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Human Machine Interface (HMI) is Improving our Interaction With Technology

by | Jul 5, 2022 | Industry

Human-machine interface and computation technologies have fundamentally changed the way people thought and interact with devices. Before, writing an operating system was a capricious matter. It was just a matter of tuning up some graphics routines. But since the start of the 21st century, things have changed.

As technology has started to embed every aspect of our life, the internet connecting everybody on earth and cloud computing providing a lot of computing resources, the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) has become one of the most salient features of how we interact with devices. The human-machine interface refers to a dashboard or screen used to control devices.

The HMI systems use various icons, sounds, pictures, and colors to illustrate the current status and operating conditions. HMIs are all around us now. The industry is growing at a tremendous rate where the market is expected to grow from 4.3 billion dollars in 2020 to 5.6 billion dollars by 2025.

They take the form of different aspects. They are embedded in our cars, offices, wearables, appliances, internet of things devices, computers, and more. In industrial settings, HMIs can help reduce the complexity of machines. By offering a human-machine interface, manufacturers can make the user experience more pleasant.

The human-machine interface is the process by which a human controls a machine. For instance, in a car, the user can control various elements such as the speedometer, stereo, air conditioning, and even the steering wheel. All inputs and outputs are relayed through the interface. There are also various types of HMIs, such as touchscreens, analog displays, and e-ink panels.

An example of a human-machine interface can be the smartphone we carry around all day long. Most HMI systems take the form of a screen display. The system lets humans interact with the machine. Another common HMI that we encounter regularly would be an ATM. The screen and push buttons allow you to operate the machine to dispense a certain amount of money or for a deposit of money.

Also, as we all have smartphones connected to the web and we are always on social networks which create new needs in terms of HMI technology. And improvement in the machine-human interface can lead to more portable and smaller technologies such as electronic bracelets or smartwatches.

Why human machine interface is important?

In simpler terms, HMI is a way to control a machine using input and output. With the input being the instruction and the output is the result. The main goal of an HMI is to make the interaction between humans and machines as seamless as possible. Thus improving activities and creating ease of life.

Human Machine Interfaces are typically screens, touchscreens, or other user-friendly devices that attach to the user. They help factory operators automate production lines and processes as well as simplify many of the complexities of manufacturing. They can improve productivity, cut waste and increase profitability.

HMI systems enable operators to interact with an automated system and see its complete schematics. Operators can then turn on or off the necessary switches, increase flow rate, or decrease contact time. They can also display information regarding the current status of a device using visual cues and sounds.

Almost all industries are actively implementing HMI systems into their workflows to enhance productivity. Among those industries are the manufacturing, energy, oil and gas power, recycling, food and beverage, water and wastewater, transportation, pharmaceutical, and biotech sector, which are embarrassing the benefits of HMI.

The implementation of HMI provides a wide range of benefits for workers. This includes increased visibility, as the system centralizes data on how machinery and equipment are performing within a single place. HMI is used to illustrate indicators and signaling devices. It also enhanced organizational operation efficiency with real-time data.

Organizations can keep track of operation processes and adapt to the constant changes in demand and decreased downtime. Human machine interface is also effective for monitoring and alerting abnormal events in the production line. Everything is shown on a centralized dashboard with detailed descriptions of the issues.

Machine human interface also improved usability and makes it easier for the employees to monitor the performance of the organization facility and control machinery. This can also result in cost reduction and decreased operating expenses. Modern industrial HMIs are multimedia-rich, enabling engineers to integrate multiple devices and monitor data from remote locations.

The most promising trend in HMI is remote monitoring which allows operators to control equipment and monitor the status of processes without being physically present. Integrated videos and SMS alerts help employees better understand and manage the processes at the factory. And they can be used for remote operation, analysis, and even remote control of multiple machines.

Touchscreen HMIs provide many benefits as operators can make changes without rewiring the control panel. Besides that, they enable remote monitoring and only allow authorized users to access reports and dashboards from anywhere in the world. The remote access to data also makes it easier to supervise and control a process after normal working hours.

HMI technology allows industrial workers to interact with machines and simplify processes. Cloud-based HMI technology can sync data and allow remote access to information about the equipment’s status. Also, an intuitive interface can further optimize user experiences as well as improve productivity, engagement, and interactions.

