What is Human-Machine Interface?
A Human-Machine Interface (HMI) is the aspect of a device or software that facilitates a human being’s ability to interact with a machine. This could be as simple as a touchscreen, control panel or keyboard that a factory worker might use to operate or automate machinery on the production line.
More complex HMIs allow workers to monitor and modify processes as well as view real time status as well as historical data on particular processes.
The Role of HMIs in Manufacturing
Factories rely on SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems to track and regulate the multiple processes that take place simultaneously in the day-to-day operations of the production line. There are HMI components embedded in the SCADA systems that allow them to operate efficiently and provide the factory workers and plant managers with the information they need to make sure that all is running smoothly. Such information may include machine temperatures and status as well as number of products produced.
As factories become “smarter,” so do HMIs. Matic’s solution is an example of a sophisticated Human-Machine Interface that keeps factory personnel updated in real-time on all the details of their operations including notifications and alerts and customized dashboards to track all relevant KPIs. It works by using sensors to collect data from each machine and then turning that data into actionable insights resulting in better business decisions and improved productivity.
Benefits of HMIs in a Factory
The benefits to using advanced HMIs in a manufacturing plant include:
- Simplicity – remote monitoring of machinery and seeing the resulting information on a customized dashboard simplifies the process of monitoring and tracking the day-to-day operations.
- Real-time data – an advanced HMI (such as Matics) offers real-time data at the click of a button anytime and anywhere.
- Agility – given the advance alerts and notifications that factory personnel can receive, they can respond much faster to any maintenance or other issues, reducing downtime and increasing efficiency.