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Man-Machine Symbiosis in Industrial Automation: The Game of Roles

 

In today’s rapidly evolving industrial ecosystem is critical to understand the impact of HMI. Human Machine Interface is a hot issue in Industrial Automation. Indeed, it appears that the future of this sector is in the hands of this technology.

As a result, it’s not unexpected that a furious race has erupted amongst corporations to create the most inventive platform capable of bringing two worlds closer together, eventually destined to merge: people and robots.

It’s time to be clear the air around Man-Machine Symbiosis in Industrial Automation. What exactly is an HMI?

What is HMI (Human Machine Interface)?

A Human Machine Interface (HMI), also known as a Human Machine Interface, is a software and hardware combination that allows the operator to communicate between systems and machines. In most sectors, the automation system would be incomplete without an HMI system. The operator can monitor the plant’s operation in real-time using an HMI.

If there is a problem, the HMI will notify the operator. In essence, the HMI serves as the user interface in a manufacturing or process control system. The HMI will provide a graphical representation of the industrial control and monitoring system. With the help of a centralized control center and HMI, we can boost production in a facility.

In the context of Industrial Automation, it’s apparent that the more responsive and user-friendly the HMI, the more efficient and cost-effective the job or project.

HMI (Human Machine Interface) – The Evolution

To properly comprehend what an HMI is, we must first take a step back and start from the beginning to understand how this technology has evolved.

It all started with a push of a button. Then there was a flash of light. The switches appeared with the arrival of light. Then there were hardwired gadgets, which evolved into electronic panels. It was eventually the period of personal computers and software programs, which flourished and conquered the scene.

As a result, in just a few years, the field of Human Machine Interfaces has seen a significant transformation. Experts on the other hand are certain that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. But what is it about these systems that make them potentially limitless? There are two opportunities:

1. Software Standardization

First and foremost, it is all about the software. Today we are seeing an increasing standardization of what was formerly regarded as optional (i.e., touch screen or color display), and enterprises must compete in terms of programs and SCADA.

2. Integration with Physical Technology

Secondly, there is integration with new “physical” technology with commonly used technical equipment. This is the trend of the last generation of HMI: giving users the same familiar and easy-to-use experience as smartphones and tablets.

Human Machine Interface(HMI) in Industrial Automation

HMI is highly significant in an automation system because it allows us to visualize the representation of the control systems and also provides real-time data collecting. The HMI has a centralized control center, which will aid in the HMI’s efficiency. The HMI can detect if a device is not working properly or if there is a malfunction, in which case it will sound an alert, allowing the user to identify the fault and establish where it is located.

There are various electronic components in HMI that handle the signaling and management of the automation systems, and these HMIs may turn the data from the industrial control systems into data that the operator can understand.

The HMI may be used for remote access, and with this functionality, we can securely monitor and control all system functions. This function will assist us in transferring the program to other devices. Touch screen technology (capacitive or resistive) is offered to further ease the operators’ jobs by permitting intuitive contact with machinery and industrial plants.

An HMI device, in essence, allows for the visualization and control of applications. It allows you to interface with any production system by utilizing resources and operating systems (much better if embedded).

How does the HMI system function?

The HMI system consists of a monitoring screen, an operating panel, and communication ports. The HMI can be incorporated into our process using a PC and specific software, after which the program is transferred to the HMI and the HMI runs the program.

The devices in the factory, such as the machinery on a manufacturing line, can be linked to the HMI, as can the input-output sensors, which provide data to the PLC. The HMI monitoring screen allows the user to engage with the HMI; the HMI contains an operational panel via which the operator may perform the relevant activities.

HMI systems facilitate the use of technologies. The usability of an HMI is evaluated, and its effectiveness has an impact on the entire system. An HMI should provide the function that a user requires for a certain activity, allowing the user to waste less effort while increasing productivity. An HMI should do more than just display information and control tasks; it should also give users with active functions, system performance information, and feedback on results.

What are the types of HMIs?

