Manufacturing AUTOMATION

How to design an effective HMI system

December 10, 2010
By Mary Del

EAO Switch Corporation, a Milford, Conn.-based global supplier of HMI components and systems, has released a white paper on the effective design of HMI systems. Entitled Human Machine Interface Systems, the paper reviews the importance of good HMI system design and its link to the success of products in all market segments. It also encompasses the different factors that should be considered in creating an HMI system, including how to define HMI functionality and identify who the operator will be; selecting the appropriate control technologies (from pushbutton to touchscreen); selecting the appropriate communications technology from hard wiring to bus implementation; identifying and meeting relevant standards; and applying HMI best practices to different applications from medical to industrial. The paper reviews the importance of a well-designed HMI system, which gives an operator active functions to perform and get feedback on the results of the operator’s actions, and information on the automatic functions of the system as well as its performance. Also reviewed is the way in which HMI control panel assemblies and subsystems integrate a wide variety of switching, data input, indicator, alarms, communications, and other electromechanical components and technologies. For more information, visit

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