Newsletter Volume 21, Issue 10

16 Tips for an Effective HMI

Do you have an HMI project coming up? Here are some helpful tips and guidelines for you to remember during your planning and implementation.

A good starting point for HMI design is a text-based outline documenting each screen’s content. With the operator’s point-of-view and ease-of-use in mind, detail the main screen, equipment status screens, set point or recipe screens, manual functions, message displays and fault displays. These text outlines can then be converted to a story board for each screen.

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Lightweight Automation Options

Some automation applications don’t need a full-blown control system, and today’s lightweight devices can offer targeted and economical options.

Many users have basic automation needs where just a handful of input/output points or a few Internet of Things (IoT) devices need to be monitored. Lightweight devices—often referred to as portals, bridges, or gateways—are optimized to quickly and easily fill these roles by interfacing with higher-level systems.

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Remote Access |White Paper

There are three router-based methods for establishing remote access to industrial systems via a PC or mobile device—with each providing a different level of security, required implementation effort and integrated features.

In today’s Internet of Things (IoT) world, remote mobile access is a necessity for many industrial applications. There are several ways of implementing this connectivity with routers and virtual private networks (VPNs). Three of the most popular methods are:

• standard router (without VPN)
• traditional VPN router
• cloud-hosted VPN router

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Quabbin | Supplier Profile

Through the centuries, the concept of ‘quality’ has fascinated people. Aristotle is credited with saying that quality is not an act, it’s a habit. Henry Ford said that quality means doing it right when no one is looking. Both of these statements describe the culture at Quabbin Wire & Cable Co., which manufactures general purpose electronic wire and cable, commercial data use cable, digital A/V and lighting control, and cable for harsh environments including Industrial Ethernet and Profinet. The company has focused on product quality, innovation and customer service for more than 40 years, never wavering on the importance of delivering on those commitments to its customers.

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What is an HMI?

It’s well known that human beings are visual creatures, and we would all choose a pretty picture over boring text any day. Just look at the popularity of image-based apps like Instagram or Snapchat and it’s obvious that images are king. But on the scientific side, it’s believed that our brains can process visual information 60,000 times faster than text, with 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain being visual, and over half of the brain being devoted directly or indirectly to vision.

Knowing that, one can conclude that using a visual representation of a machine or automated system would allow for faster recognition and understanding of system variables. And that’s where the HMI comes in to play.

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