2015 State of Technology Report: HMI & Operator Interface

From BYOD mobile apps to powerful PACs that tackle control too, machine designers have more options than ever when it comes to human-machine and operator interface functionality.

By Control Design

Human-machine interface (HMI) solutions can range widely in sophistication and cost, depending largely on how much interaction and information exchange is required between the human operator and the machine in question. Further, because the HMI often doubles as a data collection and supervisory communications hub, these computation- intensive tasks also must be taken into account when selecting an HMI solution.

A relatively simple, unconnected machine may need only a few hardwired lights and pushbuttons. But at the other end of the spectrum, a fully functional industrially hardened PC may be required. In between these two extremes are a range of microprocessor-based operator panels or operator interface terminals (OITs) that provide a configurable graphical operator display and interface in a more compact, less expensive package than a typical industrial PC. In short, the need for increased application flexibility and the need to handle more complex information management tasks will typically drive the machine designer to more capable solutions.

To help keep you up to speed, the February 2015 State of Technology Report is a compendium of the latest trends, articles, back-to-basics tutorials, application stories and product solutions on HMI & operator interface recently published in the pages of Control Design. It explores in greater detail these and other technology developments in the arena of machine HMI. We hope that you find it useful.

Compiled by the editors and gathered all together here in one convenient ebook, you'll learn the following:

      • Choices in HMI Purchase Decisions;
      • Panel Meters Take On PLC Chores;
      • Giving your HMI an Ergonomic Tuneup;
      • Cooling Complications in Hazardous Locations;
      • HMI: Form vs. Function?; and more. 


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