1. Push-Button Replacer

This is the most prevalent type of HMI. The center control panel contains multiple buttons, each of which performs a specific activity, which will be highly beneficial for industrial reasons. A factory’s productivity and efficiency can be increased by using a pushbutton-type HMI. So, by employing this Human Machine Interface, the operator can instruct the machine to perform numerous tasks.

2. Data Handler

This type of HMI is used to gather data, which is then transferred to a hard drive depending on the requirements of the user. This form of HMI will be effective for dealing with applications that require a big amount of data.

3. Overseer

This is a different form of HMI that works with the Windows operating system. This type allows for a lot of visual interaction between the human operator and the machine, and it usually features a touch screen that allows for a graphical interface.

HMI vs SCADA?

The SCADA system is used to monitor and control the entire facility, and it works on a regular computer rather than an industrial device. A SCADA system is typically used to manage the entire factory; the SCADA system is comprised of RTUs, sensors, and PLCs. The SCADA system includes an HMI, which allows the SCADA to communicate with all of the devices to which it is attached. An HMI is generally tied to a single process and cannot handle an entire plant like a SCADA or be connected to many processes.

Advantages of Human-Machine Interface (HMI)

I. Productivity

We can improve the efficiency of a machine that performs a task by using the HMI, therefore we can now complete more work in less time with the help of the HMI.

II. Data Saving

The HMI features a data storing capability that allows it to record data. So all we have to do is type the command into the HMI, and it will immediately connect to the device and record the data. This information could be valuable for troubleshooting and clearing mechanical issues.

III. Remote Control with IoT

IoT can be defined as a collection of devices; the HMI is also connected to the internet, allowing for remote control and network monitoring.

Advantages of Human Machine Interface

IV. Data Translation

The HMI would transform the data from the industrial control system into understandable data for the operator, usually in the form of a visual representation, allowing the operator to see the graphical representation of the system and control it.

V. Reduce Overheads

By utilizing the Human-Machine Interface, we are able to reduce industrial expenses by eliminating or lowering consoles, panels, cables, and so on.

Challenges of Human Machine Interface (HMI)

  • The HMI is linked to the internet to perform remote operations, which means they can be hacked and data lost.
  • Sometimes the design of the HMI can cause confusion between the operator and the machine, resulting in serious errors, and this confusion is caused by the HMI design.

What are the applications of HMI?

Human Machine Interface (HMI) is inevitable in the industrial sector and is widely used in industrial automation. Following are some other industries that can benefit from HMI systems.

  • Automotive
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing industries
  • Oil & gas
  • Power
  • Recycling
  • Food processing
  • Robotics
  • Military and Aerospace
  • Broadcast

According to Fortune Business Insights, The global industrial automation market is projected to grow from $191.74 billion in 2021 to $355.44 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 9.2% in the 2021-2028 forecast period.

Human-machine interfaces have advanced rapidly in the last three years or so, and HMI functionality is becoming a market differentiator. Customers want smarter equipment that is more connected. They want more visibility into their labeling operations and want to use technology to boost productivity.

Today’s HMIs provide major improvements in user experience, such as improved visuals, greater connection, larger screen sizes, and multi-touch functionality. They enable better access to a machine’s current status as well as information that may be utilized to optimize the machine’s performance throughout its lifecycle. Access to manuals, training, user guide set-ups, preventative maintenance, OEE optimization, and remote support are all features of HMIs.

INDOVANCE Inc, headquartered in Apex, NC, with its exclusive delivery hub in India, is a global CAD outsourcing partner serving the needs of the AEC industry since 2003. At INDOVANCE we focus on the unique need of each project or client and believe in addressing the real challenges and guarantee that the process will be well-coordinated, smooth, efficient, and hassle-free.  We collaborate with our customers around the world to develop bespoke business solutions using our enormous engineering talent pool.

Having two decades of experience in the AEC industry has made us realize that providing Outsourcing services is more than quality and cost. It is an overall experience that we want our clients to relish. INDOVANCE works as your extended virtual arm, aligning with your culture & processes, and firmly believes in the concept of ONENESS for mutual Growth.

For more queries regarding any of the topics mentioned above, feel free to connect with us on our website www.indovance.com, or contact us at +1-919-238-4044.

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