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Comparing PanelView Terminals

5/16/19  | Dan Simpson, Rexel Technical Consultant

Finding the Right Operator Interface

If you are at all familiar with Rockwell Automation® PanelView™ operator interfaces, you have at least concluded that they have a wide selection of terminals. I can certainly understand that selecting one can be a bit daunting given the myriad of products available. Just digesting feature sets and comparing PanelView terminals can consume a lot of time.

In this blog, I hope to condense the 23 webpages and half a dozen document downloads into a quick, readable synopsis. I’ll start with the PanelView Plus 6 and 7 as well as the PanelView 5000 series in this article (I’ll save the PanelView 800 for next time).

There is a document that serves me well when explaining to customers which terminals are appropriate for their applications. It charts all the features of Rockwell Automation’s PanelView Plus 6 and 7, PanelView 5000, and PanelView 800 terminals.

I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version of the major differences below.

Handling Breakdowns and Migrations

Generally speaking, I only sell the PanelView Plus 6 series to customers who have an existing piece of equipment that has a breakdown and needs a drop-in replacement ASAP. They typically are using an older communication scheme like Digital Highway Plus (DH+) or a serial protocol and don’t want to dig into upgrading the network/PLC just yet.

I have handled many migrations from older “standard” PanelView (PanelBuilder32-based products) or even the original PanelView Plus terminals to using the PanelView Plus 7 products, understanding that these terminals just support Ethernet protocols or DF1 with a USB converter. If needed, we can add a network gateway device to interface with one of the no-longer-supported networks (DH+/RIO/DH485, DeviceNet™) as a part of a phased approach to upgrading the system. Once you have the time and money to tackle PLC, you can remove the gateway, and run the terminal’s Ethernet connection to the new central processing unit (CPU).

Considering the Differences

When comparing PanelView terminals, keep in mind that the PanelView Plus 6 and the PanelView Plus 7 had a version for each terminal with a reduced feature set. In PanelView Plus 6, that was the called the compact series. In PanelView Plus 7 that was the standard version. Additionally, that same relationship exists in the more recently released PanelView 5000 series E.g., the model 5510 vs. the 5310. The 5310 has a limited number of screen sizes available, no DLR support, uses a soft key for its navigation/home button rather than a hard button on the 5510, can only support 50 screens rather than 100, and it doesn’t carry a Class1 Div2 hazardous rating.

Another somewhat confusing point to clear up on the PanelView 5000 was what Rockwell Automation did with the first release of the 5000 terminal. It was first called the model 5500. A year or so later they redesigned the hardware to improve performance and changed the model name to the 5510. In terms of firmware, the 5510 will support version 4 and the newly released version 5.

Closely Comparing PanelView Terminals

Let’s start with the PanelView Plus 7 performance vs. the PanelView Plus 6 performance for those looking for easy migrations and continued support of applications created on FactoryTalk® Studio. I’ll conclude with the PanelView 5000 comparison which is usually our choice for new or “greenfield” applications for a machine level human-machine interface (HMI).



  • They both support the same controller hardware with the exception that the PanelView Plus 6 still can support some legacy hardware like the DH+ network and ControlNet to a PLC-5
  • They both have identical feature sets when it comes to software functionality

o  Direct tag reference and HMI based tags and alarms

o  Data logging to a CSV file or native .dat file for trending

o  VNC and FTP servers

o  Language switching

o  Viewpoint web server

o  Unlimited screen count (until memory runs out)

o  Active X controls

o  Viewers for PDF

  • Class 1, Div Rating
  • Both use FactoryTalk View ME for configuration


  • Viewers for Excel, PowerPoint, and Word as well as a web browser and media player are standard for the PanelView Plus 7 and optional for the PanelView Plus 6
  • PanelView Plus 7 supports DLR
  • PanelView Plus 7 has additional screen sizes in wide formats for 7” and 9”
  • There are different cutouts for the PanelView Plus 7 series. Adapter plates are available for the performance series for replacing older terminals
  • The PanelView Plus 7 10” has better screen resolutions (800 x 600 vs. 640 x 480)
  • The PanelView Plus 7 has a portrait and landscape display modes
  • More screen size choices (4” – 19”) with modern widescreen formats available



  • They both support all CompactLogix™ controllers and hardware (for the PanelView5000 series the 5370 controller firmware must be at least V27 and up. The 5380 must be V29 and up)
  • For the software/hardware feature sets, they both have:

o  Language switching

o  Direct tag reference

o  Data logging

o  VNC servers

o  Terminal emulator for testing

o  SD card

o  PDF Viewers

o  Two USB ports

o  Trending

o  Animations

o  Faceplates and display reuse with parameters

  • Class 1 div rating on 5510 only, not 5310 series
  • Same screen sizes and direct drop-in compatible
  • DLR in the 5510, not the 5310


  • PanelView 5000 series has scalable vector graphics with automatic rescaling when switching terminal sizes
  • PanelView 5000 has object alignment guides, built-in screen navigation (5510 has an actual external home button where the 5310 does this with on-screen graphics), high-speed buttons, predefined status screens, and auto display of Logix alarms
  • No Active X controls in PanelView 5000
  • 24 VDC power option only for the PanelView 5000
  • No viewers for Excel, PowerPoint, Word, or media player or a web browser in the 5000 as of version 4. Version 5 will add a web browser and video player
  • The PanelView 5000 series will not communicate with older generation PLCs like the SLC 500, MicroLogix, or PLC-5 and none of the Micro 800s
  • No third-party controller or network protocol support in the PanelView 5000
  • The PanelView5310 supports 50 screens, 1,000 alarms, and one controller
  • The PanelView5510 supports 100 screens, 1,000 alarms, and the one controller. Version 5 will support up to four controllers
  • Recipe handling will not be supported in the 5310/5510 until version 5

We Can Help You Make the Right Choice

We know that even with the abridged version, there’s a lot to take in when it comes to comparing PanelView Terminals. And which operator interface you choose will ultimately be dictated by your unique situation. Our Automation Specialists offer in-depth expertise and design custom solutions to meet your needs. Contact us today!