The new generation of HMI will replace traditional buttons, indicators and selectors with updated technology and components, reduce the dependence on a large number of display panels and cables, and reduce operating costs through advanced HMI functions to enhance monitoring of equipment.
In recent years, Human Machine Interface (HMI) has developed rapidly, and advanced functionality has become a differentiating factor in the market, and its importance has become more and more obvious, such as iPod or iPhone, which is a representative application of an intuitive human-machine interface that completely changes the way users perceive a specific product type.
Optimize operational processes through centralization and digitization, allowing users to view important information with different forms of graphics, chatbots or digital assistance. Therefore, it can be observed that more and more industrial applications and automation equipment manufacturers have largely introduced advanced human-machine interfaces to enhance the competitiveness of their products.
Due to the success of changes in the operating interface of Apple or other high-end consumer products, many industrial equipment manufacturers have begun to pay more attention to the improvement of the user control interface, making the HMI in the new generation of equipment embedded with higher-level functions and interactive technologies, such as multi-touch screens and high-performance displays.
In addition, the application of HMI has also expanded to various fields, including manufacturing plants, vending machines, food and beverage industries, pharmaceuticals, and other utilities. For example, in various application industries such as food and beverages, packaging, etc., the use of automation to improve operational efficiency is an important trend that promotes the substantial expansion of the human-machine interface market.
Internet and Industry 4.0 Drive Demands for Advanced HMIs
In the past, through the integration of HMI and PLC, although the user-friendly convenience and multi-functionality of operation have been greatly improved, with the rise of the Internet and Industry 4.0, it is necessary to further realize the monitoring and data collection capabilities of the entire system, so that technicians can be easier to select or adjust engineering parameters according to the current state. Including in the manufacturing process of metal objects, the method and speed of cutting or folding metal can be controlled through advanced HMI. In the field of logistics, HMI can also provide intelligent inventory control and purchase, reducing the number of deliveries by suppliers.
According to the research report of Mordor Intelligence, a market research company, the global human-machine interface market size in 2020 is about 3.71 billion US dollars, and it is expected to reach 7.24 billion US dollars by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 10.3% during the forecast period (2021~2026). The new generation of HMI will replace traditional buttons, indicator lights and selectors with updated technology and components, and reduce the dependence on a large number of display panels and cables, and further strengthen the monitoring of equipment through advanced HMI to reduce operating costs.
It is the mainstream trend for industrial and consumer products to be connected through the Internet. According to the World Bank, the number of IoT-connected devices increased from 15.41 billion in 2015 to 20.35 billion in 2017, and is expected to grow substantially to 51.11 billion by 2023. The rise of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has made it easier to connect between industrial and consumer products, making it easier to turn smartphones and smart watches into mobile or wearable HMIs.
Today's human-machine interface has made great progress in terms of operation friendliness, including more concise and intuitive graphics, multi-functional connection, larger screen size and multi-touch function, providing more operation breadth, not only the control of the current state of the equipment, but further, can be used to improve the performance characteristics of the entire operation of the equipment.
5 key points that should be paid attention to when planning the introduction of advanced HMI on the production line, including:
1. Must be designed to increase productivity and increase output.
2. It can provide users with better intuitive operation and provide visual troubleshooting suggestions instead of a bunch of difficult text instructions.
3. Provide enhanced comprehensive reporting and information tracking capabilities.
4. Can provide preventive maintenance planning and early warning.
5. Remote access, proactive maintenance, consumables identification and consumables ordering can be performed to support higher-capacity equipment self-monitoring.
The Introduction of Embedded HMI Is Speeding Rapidly
Most HMIs today are embedded. Embedded simply means that the screen is one, including the interface, touch screen (or PLC), graphics driver with video and some data processing capabilities. These functionalities are becoming mainstream and are easily interconnected with other devices via the Internet.
Today's embedded human-machine interface can provide more capabilities to display complex data in real time, such as the OEE of the equipment, which can immediately and actively display the fault location on the screen and through video, and provide a mechanism to repair the fault. Add to that the ability to securely and reliably connect remotely to other equipment; these capabilities have historically required the installation of very expensive additional IT infrastructure, or a functional suite for factory visualization.
