Human-Machine Interface

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Attaalla Elroby

An introduction

Commonly called as Human-Machine Interface is an interface connecting the controller (person) to any machine, system or even device. Although this term is applied to almost every screen it is most commonly used in the industrial process context. HMI is also referred by many different names as well like Man-Machine Interface (MMI), Local Operator Interface (LOI), Operator Interface Terminal (OIT), Operator Terminal (OT) and even as Graphical User Interface (GUI).

HMI is used in the industrial processes for different reasons which include the visual display of data, monitoring key performance indicators, inputs and outputs and also tracking different trends over time.  HMI is used to run big functions in the industrial system, controlling and monitoring them actively.  The different types of industries using HMI include the manufacturing industry, energy-producing companies like water, oil and gas companies and the food and beverage company as well.

With time, the trends have changed and modernization has led to many developments in Human-Machine Interface. The usage of HMI has increased with the increase in the number and types of industries as well.

New Trends in HMI

  • The introduction of High-Performance HMIs. The concept behind the high-performance HMIs is to remove all the unnecessary details and indicators from the interface and only focus the attention of the user on the important indicators. Combining other important design elements allowing him to make critical decisions more easily and respond to problems more efficiently and timely giving the best result.
  • A significant development in HMIs is the integration of mobile phones and touch screens in it. The presence of buttons on both sides of the screens has grown old and now there is a big screen with a touch facility for accessing the controls. Similarly, mobile applications installed in mobiles have helped with HMI keeping the operator attentive and updated about the information and monitoring.
  • Remote monitoring and Cloud HMIs are indeed worth mentioning as well. Remote monitoring of temperatures of warehouses and different floors of the factory has made work extremely easy. Cloud HMIs allow operators to upload data into the cloud and be able to access it from different places remotely according to their schedule.

Taking it further there is much other technological advancement taking place and engineering’s are finding new ways to take HMI to the next level to bring ease in the work of the operators.  HMI surely has a lot of potentials to grow.

About the Author

Attaalla Elroby

Attaalla Elroby is an Electrical Engineer by profession and he has been working with the different organization. He has more than 10 years of experience working with various organizations and he has been handling his responsibilities in an efficient way.

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