Therefore, content can only be modified through the centralized server – it cannot be accidentally or maliciously breached from a thin-client device.
For additional security, USB ports can be disabled and the Windows desktop can be eliminated.
Opportunities for Differentiation: “Machine Hyper-visualization”
A thin-client architecture also provides the framework for expanded ways to visualize machine content – and thereby differentiate a machine.
For example, this content delivery and visualization platform enables various thin-client terminals to shadow each other – so specific machine content can be more easily viewed anywhere within The Connected Enterprise®.
In addition, the platform can aggregate multiple content sources that can be visualized simultaneously on one thin-client device. Content from Windows-based applications, IP cameras, machine HMIs and more can be viewed using tiling or virtual screening to provide a truly comprehensive view of machine performance in real time.
Imagine having multiple displays – like those available in a multi-screen control room – consolidated and accessible on your smartphone or tablet.
How Thin Clients Impact Machine Design & Deployment
So how does a thin-client paradigm impact machine design? Historically, OEMs have approached their machines as self-contained units, with application content managed locally on or near the machine. Transitioning to a thin-client platform requires a fundamental shift to a “centralized” mindset for machine content and storage.
In reality, most machine builders will be able to respond to specifications and execute machine design and development in the same way they always have.
However, OEMs must rethink their approach to the factory acceptance test (FAT) and site acceptance test (SAT) in a thin-client environment.
For the FAT, OEMs must simulate the server environment to verify the functionality of their system. Take a look at how this system integrator successfully implemented an FAT using a simulation system and proof of concept demo in a validated environment, successfully executing thin client site implementation.