Most Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) are in a static location. Sometimes, this can be inconvenient if you need to check a device (motor, valve, diverter, etc.), but the sight line from the HMI is blocked and you need to be able to watch the device move.
Several projects that DMC has worked on involve a central server (typically Windows Server 2008 R2) that has the HMI editing software (I used Iconics GraphWorx), OPC server for gathering data from the PLC, and the HTML pages used by the thin clients. Often, these servers do not have a local terminal and the only way to access them is by using a remote desktop connection. This is very convenient because it allows a user from a remote location to make changes directly on the server instead of having to make changes on a separate computer and then copying edited files to the server.
It’s possible to enter runtime while using a remote desktop connection. This is useful for quickly checking that changes are correct before publishing to the thin clients located throughout a manufacturing facility. It also allows for a working HMI to move around the factory, assuming you have wireless access to the network and a working laptop.
navigate the same way you would on an actual HMI. You can also navigate as you would on devices, clicking to open up the pop-up.However, living in 2012, I think that a laptop is too heavy. I demand something more convenient. If you have an iPad, iPhone, or any device that allows you to open a remote desktop connection, you can access the server in the same way that you would from a laptop or desktop. On my iPhone, I’ve downloaded the free app Pocket Cloud. From there, I connect to the server and enter run time in GraphWorx. You'll be able to navigate the same way you would on an actual HMI, by clicking to change screens. You can also navigate as you would on devices, clicking to open up the pop-up.
I recommend that if you want to use your phone to view the HMI screens, you should already have GraphWorx in runtime because it is a little inconvenient to navigate windows and type when using such a small screen. I wouldn't recommend using your phone to control a factory, but it's certainly possible.