What is HMI? Get to Know the Human-Machine Interface Better

The link between humans and machines, or Human-Machine Interface (HMI), is currently one of the hottest topics in industrial automation. In fact, it seems that the future of industrial automation lies in the hands of this technology.

Therefore, the intense competition that has emerged among companies is not surprising; a competition to invent the most innovative platform that can bring two worlds closer together, ultimately destined to merge: humans and machines.

With these considerations in mind, let’s delve into the definition of HMI.

What is HMI?

HMI, short for Human Machine Interface, is the interface between humans and machines. This device establishes communication between the operator and the controller in an industrial system. HMI serves as a control panel for the controller. This panel includes a numerical keypad and an LCD display that shows text.

In essence, any electronic page that establishes a relationship between a user and a device is called an HMI, but generally, the most common use of this term is in industrial processes. The settings carried out in industries by HMI can take the following forms:

Displaying data visually:

– Monitoring signs, processes, and production time.

– Monitoring the inputs and outputs of machinery.

Using HMI, through software, provides users with performance data of industrial processes and receives control commands from the operator. Usually, the information is displayed graphically on the HMI.

HMI is used for monitoring the inputs and outputs of machinery, displaying visual data, and observing time, workflow, and tags.

HMI panels enable users to start and stop, set setpoints, and perform other functions to adjust and interact with the control system. Since the functionality of HMI is software-based, wiring is eliminated from the system, making configuration very easy for users.

Types of HMI:

HMI facilitates managing various control and visualization processes. The simplest type is models with input via a touch screen, while the most advanced type is control panels used for highly complex industrial automation systems.

Keypad HMI:

As implied by its name, this type of HMI includes a control panel with buttons, each serving a specific purpose. Many factories use this type of HMI to enhance efficiency and productivity. With this type of HMI, users can issue various commands to one or multiple machines through a simple user interface. When all commands are consolidated in one place, manual machine control by the operator becomes very easy.

Data Control HMI:

This type of HMI is used for data collection. Depending on user preference, this information can be transferred to a printer or computer. This HMI is useful in cases where we encounter a large amount of data. If there is a need to collect data from machinery or equipment in a process, this type of HMI is used.

Supervisory HMI:

The third type of HMI is the supervisory HMI, which usually operates with the Windows operating system. The use of this type of HMI, due to its graphical and touch screen interface, allows for the highest level of user interaction with machinery and processes. However, this type of HMI is the most common.

PLC and HMI Communication:

Most modern control systems today use Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) to control motors, pumps, valves, and many other devices. HMI serves as an interactive communication tool between PLCs and users. When you write a program for an HMI, you create a graphical interface on each page that allows the user to send and receive commands to the PLC via a configured protocol. Everything you create, including field inputs and outputs, alarm displays, and status indication icons, is linked to an address in the PLC.

Advantages of Using HMI:

HMI systems are currently one of the important technologies, especially for medical equipment. When used correctly, access to the control system will be easy, reliable, and effective.

Difference between HMI and SCADA:

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and HMI are very similar and both are parts of a larger industrial control system, but each has different applications and provides different features. The main function of HMI is to provide information visually to the user to facilitate monitoring of industrial processes.

The SCADA system has more capacity for data collection and control functions on the system. Unlike SCADA systems, HMI does not collect and record process data; instead, HMI is a highly effective communication tool that is used as part of a SCADA system or alongside a SCADA system.

Applications of HMI:

Among the various applications of this product, the following can be mentioned:

– Portable handheld devices

– Machinery

– Central control rooms

– Control processes

– Industrial and building automation

– Digital indicators

– Self-service vending machines

– Pharmaceutical industries

– Automotive industries

– Household electrical equipment

Here are some examples of HMI brands available in Iran:

– Siemens

– Omron

– Delta

– Fatek

– Kinco

– Panel Master

– Lite-One

– LS

– Mitsubishi Electric

– Schneider Electric

– Advantech

We thank you for accompanying us until the end of this article and concluding it. In the ElectroShaily collection, buying at the best price, accessing a complete range of products, prompt and timely delivery, and after-sales services have been provided for customers. You can contact ElectroShaily’s experts to purchase industrial electrical equipment. ElectroShaily will be an unparalleled companion and a profitable choice for you.

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