Automation is the latest trending technology in many fields especially in industries like manufacturing, control systems, mining, etc. The industrial automation system developers are constantly searching for methods of improving the availability and maximizing the efficiency of those systems without compromising their quality and safety of operations. One of the areas where improvements can have significant impacts in this pursuit is HMIs, or user interfaces, used to control and operate industrial systems.
However, there are several trends in the current implementations of industrial automation systems that need to be addressed while GUI development, including the following:
- Larger systems
- Greater volumes of data
- Increased levels of automation
- Staffing proficiency
- Remote operations
The modern industrial systems continue to get larger, generate greater volumes of data, have increased levels of automation, suffer staffing issues, and are commonly operated from remote locations. These changes in the industry as a whole require a new approach to industrial process visualization. As industrial processes evolve, so will the design of the HMIs that are used to operate those processes. Today’s automated machines should have rich GUIs with sophisticated graphics and touch-based HMIs, which facilitates operator’s tasks and makes operations safer.
A good industrial HMI should be built in consideration of all these principles put together, adding user-centered design methods. This is the only way to ensure that the system has high manufacturing performance and flexibility, and that it successfully exercises its functions.