Three Trends of Smart Factory HMI
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Three Trends of Smart Factory HMI

With the fermentation of the metaverse theme, after the introduction of AI, Internet of Things, digital twin, AR/VR and other technologies in manufacturing smart factories, the pace of human-machine interface (HMI) intelligence is getting faster and faster. Among them, high elasticity, visibility and reliability will be the three major trends of its development.
Published: Nov 08, 2022
Three Trends of Smart Factory HMI
McKinsey released a new report, pointing out that the amount of investment related to global enterprises and consumers' investment in the metaverse in 2022 has exceeded 120 billion US dollars, and the total annual expenditure in 2030 is estimated to be as high as 5 trillion US dollars; Bloomberg Intelligence predicts It is estimated that the market size of Metaverse will reach 800 billion US dollars in 2024, and the cross-industry chain business opportunities cover information and communication, semiconductor, manufacturing, service industry, finance industry, education industry and other fields.

With the fermentation of the theme of the source universe, after the introduction of AI, Internet of Things, digital twin, AR/VR and other technologies in manufacturing smart factories, the pace of human-machine interface (HMI) intelligence is getting faster and faster.

Three Trends of Smart Factory HMI
In 1988, Pro-face launched the world's first human-machine interface (HMI), which can be connected to different controllers of various brands, such as PLC, motor, thermostat, inverter, motion controller, robotic arm, machine Vision, etc., to meet the needs of a large amount of data and secure connection to the upper layer (central control room) and the field layer (factory) network. After HMI introduces the increasingly mature AI technology, it accelerates the pace of factory intelligence, and uses augmented reality technology to conduct simulation operation learning.

With the advancement of technologies related to Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing, there are three major development trends for human-machine interface (HMI) in smart factories: high flexibility, visibility, and reliability.

This architecture is human-centered, using HMI and IPC as the interface for communication between people and machines, connecting IT and OT, to achieve the purpose of automation, allowing people to have better interaction with machines, and intuitive operation of people can also maximize work efficiency.

Trend 1: High Elasticity
The needs of customers in various industries are different. For example, customers such as semiconductor and panel factories require different HMI functions, which must be adjusted according to the factory environment. Therefore, customization has become a key point. The high flexibility of the Pro-face HMI is a major advantage. It not only supports comprehensive communication formats, but also can be interconnected with various brands of control components.

Trend 2: Visual
HMI assists in the digitization of the production process of workshops and production lines. In recent years, many clients have relied on HMI to visualize data for management and analysis of production information, and the SCADA graphic control software of the human-machine interface provides visual reports, which can help personnel make quick and correct decisions.

Trend Three: Reliability
The security of HMI information and long-distance connection is extremely important. HMI can be used with information security systems for equipment life cycle maintenance, or with remote secure connection solutions, so that clients can safely perform remote operations.

In addition, the built-in IIoT function is also common in industrial automation component products. Based on an open architecture, it can be easily connected with products of different brands. For example, if the machine tool is equipped with a human-machine interface, it can assist the operator to communicate with the equipment, assisting Machine tool manufacturers accelerate product development, integrate software and hardware, and can also provide cloud-based products and services. For manufacturers who need to introduce smart manufacturing and digital maintenance and sales services, they do not need to develop software and model by themselves, which can greatly save time and costs.

In order to promote smart manufacturing, industrial automation solutions are applied to the machine tool industry, and the introduction of AR and other technology applications in the manufacturing industry can help improve operation and maintenance efficiency. For example, using AR to access IoT data can provide useful specified information according to user needs. It is also more convenient and efficient than paper materials.

As for the application of AR in supporting collaboration on the production site, it has more advantages. It can make operations more consistent and efficient, improve safety, greatly reduce human error, avoid accidental interruption of operations, speed up troubleshooting, and shorten mean time to repair (MTTR).

HMI Wisdom Is Upgraded Again with AOA Application Assists
The human-machine interface in the smart factory is also gradually introducing advanced technologies such as AR/MR. In smart factories, AR/MR technology is mostly used in mobile devices. As an extension of HMI, it assists HMI to enrich information. During the process of moving, field personnel can use mobile devices to match information, videos, manuals and other materials to monitor equipment completely. At the end, when the equipment needs maintenance, it can also make the best decision at the first time.

Taking Buhler Group, a large Swiss equipment manufacturer as an example, operators on the production site can instantly access CAD drawings, manuals and teaching videos, production lists, safety information, standard operating procedures (SOP), maintenance schedules and operating conditions. The overlay is displayed on the real-time image of the corresponding device of the mobile device; the AR app can also integrate IoT devices on the production site to provide various information to help customers manage key assets and speed up decision-making; AR tools ROI calculator can try to calculate the payback period and cost and time savings.

When performing reactive maintenance and troubleshooting at the production site, AOA allows technicians to instantly grasp equipment operation and whether the sensor is activated through AR, without being blocked by the equipment in operation and without downtime. Higher efficiency than traditional human-machine interface (HMI) work methods, which can reduce work interruption time.

The more it is necessary to send a technician to the field to handle the application, the higher the effect of AR may be. The technician can watch the teaching video and consult the manual through the AOA; through the AR app, he can also make an audio and video call with the expert to provide real-time on-site status, so that the technician can grasp the situation. For more information, quickly identify the problem; AOA will also list predictive maintenance operations to facilitate job scheduling and manpower deployment.

Apart from being installed on mobile phones or tablets, the AOA app can also be used with smart glasses. The operator does not need to actually open the equipment box or enter the dangerous area, but only needs to view the real-time data of each element in the equipment box projected by the AOA virtual projection, and then the inspection work can be carried out; or follow the digital step diagram displayed by the AOA program to troubleshoot Exclude, follow the map to find out, the action process is clear at a glance, to avoid mistakes.

HMI is the communication bridge between IT and OT. The real-time data that needs to be presented in the AOA program is collected and compiled by the HMI, and then shared with the AOA program device through the server. The two support each other and give full play to their respective advantages.

HMI Remote Operation, Information Security Protection in Place
With the advent of the Metaverse generation, the development and application of HMI technology in future smart factories should not only be introduced to AR/MR. In this regard, the development of future smart factories will be highly related to big data applications, such as HMI application architecture combined with facial recognition function. , the operator's identity can be identified without swiping a card or other actions. As long as the preset and edited formula in the HMI is substituted, the operator's authority can be effectively controlled, the user's information can be recorded, and all operations during use can be tracked to ensure that the equipment Information security, while improving the quality of information management.

The remote operation of equipment is also a future development trend. The HMI is equipped with 4G and WiFi routers. Even when the network cannot be established or the end user's on-site network is unavailable, personnel can easily start safe remote maintenance through the mobile device as an access point.

It is worth mentioning that when big data applications and remote connection become the mainstream, information security management and control will become an important issue. Check the security of the company's data.

Published by Nov 08, 2022 Source :CTIMES

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