Human-Machine Interfaces (HMIs), previously known as man-machine interfaces or MMSIs, serve as access points on machinery, management stations, and remote locations. They allow plant personnel and end users to visually monitor and control automated operations, machine functions, and outputs.

The interaction between humans and machines is enabled by a graphical user interface (GUI). This interface not only facilitates user interaction but also ensures a smooth flow of information between supervisory tasks and machine-level operations.

HMI hardware plays a crucial role in this interaction.

Traditionally, it integrates compact control electronics and features a ruggedized display screen or touchscreen. Additionally, these displays can vary in design, ranging from LCD screens with tempered glass and cast-aluminum frames to LED-backlit high-definition displays. Furthermore, manufacturers typically equip HMIs with fully sealed enclosures for use in environments facing outdoor elements or indoors with oil, dirt, and machining byproducts. Consequently, this ensures they remain durable and reliable.

In this HMI Design Guide, we’ll explore various HMI types, their core functions, emerging capabilities, and connectivity choices. Additionally, the guide will examine HMIs’ importance in pilot operations and discuss the industry’s move towards standardization.

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