A user interface or dashboard that connects a person to a machine, system, or device is known as a human-machine interface (HMI). HMI is most frequently used in the context of an industrial process, even though the term can technically be applied to any screen that allows a user to interact with a device.
This technology is sometimes referred to as Man-Machine Interface (MMI), Operator Interface Terminal (OIT), Local Operator Interface (LOI), or operator terminal, even though HMI is the most widely used word for it (OT). Although they are similar but not identical, HMI and Graphical User Interface (GUI) HMIs frequently use GUIs to provide visualization features.
HMIs may carry out a wide range of tasks since they are contemporary software programs that use contemporary operating systems. They provide us with a link between the human operator and the intricate logic of one or more PLCs, enabling the operator to control several functions across dispersed and possibly complex processes from a single location while focusing on the process itself rather than the underlying logic. The user interface will graphically show the process being controlled, along with sensor data and other information, and will make output states evident (which motors are on, which pumps are activated, etc.).
HMIs can do the following tasks in industrial settings:
- Visually show data
- Track production time, trends, and tags
- Monitor KPIs
- Observe the inputs and outputs of the machine
A plant floor operator might use an HMI to check and control the temperature of an industrial water tank or to determine whether a specific pump in the facility is currently running, similarly to how you would interact with your air conditioning system to check and control the temperature in your home.
HMIs exist in a range of shapes and sizes, including built-in screens on machines, computer monitors, and tablets, but their main function is to give insight into the operation and development of mechanical systems.
Who Uses HMI?
Nearly all industrial organizations, as well as a wide range of other businesses, employ HMI technology to communicate with their machines and improve their industrial processes.
An operator can communicate with PLCs, RTUs, and IEDs by using human-machine interfaces. Graphical representations of the digital controls used to perceive and affect that process takes the place of manually operated switches, knobs, and other electrical controls in HMIs.
Operators can start and stop cycles, change set points, and carry out other tasks necessary to interface with and adapt a control process using HMIs. Since the HMI is software-based, it can be quickly modified and updated because software parameters take the role of physical cables and controllers.
Industries that use HMI:
- Food and drink manufacturer
- Gas and oil
- Wastewater and freshwater
- and a lot more
Operators, system integrators, and engineers, particularly control system engineers, are the professions that interface with HMIs the most frequently. These specialists use HMIs as crucial tools to examine and monitor operations, identify issues, and visualize data.
How to Choose to Right HMI for Business?
The last ten years have seen noteworthy advancements in HMI technology due to shifting operational and corporate requirements. Advanced HMIs like high-performance HMIs, touch screens, and mobile devices are now more frequently seen along with more conventional models. More chances for equipment interaction and analysis are being made possible by these updated interfaces.
When planning to purchase HMI, it is of utmost importance to find a manufacturer that offers electrical items of top-notch quality. Therefore, your initial step should be to do some research to find a good manufacturer. Once you determine your choice of firm, make sure you communicate to them your requirements. Use the given email id and phone number on their website to stay in constant touch with them.