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What is HMI
HMI an acronym to the human machine interface that connects a person to a machine, system or device. In other words, a screen allows a user to interact with a device thereby connecting man and machine. HMI has myriad applications across manufacturing, automotive processing, and other industries. HMI is based on the principle of ergonomics forms that help users in the rapid acquisition of skills wherein a man and machine get along.
Usability of HMI
HMI technology is ubiquitous but considered as a standalone technological area. It includes motion sensors, keyboards, and similar peripheral devices that act as an adapter for other technologies. HMIs helps in reducing error simultaneously reducing the physical or mental stress of users. It improves reliability and maintainability and increases user acceptance and comfort.
How it Works in Industrial Settings
HMI comes in various forms such as built-in screens on machines to computer monitors to tablets. The main purpose is to provide insight into mechanical performance and progress. In industrial settings, this technology is in use in almost all industrial organizations. The technology is more essential for the professionals who use them to review and monitor processes.
Developing Trends in HMI Technology
With the advent of smartphones, touchscreens and mobile HMI have emerged as the smartest choice as it allows users to tap or touch the physical screen to access controls. Mobile HMI offers instant access to HMI information and remote monitoring. Google has introduced Google Lab ATAP which is working on the trackpad to wear. the garment is made of fabric that serves as the user interface as well. Google is planning to launch these smart jeans soon and we are eagerly waiting for it.
Remote monitoring is one of the best trends to date where operators can access and manage the process on their factory floor while being miles away from the facility. Kardex Remstar has introduced a system that comprises of small lights that help the workers to locate the merchandise which he is searching for thereby giving an edge over conventional picking. Therefore, the worker works faster and puts all the orders correctly thereby saving costs.
Edge -of-Network and Cloud HMIs
According to recent articles, edge-of-network will completely upstage the cloud. Edge computing enables devices in the field or in internal environments to respond immediately, with or without connectivity while the cloud stores and processes data from devices for analysis. Now, you might think which technologies best serve the purpose. However, there is no hard and fast rule to choose between edge and cloud. Both technologies work seamlessly as both reduce latency, control devices locally.
Peering into the Future of Human Machine interface
The future of HMI looks very bright as engineers are exploring ways to implement augmented reality and virtual reality to visualize manufacturing functions. So it pays to be aware of developments in consumer electronics. acoustic technology is expected to offer rugged capabilities for HMis.The technology is very similar to current touch screen technology in how it functions however when integrated with LCD’s, graphics or even traditional touch screens, it makes the whole HMI far more rugged. The limitations of traditional switch technology have been overcome by acoustic switches because it supported a person’s operator’s finger absorbing acoustic ultrasonic energy thereby enables users not to move any part of the switch but the switch figures out the command. Therefore, there are not many moving parts to the switch, meaning the switch may be a finger-operated solid-state switch.
The relationship between man and machine going to be more intimate with the advent of smart and complex machines. Developers are bringing in alternative human-machine interfaces, wherein users consciously communicate to the machines. The communication is based on gestures. From now on switches, levers, buttons, or keyboards won’t be the sole communication channel between the man and their machine.