The Basic Knowledge of Human Machine Interface

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Human Machine Interfaces plays a substantial function in industrial automation, enabling the effective operation and monitoring of important production devices. Development within the automation industries which in turn enhanced the development in HMI marketplace is really a significant driver. The other important elements driving the marketplace consist of demand for enhanced efficiency, higher development of software program solutions appropriate for every application and growing require for information safety and dependable hardware. Around the other side, the HMI marketplace development is hampered by elements like restricted geographical diversity, higher price of HMI platforms and advancements in technologies at a fairly slow pace.

Some HMIs also translate information from industrial manage systems into human-readable visual representations from the systems. Via the HMI, an operator can see schematics from the systems and turn switches and pumps on or off, for instance, or raise or reduce temperatures. HMIs are often deployed on Windows-based machines, communicating with programmable logic controllers (PLC) as well as other industrial controllers.



  • Fast commissioning with intuitive operating of your devices no matter which measurement technology you use (flow, level, pressure, analysis or temperature)
  • Safe commissioning with parameterization via “make-it-run” wizards for quick & reliable basic setup
  • Enhanced safety for your process with clear diagnostic, maintenance information icons and texts according to int. standards
  • Great confidence in your settings with plain text messages displayed in your language

How does an HMI Work?

First consider the other components that are necessary to make a manufacturing control system operate. The production line consists of all the machinery that performs the work required in the production of the product. Next, consider the various input/output sensors that monitor temperature, speed, pressure, weight and feed rate. Third, decide on the programmable logic controller (PLC) that will receive the data from the input/output sensors, and converts the data into logical combinations.

What Programming Software to Choose?

When considering which programming software to use, there are three main categories to choose from: proprietary, hardware independent and open software. Proprietary software is the software that the manufacturer provides, which is typically easy to use and allows for quick development. The drawback is that proprietary software will only run on that specific hardware platform. Hardware-independent software is third party software developed to program on several different types of HMIs. This type of software gives the developer much more freedom for the HMI selection. The downside to hardware independent software is that it is not as user-friendly as the proprietary. Open Software should only be selected by the advanced programmer. It allows the developer to have complete openness in the design process.

As many people have noted, a poorly designed human machine interface can be extremely frustrating. On one end of the scale, the interface may be buggy or nonfunctional, causing difficulty because it does not work as intended. On the other end of the scale, the interface works, but it is designed in such a way that it is confusing and challenging to operate because it is not intuitive for users. The art of designing intuitive interfaces requires a deep understanding of how humans interact with their environment and an awareness of the psychology of designing interfaces in a way which will be accessible to a broad spectrum of humans. What works for an engineer in a human machine interface, for example, might not be as easy for a member of the general public.


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