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Human Machine Interface (HMI)

This operator interface portfolio is among the most robust set of solutions in the industry. The XV100 basic HMI provides incredible value for OEMs needing machine visualization and control. The XV300 advanced HMI allows machine builders to offer next generation performance and functions that will propel their equipment into the future. The XP500 industrial PC provides an industry-leading SCADA solution.
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XP500 industrial panel PCs

XP500 industrial panel PCs

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XV100 basic human machine interface (HMI)

XV100 basic human machine interface (HMI)

Go to XV300 advanced human machine interface (HMI)
XV300 advanced human machine interface (HMI)

XV300 advanced human machine interface (HMI)

What is a Human Machine Interface?

Human machine interface (HMI), also sometimes referred to as the operator interface (OI) is a means for the operator to monitor and control machinery and processes.  

Although initially designed as a replacement for pushbuttons, in the 1980s operator interface matured into a more compact, manageable and flexible way for plant personnel to interact with plant processes.  

They have evolved into much more than simple monitoring and can include, for example, web serving, email, trending and smartphone support. 

Eaton

HMI components

Hardware

Hardware, also referred to as the OI, is the online unit or operator station that displays insight into the machine functionality. OI hardware includes:

  • Display (TFT, STN)
  • Touchscreen (IR, resistive, capacitive)
  • Communication ports
  • Keypad

Software

PC-based software is used to configure and transfer applications to and from the OI. OI software includes:

  • Development
  • Runtime

Types of HMI display panels

Dual scan LCD monitor

Dual-scan LCD color screens

Dual-scan LCD color screens are currently more affordable, but have a somewhat limited viewing angle and are less luminous.

Active matrix TFT monitor

Active-matrix TFT color screens

Active-matrix thin-film transistor (TFT) color screens are quire bright and easily viewable with a broad viewing angle (from the side).

Proprietary vs. open design

Proprietary design

Proprietary design features both hardware and software that is unique to the brand or HMI. The software will only run on the designed hardware, and hardware will only run the software package.  

Proprietary units typically have an advantage of lower pricing because they are designed for a dedicated OI.

Open design

Open platform design features unique software, which typically runs on a Windows-based personal computer platform.   

Open designs are typically based on an Intel architecture PC, which allows for use of off-the-shelf hardware and software to extend the capabilities of the OI. Today's open systems are typically more expensive than proprietary designs.

   Human Machine Interface FAQs

When selecting a HMI for an application, what questions should I ask?

  • What is the required screen size?
  • What communication protocol is required?
  • What advanced features are needed? For example, web serving, trending, emails, etc.

What range of sizes does Eaton create for HMIs?

Eaton's HMIs range in screen size from 3.5 inches up to 22 inches of
display panels.

HMI in a range of screen sizes

How will a HMI benefit the user?

The use of an HMI benefits the user in many ways including:

  • Increase operator confidence and cooperation  
  • Reduce material losses by reducing scrap 
  • Reduce downtime by providing faster diagnostics 
  • Enhance product quality through closer monitoring of product parameters