offers remote access through a VNC server when using Designer software version 4 or higher. It also provides remote client support through a web HMI server.   FTP server, VNC client, and remote desktop access are not supported.
  • Viewers – The 5310 is also more limited on available viewers, with only PDF available when using Designer software version 5 or higher.
  • Trending: Like all other previous PanelView lines, the 5310 offers both real-time and historical trending. However, historical trending is available only when using Designer version 4 or higher.

PanelView 5510

The PanelView 5510 is remarkably similar in features to the 5310. Significant distinctions between the two include the available screen sizes. Sizes include 7”, 10”, 15”, and 19” in standard screen sizes and 7”, 9” AND 12” available in widescreen. There are a few differences between the 5510 and the 5310, including:

  • Communication – While the 5510 also uses EtherNet/IP for communication, it comes with DLR support, whereas the 5310 does not.
  • Viewers – Like the 5310, the 5510 supports a PDF viewer. However, a web browser and media player viewer are included in later versions.
  • Other: The 5510 offers both a touch screen input and a keypad input compared to the 5310 with only a touch screen. The 5510 also includes additional safety certifications and plans for enhanced and strengthened housing features, possibly making the 5510 comparable to the ArmorGuard Plus 7.

Small Agile HMIs

Not all control systems are alike. And while many need complex features with deep functionality, there are applications where size, portability, and compactness fit the need. These HMIs serve a limited but crucial function in bridging the gap in situations where a full-sized HMI is not needed. The PanelView 800 comes in three sizes: 4”, 7”, and 10”.

PanelView 800

Allen Bradley’s PanelView 800 offers a lower-cost interface device when a full-sized device is too much. It uses the versatile Connected Components Workbench to integrate critical pieces of equipment into a control system and provide operators and technicians with the information they require. It is ideal for smaller systems, standalone equipment, and applications that require a smaller feature set. Features include

  • Controller Connectivity: The PanelView 800 has a broad range of controller types available for connection. These include the CompactLogix 5370 and the ControlLogix 5570.   It can also connect to PLC-5/SLC controllers for EtherNet as well as MicroLogix Serial DF1. The PanelView Plus 6 can connect to Micro 800 controllers. It does not allow connection CompactLogix 5480, CompactLogix and ControlLogix 5380 and 5580, nor does it connect to third-party controllers.
  • Software: The PanelView 800 uses the Connected Components Workbench version 7,8.x, 9.x, 10.x, 11.x, and 12.x.
  • Communication Communication options for the 800 include:
  • EtherNet/IP
  • DF1
  • DH-485
  • Modbus ASCII
  • Modbus RTU
  • Modbus TCP
  • Storage/Memory – The 800 has 256 MB of RAM
  • Screens/Controllers/Alarms – The PanelView 800 allows up to 50 screens and a max of 400 alarms on a single controller.
  • Alarming – The 800 uses HMI-based alarms.
  • Remote Access: Remote access to the 800 is through a VNC server. The HMI can also be accessed through an FTP server provided the 800 is not connected to a CompactLogix Controller.
  • Viewers – PanelView 800 does not support any viewers.
  • Trending: Trending for the 800 is only real-time.  No historical trending is available.

MobileView 2711T Mobile Tethered Terminal

With a smaller feature set than full-sized HMIs, the Allen Bradley MobileView HMI allows access to equipment to interface with the machine’s control system. It is best suited for direct access to operator panels for testing, system checks, maintenance, and startup when troubleshooting is needed. It can also be ported to interface with robotics for programming and other configuration requirements.

The MobileView 2711T consists of a single screen size of 10” using FactoryTalk View Studio for Machine Edition. It is best suited when connected to ControlLogix controllers and has a large memory of 4GB to allow the user flexibility for configuring and programming a system. It also offers multiple connection options for data, including 10 EtherNet ports and a USB. The unit also has an internal SD card slot.

PanelView Component: 

Like the Mobile View 2711T, the PanelView Component 2711C was designed to work with small applications or standalone machines using a single controller. 

By allowing a PC connection, designers could configure HMI functionality for what was needed for the device attached to the controller.  

The PanelView Component has 10 EtherNet ports and either an RS-422 or an RS-485 port. It also has an onboard RS-232 serial port and a USB port. 

It comes in screen sizes of 2”, 3”, 6” and 10”. The 2711C is best suited for the Logix5000 series controller and provides a cost-effective option for smaller systems requiring limited features.

The PanelView Component 2711C line has been discontinued, and migration to the PanelView 800 is considered the replace

Look out soon for our VersaView Selection Guide!

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