Six Tips for Selecting an HMI

  • February 03, 2023
  • Anaheim Automation Inc
  • News
Six Tips for Selecting an HMI
Six Tips for Selecting an HMI

The HMI (Human-Machine Interface) is the primary point of interaction between the user and the system, so a proper match is essential for user experience and operational efficiency. When selecting an HMI for a given application, it is important to consider a number of factors to ensure compatibility.

  1. Environment: Consider your application and the environment in which the HMI will be used. The operating environment is a major factor in determining which HMI is best suited for your project. For instance, if the unit will be used in a warehouse application exposed to excessive noise or vibration, a heavy-duty HMI with seals to protect against dust and oils, such as our water-resistant F7 and F10 series, would be a good option. Alternatively, our cabled CZ and SZ series HMIs are perfect for use in automated vehicles (AGV).
  2. Ease-of-Use: Look for an HMI with an intuitive, user-friendly interface. Before investing in an HMI product, be sure the vendor provides detailed and thorough product literature such as data sheets, user's manuals, and tutorial videos. Likewise, in-house technical support further ensures usability by removing the guesswork from installation, programming, and troubleshooting.
  3. Communication: Make sure the HMI has the right connectivity options to ensure compatibility with other components in the system. Communication ports and software must be compatible with existing drivers and components in your system or you will be unable to connect the HMI with your PLC and no data will be transmitted to the display.
  4. Life Expectancy: Look for a reliable and durable HMI that can withstand long-term use and wear-and-tear. Anaheim Automation's HMIs have a typical LCD lifetime expectancy of over 30,000 hours of operation.
  5. HMI Function: The type of HMI you should select depends on what your application will require of it. For example, do you need a Pushbutton Replacer, a Data Handler, or an Overseer-type HMI?
  • Pushbutton replacers take the place of LEDs, On/Off buttons, switches and any other mechanical device that performs a particular control function.
  • Data handlers are typically used in applications which require constant feedback from the system and/or printed production reports.
  • The overseer works with SCADA and MES protocols. These are centralized systems which monitor and control large entire sites or complexes of systems spread out over a large area.​​
  • Cost - Consider the cost of the application and make sure it fits your projected budget. In many cases, economical solutions can provide dynamic system control at budget-friendly prices.

Anaheim Automation offers a wide range of HMIs to suit nearly any application, with display sizes from 4.3" to 15". Our HMI Application Form can help narrow down which model is right for you.

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