In order to gather and present information to the operator, HMIs often interface with a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and field sensors. HMI panels can be relatively simple, from single function (monitoring) to more complicated tasks, such managing batch processes and adjusting production speed or recipe.
Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) provide a variety of features and benefits that make them a critical component of industrial automation systems. Here are some of the key features and benefits of HMIs:
A high-performance HMI can provide better process visibility. It offers system performance monitoring from a single dashboard (which can also be done remotely). By being able to react to alarms more rapidly, these skills help to increase productivity.
The operator can operate the system, turn on pumps, begin a process, or manually open a valve using push buttons on the screen.
- Data logging:
Real-time data logging by HMIs enables the creation of a historical record of system performance.
- Alarms and alerts:
HMIs can offer in-the-moment notifications and alarms for important system conditions, enabling operators to take immediate corrective action before problems worsen.
Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and sensors are two examples of other system components that interact with HMIs via communication protocols.
HMIs offer the factory’s operators a number of advantages, such as:
1. Improved efficiency:
Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) provide real-time data and remote access to system performance, allowing operators to quickly identify and address issues that could negatively impact efficiency. By doing so, downtime may be decreased and overall productivity can rise.
2. Enhanced safety:
HMIs can help prevent accidents by providing real-time alerts and alarms for critical system conditions. They also allow operators to monitor and control the system from a safe distance, reducing the risk of injury or exposure to hazardous conditions.
3. Increased flexibility:
HMIs enable operators to adjust system parameters and settings on the fly, allowing them to optimize system performance and adapt to changing conditions. This can help increase system flexibility and responsiveness.
4. Improved data collection and analysis:
HMIs provide a wealth of real-time data that can be used for analysis and optimization. Operators can track trends, identify patterns, and make informed decisions based on the data collected by the HMI.
5. Enhanced user experience:
HMIs provide an intuitive, user-friendly interface that makes it easy for operators to monitor and control the system. This can help reduce operator errors and increase user satisfaction.
SCADA vs HMI
Because the components of the system are typically installed widely apart from one another in most installations, controlling the individual sections of the system in huge industrial facilities is either difficult or even impossible. As a result, it becomes necessary to monitor and manage them using SCADA and HMI. The scope of SCADA and HMI differs significantly. Indeed, the HMI is really a component of the bigger SCADA system. The HMI wouldn’t be much use without SCADA.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, or “SCADA,” is an integrated system that is used to regulate and observe how each component of the plant operates. In addition to other aspects of the machinery, the SCADA frequently regulates pumps, fans, and other devices. Electronic circuits called PLCs, or programmable logic circuits, serve as the controlling mechanisms. The PLC polls the sensors for data and operates the machine. After then, the control room receives the data. The operator must interpret the data in the control room and give orders, such as turning on or off the machinery. The Human Machine Interface, or HMI, enters the picture here. The HMI often displays the system’s whole graphical layout.
The complete system that manages and keeps an eye on a plant’s operations is known as SCADA. But in everyday use, the majority of its components aren’t really meant to be handled frequently. The HMI is typically the sole component that users can see and interact with. Due to this, individuals may mistakenly believe that SCADA and HMI are interchangeable terms or that they represent several implementations of the same technology.