Moreover, HMI technology connects humans to computers and programmable logic controllers, which receive data and send operating instructions. And with advancements in wearable devices becoming prevalent, the operating system can easily communicate critical information, display alert, potential issues, and system performance with great interfaces to small portable devices.

The field of human computer interaction is advancing and becoming more complex. Human languages are extremely complex to process since there are more than 7000 of them with a lot of different vocabularies. Hence, advancements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) which is a branch of Artificial Intelligence provide better voice recognition for operators.

NLP can easily process human’s natural linguistic commands and allow the operating system to understand. This feature feather improves our interaction with technology. Also, gesture recognition allows touchless control over machinery which provides enhanced situational awareness and intuitive control.

NLP and gesture control make human-machine interactions smoother as well as improve the efficiency of the facility, decrease downtimes and ensure safety in the workplace. Machine-human interface is a field of research that designs, observes, and analyses the interaction and experiences of humans with technology.

The HMI helps operators work more efficiently, reduces training and task saturation, and increases the overall efficiency of the system. They are an important technology in the field of engineering and are becoming increasingly common in our daily lives. HMIs has become ubiquitous and we use them to control our ease of life.

The development of post-WIMP (windows, icons, menus, and pointers) has triggered technological advancements and insights into human psychology. Organic user interfaces were built on flexible displays that could respond to the human hand’s movements. The latter type of HMI is called a “graspable” interface, as it allows users to interact with virtual objects with a physical handle.

HMI response time must be the shortest possible so that the human can communicate with the machine with no hesitation. And the human-machine interface should be as natural and comfortable as possible for the user. This way, it will become easy for everyone to use.

HMI is also the practice of cognitive science and ergonomics design to improve technological experiences for existing and future technologies. It can also be a big benefit for remote patient monitoring and allow the elder or patients with a disability easily interact with devices without the need for assistance. And in case of emergency, they can easily seek attention with simple clicks.

The field of HMI has expanded and includes a lot of different displaying abilities which can benefit disabled people. HMI creates a more precise and quick-to-use system that doesn’t require many interactions or computer knowledge. This ability increases efficiency in a system where the user spends a lot of time reaching their goals.

A Human-machine interface is essential to the operation of a machine and it can be incredibly frustrating if it isn’t designed well. It may be confusing or nonfunctional, or simply difficult to use. It is important to choose the right HMI for your machine, as a poorly designed HMI will only result in a machine that cannot function effectively. Its usability depends on how easy it is to use.

The user must have a thorough understanding of how humans interact with machines before creating an HMI. This way, they can get the job done efficiently. And if they have a specific need, the HMI must be tailored to fit their needs. These devices can be used as a replacement for consoles, connections, and control panels. The more usable and effective it is, the better.

The benefits of a well-designed HMI system go beyond improving productivity. Ultimately, HMIs improve safety, quality, and economic efficiency. They help minimize the risks of disruptions in the production process, improve efficiency and reduce over-downtime. Moreover, it enables fewer operators to handle more information.

HMIs are becoming the backbone of the production line, providing real-time data acquisition, enhanced stock control and improved data acquisition. The use of HMI software can cut overall costs. Those savings mainly come from the reduction of maintenance costs and training staff. And now mobile applications give workers access to controls from the comfort of their smartphones.

Also, workers will be more satisfied with tasks performed with touchscreens than those that don’t. In addition, HMIs can provide real-time feedback, set alarms, and make modifications without reprogramming. And, because they offer flexibility, they can be customized to fit the needs of a specific group of people, regardless of the industry.

HMI can also function in all environments and can be designed to resist high levels of shock and vibration. Moreover, it is rugged to withstand heavy wear and tear. In addition to enabling operators to interact with machines, these systems can provide real-time data acquisition and improve the productivity of a production process.

The use of these tools in manufacturing is increasingly widespread. With the leverage of industrial HMIs, companies can build new leadership roles and oversee innovative approaches. With the Internet of Things (IoT), HMIs can connect to the internet, which offers new possibilities for industrial settings.

For example, the internet can be used to monitor networks of connected devices and the data collected can be analyzed for predictive analysis. With the advent of IoT, more customers expect industrial HMIs to behave just like cell phones do. And as with any technology, it’s important to develop a long-term R&D strategy to reap the benefits of this innovative technology.