Recently I spent the weekend at a family member’s home and experienced two failures of everyday human-machine interfaces (HMI) devices that truly perplexed me. One was a collapsed dome switch on a spa controller; the other was a graphical display error on a touchscreen coffee maker.
Over the last 25 years, the evolution of touch screen technologies has brought sweeping changes to how society uses human-machine interface (HMI) products. Originally touch screens were small, monochrome, and required a stylus and single touchpoint to operate.
Manufacturing complete human-machine interface (HMI) assemblies can be a complex and difficult journey, which is especially true if it involves more than one supplier. This blog post mentions a few of the great advantages of being able to work with a single full service HMI supplier.
In all likelihood right now as you read this post, there is a smartphone somewhere on your person, on your desk, or otherwise within reach. These products have become much more than just a means to communicate with others.
Stop and think of the role colors play in our daily lives for a moment. Colors can influence everything from what you wear to the car you buy. Colors can trigger emotions, memories, even hunger. Certainly colors and patterns matter to companies advertising and selling products. Communicating with customers in the manufacturing world about selecting an exact color, however, has proven challenging enough as to require a particular system, known as the Pantone Matching System.
When creating your SMART user interface design, the operating environment should be taken into careful consideration. Environmental contaminants, moisture, temperature extremes, UV radiation, and overall wear and tear from use in outdoor environments are factors that should be considered before determining material and component selection for your SMART user interface.
Before designing your custom human-machine interface project, it's important to have an idea of all the steps involved before and during production. Each step has variable length so while there isn't an exact timeframe for production, having a more informed viewpoint is critical to everyone's ability for following HMI design best practices.
Advancements in user interface assembly construction methods are often overlooked in HMI applications, becoming an afterthought while too many people assume that the older graphics, adhesive, rubber, and backlighting technologies all stay the same. This is not the case, especially within medical device HMI manufacturing.
Continued improvements to the human-machine interface (HMI) manufacturing process across entire electronic industries have made technology once widely considered too expensive for most applications now accessible within many design budgets.
There is good reason that programmable logic controllers (PLC) are used as a user interface in a large number of applications. These robust devices are commonplace on factory floors controlling equipment, in processing plants monitoring operating conditions, and even used in portable devices exposed to harsh environments.