HMI or Human Machine Interface is a kind of software used to control different products or machines. This software helps operators manage various machine commands through a graphical user interface or GUI. HMI software can be low-tech or entry-level, while some are more complex or sophisticated. It’s necessary to use specific, high-quality HMI software that suits your industry to get the best results.
Like the HMI software that is essential for monitoring and controlling industrial machines and equipment, SCADA software has the ability to connect and analyze received data.
What is HMI Software?
To explain HMI further, it is a way for operators, users, and technicians to communicate with machines. It is software that makes communications simpler, more efficient, and flawless. Most HMI software is produced, especially for a particular device such as software that allows an operator to control a manufacturing machine. For instance, in the automotive industry, HMI software will control machines used to assemble, paint, or create different car parts.
How Does HMI Software Work?
HMI software is usually developed for a specific task, machine, or device. A technician analyzes the product specs and features of a machine or device, the kind of GUI that the machine will require, and other specs. The technician analyzes the product specs and features of a machine or device, the kind of GUI that the machine will need, and other specs.
The operator requires diagrams, digital images, and schematics to create the ideal HMI software that seamlessly integrates machine controls with the machine. Other factors are also considered, like performance requirements, system architecture, the cost of procuring components, and operations.
What are the Qualities of a Good HMI Software?
Most HMI software comes with reliable, dependable, and efficient HMI software. And when searching for the ideal software, you need to consider different options. There are hardware differences used for HMI panels available in the market; however, the capabilities are diverse and are easy to use. Also, good HMI software will make a big difference to your project and improve your project timeline.
HMI Software with a Built-In Simulator
A good HMI should have a built-in simulator to represent your project on a PC, including every object and screen, as it is developed without connecting to a touchscreen panel or a PLC/PAC. An efficient simulator should produce a clear and accurate representation of your project and how this will be shown on the HMI panel.
A well-made representation of your project, including editing methods, must be provided. It allows all collaborators and managers of the project to make changes accordingly. Your mouse or cursor on the PC should represent an actual finger that’s touching the existing HMI. The tag values should be updated as any changes are made.
The tag values should be editable, and the HMI graphics must also change and react in real time. Again, a good HMI must move from one form of simulation to another on the development screen mode. All these should be done smoothly and flawlessly without any screen lags or pauses.
HMI Software with Recipe Features
In programming, recipes make it easier for the operator to make any changes in data with just a simple push of a button. This tool is handy for the processing industry, such as the food and automotive industries.
For example, a chocolate bar processing company does not need to have a different machine to make different chocolate varieties. The operator will make changes in the HMI recipe feature to accommodate different chocolate bar variants. Also, machine operators must have the ability to modify and save other recipes if another kind of chocolate bar product is to be manufactured.
HMI Software with Alarm and Message Features
HMI software must provide efficient alarm functions and messaging capabilities, and the HMI must also take action accordingly. Aside from these, an event managing capability helps set tag values, change screens, capture screens, play sound files, and send email alerts. Complex HMI systems also perform actions like initiating file transfer protocol uploads to the server, performing various calculations, and popping up different message boxes using date and time, tag data, and many more.
HMI Software with Remote Access
A good HMI software must allow access to a machine or device remotely. Access is usually through any PC as if the operator is on the manufacturing floor at the front of the control panel. The HMI must also be browser-based, so the operator does not need to install any software or app on his PC at home.
The operator’s authorized PC must monitor and control the HMI screen of the panel, test and perform troubleshooting steps plus view and save screens.
What are the Uses of HMI Software?
HMI software is used in various industries. In the industrial sector, a good HMI helps save space, reduce human error, and offer advanced switching to boost productivity and uptime. In the transportation industry, HMI is found in various modern vehicle control panels and passenger panels.
HMI software is also used in various machines and equipment publicly used. It is found in ATMs, in elevators, conveyor belts, robotics, medical equipment, and home appliances and equipment. HMI makes it easier for any user or operator to interact with any machine or device.
How to Choose the Ideal HMI Software for You
HMI software varies dramatically from industry to industry. Therefore, the first step for anyone who wishes to purchase HMI software or have one developed for his purpose is to hire an experienced software engineer or developer.
An in-depth assessment of your needs and what your project outcome is. Your products, manufacturing area and budget are also included in the planning stage. Consider the good qualities of HMI software when selecting or evaluating your existing HMI software.
Consulting a trained and experienced software developer is crucial in selecting or creating the ideal HMI software and reducing potential problems. Consider that good HMI software will improve your overall productivity and efficiency. It should be a solution and not a liability for your business.