How to Set Up HMI Remote Access In Under 5 Minutes using VNC

Speedy response anywhere and anytime with remote HMI Control and Web Access using the X4 Cloud This step-by-step guide shows how you can remotely connect to your Human Machine Interface (HMI, touch panel, control panel or operator panel) over VPN using VNC and the X4 Cloud.

Secure VNC remote access

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VNC (virtual network computing) is a technology traditionally used to share desktops remotely. However, this type of remote access can also be used to see what’s being displayed on an remote HMI screen and control it over a network connection. X4 Remote has built-in functionality to access and control HMI screens. This powerful tool is also available with responsive screen design using both a desktop browser and mobile devices such as smartphones. Setup is easy. So let’s find out how to configure HMI access.

Contact our sales team for a free live demo of HMI remote access

Guide to setup remote HMI access with X4 Remote

Within 5 minutes, the HMI panel is accessible for industrial remote access and remote control. Follow these five steps to remotely connect your PC or smartphone to your machine’s HMI panel.

Step 1: Connect the x500 router to the X4 Cloud

To get started, all you need is a x500 router (or a Starter Kit), a X4 Remote account and internet access. Next, connect the x500 router to your X4 Remote account using a configuration file and the USB-stick provided:

  1. Create your free company account in the X4 Cloud
  2. Configure internet access for the x500 router
  3. Register and activate the x500 router

This process is very easy and straightforward, requiring only about 2 minutes of your time.

After step 1 you can setup a secure VPN tunnel from your PC to the x500 router via the X4 Cloud. You now have secure remote access to all devices connected to the x500 router (PLC, HMI, Robots, IP-camera, etc.).

Step 2: Connect your HMI panel to the x500 router

To connect your HMI operator panel to the x500 router, simply plug in a network cable from the HMI panel to one of the router’s Ethernet ports. If your HMI screen is connected to a PLC, connect the PLC to the x500 router.

Note: Most HMI brands do have VNC server software embedded. If not, you will need to install a free VNC software program like RealVNC or TightVNC onto the HMI device. 

Step 3: Add a VNC service

Now you need to configure a VNC service:

  1. Open the Fleet Manager App and select your device to open the machine settings.
  2. In the sidebar of the menu, click on „+“ next to „Services“ and select „VNC Service“.
  3. Choose a name for the VNC Service. It will later be displayed on the corresponding button.
  4. Fill in the IP address, port and password of the VNC server.
  5. Choose a category for the new VNC service in the fleet manager to define which users can operate the remote access.
  6. Click on „Add“ and „Push config to device“ to finish configuration and store the new VNC service on your X500 router.

That’s it! The VNC service has been successfully added and is now available in your Fleet Manager App.

* If you don’t know the IP address of the HMI panel, set up a VPN connection to the X500 next to the device entry in your Fleet Manager App and run an IP scanner tool (like Advanced IP Scanner) to retrieve it.

Step 4: Web-based access to the HMI panel 

Now that the VNC service is added, you can start the VNC connection directly from the machine dashboard of your Fleet Manager App. You can either start the connection directly on the corresponding machine card or from a specially designed status view of the device.

Now you can fully view and control the HMI operator panel using VNC. The web viewer displays the actual screen contents of the remote HMI computer on your local computer screen. You can also send keyboard and mouse signals to it or use touchscreen gestures on your mobile device to remotely control the device.

Experience the HMI remote access feature

To get a hands-on experience of X4 Remote’s VNC service, get in touch with our sales team for a free live demo. Just browse the machines, access an HMI panel and explore all features such VPN, data logging and dashboards. If you want to experience the VNC [FL1] service with your own touch panel, we can provide you with an individual Test Kit to start experimenting.

 

Benefits of Lenze’s Web-based HMI access for remote service

Enhanced operator capabilities

Increase operator confidence, situational awareness and decision support in order to reduce errors and machine downtimes. Increase production time and give operators full HMI control to remotely operate their machines.

Fast response anywhere, anytime, on any device

Achieve high speed and performance HMI visualization and control wherever and whenever you need it. For operators connecting to remote machines, X4 Remote is the best way to maximize performance.

Secure by design, cloud enabled

The X4 Remote Web HMI feature uses encrypted communication from your web client using SSL and/or VPN certificates. With end-to-end data encryption as well as additional security measures such as a built-in firewall and two-factor authentication, X4 Remote offers the highest level in state-of-the-art security. Read all about it in our security whitepaper.

Support for any industrial PCs, PLC, HMI using VNC

X4 Remote’s embedded VNC viewer can be used to remotely control any computer running a VNC server that is connected to the x500 router.

Time winning setup

In this article you learned how easy it is to set up a remote connection with your HMI or PLC. This will save you a lot of time.

X4 Remote: Your End-to-End Solution for Remote Service and Maintenance

X4 Remote goes far beyond the VNC functionality to work remotely. In addition to remote control of a machine interface, you can access machines and corresponding data, control and upload PLC software remotely or configure machine dashboards. Sensitive data in the corporate network remains shielded from the internet.

With extensive remote functions, a web-based platform, universal compatibility and a high-speed connection, Lenze creates the ideal conditions for hassle-free remote operation. This creates added value for machine builders and system integrators because they can upgrade the service levels for their machines.

X4 Remote is also a versatile collaboration tool. For example, your customer’s employees can be invited to operate their HMI panel or view live machine monitoring dashboards. Machine builders can also give access to the machine’s PLC to their service employees for remote maintenance.

To explore all features of X4 Remote in a free demo, to order an individual Starter Kit or quotation, feel free to contact our sales team.

Get started with X4 Remote

Create your free X4 Remote account to find out more. Order your x500 gateway to try the platform for yourself!

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