What is the HMI? Structure, function and application of the HMI

What is the HMI?

HMI is an acronym for Human – Machine – Interface, which means the device that communicates between the operator and the machinery. Strictly speaking, anyway that humans “communicate” with a machine through an interface screen is called HMI. HMI monitors are now too familiar to humans. Especially in the industry. It plays a very important role in communication between people and machines.

Màn hình cảm ứng HMI IDEC- ZUMI

IDEC touch screen HMI 

What are the functions of the HMI?

The Function of hardware

HMI hardware includes the body, chassis, and microchip devices, etc. The specific hardware details and their functions include:

  • Screen: There is a touch function so that the operator can touch to control the operations on it like a modern smartphone that we use every day. In addition, the screen is also used to display the status as well as the operating signals of the device and the device depending on user needs and by Cod programmers.
  • The Key buttons
  • Chip: is the CPU of the screen
  • Program memory: ROM, RAM, EPROM / Flash …

The function of the software

  • Functions and commands
  • Software development
  • HMI construction tools.
  • Tools for connecting, loading programs, and troubleshooting
  • The simulation tool

The media

  • Communication protocols: Modbus, CANbus, PPI, MPI, PROFIBUS …
  • Communication ports: RS232, RS485, Ethernet, USB …

What types of HMI are there?

The traditional HMI 

  • Information Input device: switch, button
  • Information output devices: indicator lights, horn, gauges, paper recorders.

Disadvantages of traditional HMI devices

  • The information is not complete and accurate
  • Limited information storage capacity.
  • Reliability and low stability.
  • For large and complex systems: the complexity is very high and it is difficult to expand.
  • Due to the development of Information Technology and Microelectronics Technology, HMI today uses powerful computing devices.

The modern HMI 

Modern HMI is divided into 2 main categories:

  • HMI on PC and Windows / MAC platforms: SCADA.
  • HMI based on embedded computers: Dedicated HMI.

There are also some other types of HMI variants such as MobileHMI using Palm, PocketPC.

The advantages of modern HMI

  • Flexibility, easy to change and supplement the necessary information.
  • The simplicity of the system, easy to expand, easy to operate and repair.
  • “Opening Function”: strong connectivity, connecting many types of devices and many types of protocols.
  • High storage capacity.
  • The completeness, timeliness and accuracy of the information.

Where is HMI applied?

The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is taking place strongly in all areas and all regions of the world. HMI is an indispensable device that contributes to speeding the automation of stages as well as complex production processes and difficult to require high accuracy. Therefore, HMI is applied in almost all production stages in different fields. For example, oil and gas, electronics, steel production, textiles, electricity, water, automobiles, motorcycles …

Màn hình cảm ứng HMI Fuji Electric TS1070

Fuji Electric TS1070 touch screen HMI 

What steps does the process for developing an HMI system include?

Choose the hardware

  • Select screen size: based on the number of parameters/sensor information displayed simultaneously. demand for graphs and graphics (technology flow …).
  • Select the number of hard keys, the maximum number of touch keys to use at the same time.
  • Choose expansion ports if you need printing, barcode reading, connecting other peripherals.
  • Selecting memory capacity: according to the number of parameters to be collected, data storage, a number of screen pages to display.

Màn hình cảm ứng HMI Schneider

Schneider touch screen HMI

Building interface

  • Hardware configuration: choose hardware, standard protocol …
  • Build the screen.
  • Assign variables (tags) to objects.
  • Use special objects.
  • Write script programs (optional).
  • Simulate and troubleshoot the program.
  • Load the device into the HMI.

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