Currently, embedded HMIs may use some commercial computer components, but their hardware designs are tailored to accommodate the temperature and other environmental factors associated with industrial applications. In addition, the embedded operating system does not need to take up a lot of resources, but only needs to carry the HMI function, so it only needs lower processing power and less memory.
The embedded HMI can also be used without additional setup, so the integrated touch screen is easy to use and has fewer failure points than IPC-based HMI components, which helps to prepare spare parts for maintenance. Whether it's a new project or a replacement unit for an existing system, quick installation is possible.
With the embedded human-machine interface, it has the ability to improve the way and ability to provide information or early warning. By increasing the speed processing structure, it is possible to achieve real-time information analysis and display the overall information of the system. For example, it can display the overall image of the equipment, send out indication signals at the fault location, provide the operator with the guidance steps to troubleshoot the fault, complete the steps to solve the fault and reset the machine, instead of only flashing the warning light as in the past few years. In this way, there is no need to go through difficult operation manuals, and problems can be solved on the spot, which greatly reduces downtime and improves operation efficiency.
Advanced Information Analysis and Anomaly Detection
Advanced HMIs can perform advanced information analysis themselves. Much of the world's data is stream and time-series data, where anomalous data provides important information indicative of emergencies, including preventive and predictive maintenance, fault detection and monitoring, and more.
An "abnormal" is usually defined as an abnormal behavior of the system, which is completely different from the past concept. The anomaly may be a spatial anomaly, which means the value is outside the typical range. It could also be a time anomaly that, although the value is not outside the typical range, occurs in a different order. Status labels can be associated with anomalies and can classify them as temporal or spatial. Alerting systems can also assign weights based on priority, importance, and frequency to predict failures.
Therefore, any advanced HMI must provide the necessary support locally, and send and receive messages in real time, ensuring that remote device data is up-to-date and valid.
Once in the cloud, field data can be consolidated and combined with data from multiple sources. Can provide factories considering multiple operations simultaneously or a single complete set of equipment, regardless of location, cloud-based filtering and analysis models that can be used to refine data for in-depth analysis, predict behavior and trends, such as mean time between failures (MTBF) for equipment or service life. This information can then be sent back to machine learning models running in HMIs deployed at the edge to improve their production operations.
Affected By Covid-19 and the Need for Remote Control of Factories, Driving the Demand for Mobile HMI
Fostering demand for mobile HMIs due to the impact of COVID-19. For example, with an advanced HMI under a high display capability panel, it is possible to remotely connect to the device and obtain all the information needed for deeper control. In addition, after strengthening the remote connection capability and simplifying the operation, the overall productivity of the factory can be improved without being affected by the operating environment factors. Therefore, the realization of this kind of equipment capability in the market is highly anticipated.
By improving the information mobility and capability of the device, HMI makes more and more powerful applications can be realized. For example, when controlling large-scale equipment, the information in the equipment can be transmitted to the remote portable control terminal. In reverse, when the equipment needs to be commanded, it can be sent on the mobile human-machine interface terminal. Complete step-by-step instructions.
In the past, sending step-by-step instructions on the HMI in front of the device did not help much convenience, but with the mobile human-machine interface, the instructions can be displayed on the portable control terminal, and the operation time can be shortened as well as optimizing the entire operation process, driving plant efficiency and OEE.
Due to the changes in remote working brought about by COVID-19, this technology allows operators to maintain and operate remotely through video, audio and video from home or anywhere. Therefore, the value and efficiency of mobile HMI is greatly enhanced throughout the application and convenience, and over time, will be used to improve the visibility and efficiency of operations. So, what we can say is that the emergence of COVID-19 has really accelerated the adoption and value of mobile HMIs.
Advanced HMIs Will Enable More Efficient Control
HMIs have come a long way since their earliest days of automation. It's important to understand that older HMI screens are no longer sufficient. Introduce and implement high-performance HMI upgrades that increase productivity for everyone, from operators to decision makers. Therefore, when starting to upgrade HMI hardware and software, high-performance HMI screens need to be considered to better control the manufacturing process and system.
There is no doubt that equipment technology and the need to visualize the manufacturing process will continue to evolve over time. As devices become smarter and AI continues to improve, the industry will benefit from the benefits of a high-performance HMI interface. Well-trained employees can operate in accordance with standardized screens, and ensure the correctness of their operations and master system information, which is crucial to improving production efficiency.