Human machine interfaces (HMI) is a multi-billion industry that continues to grow larger and more widespread with each passing year. In fact, current estimates predict the industry to reach $6.31 billion by 2022.
The Pushbutton Replacer
Among the most common types of HMIs is the pusbutton replacer. As the name suggests, this is a central control panel consisting of multiple buttons, each of which has a specific function. Many industrial factories use pushbutton replacers to improve their efficiency and productivity. They allow workers to perform various commands on one or more machines through the use of a single, convenient interface. Having all of the commands centralized in a single location is a huge improvement over manual operation of machines.
The Data Handler
Another commonly used type of HMI is the data handler. This HMI is primarily used for gathering/harvesting data, at which point it may be sent a hard drive or printed out, depending on the user’s command. Data handlers are particularly useful in applications involving large amounts of data. If a company needs to collect data from a machine or piece of equipment, it will likely use a data handler HMI.
A third type of HMI is the overseer, which is typically run on the Windows operating system. It takes a more visual approach to the interaction between a human operator and machine, allowing for a graphical interface via an electronic display or touchscreen display.
Of course, these are just a few of the most common types of HMIs. You might be wondering which type is right for your workplace. Well, there’s no easy answer to this question, as no two workplaces are identical. Furthermore, it’s often best to customize your own HMI based on your specific needs. By customizing your own HMI, you can include features to better improve its functionality for the intended task at hand.
When choosing an HMI, think about how (and where) it will be used. When used in industrial settings, the pushbutton replacer is an excellent choice. It’s simple, easy to use, and maintains a high level of reliability, which is particularly important in industrial settings.