Human Machine Interface Technology - LEKULE BLOG


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Human Machine Interface Technology

Human Machine Interface Technology

Several new internet-based (TCP/IP-enabled) technologies are changing how businesses think, manage and operate industrial and commercial facilities. These new internet protocol (IP) technologies will take operational efficiency, performance and productivity to a level not yet achieved and not imagined a decade ago. They will now provide almost unlimited control, monitoring and visibility, giving users more data, and more analytic power to improve actionable decision making. The fact is some of these technologies have existed for years, but now thanks in part to advancements in internet and wireless capabilities, they are now taking hold in industrial and commercial applications. AIS industrial IoT open platform HMIs, touch panels and industrial PCs are engineered and poised to address the requirements of these burgeoning and exciting new developments in internet technologies.

Definition of Traditional HMIs:
The Human Machine Interface (HMI), sometimes also commonly referred to as the Operator Interface Terminal (OIT) or Man Machine Interface (MMI), is the part of the machine that handles human interaction. The HMI in a manufacturing or process control system is the user interface that provides control, monitoring and visualization between a human and a process, machine, application or appliance.

Different Platforms & Types of HMIs:
The definition of HMIs, Touchscreen Panel PCs and User Interfaces in general have changed over the last decade, however there are a few distinct differences.

  • Proprietary HMI Platforms: Most HMIs are proprietary systems requiring a software package developed by the HMI manufacturer to program, run and operate the HMI. Here, a company typically does not want to develop their own application software for various reasons, mainly time, cost and expertise.

  • Open HMI Platforms: Touchscreen Panel PCs are complete PCs and are open systems, meaning you can run anyone’s software package designed to work with Windows and other popular open operating systems. This is more ideal for companies wanting to develop their own custom application software package to run and operate their touchscreen panel PC.

AIS’s HMI Operator Panels are open, PC-based systems which provide graphics-based visualization of industrial control and monitoring systems, machinery, data processing and/or motion control systems. An open system provides the OEM and end-user more options, flexibility and power for application development at more affordable prices that closed or proprietary HMI systems.
HMIs and panel PCs fall into two distinct category types for application requirements. Again, the definitions crossover here as well, but the primary differences lie in how an HMI is classified. HMIs fall in two different categories:  either a standard terminal or a rugged terminal.

  • Standard HMIs: Designed primarily for indoor use in buildings, plants or factories and are not capable of withstanding harsh or extreme environmental conditions.          
  • Rugged HMIs: Designed to operate in challenging environments, such as hazardous areas and locations with harsh surroundings and extreme environmental conditions.
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