Using Process Displays for Troubleshooting

using-process-displays-for-troubleshootingA lot of time and effort goes into the construction of the HMI screens and other display screens that are used to monitor and control production processes, so it is worth giving some time and thought to their layout and design. The most important consideration is how they can convey the most useful information in a timely manner to their intended audience.

This blog post deals designing process monitoring screens to better assist with troubleshooting efforts. It contains tips and guidelines on how to use PARCview’s graphics design tool, PARCgraphics, to address this goal.

Read More

PARCview & Display Technology

secret-to-better-process-display-performanceMost of us take for granted the rapid advance of “technology”. Computers get smaller and faster, cell phones turn into smart phones, smart phone capabilities steadily increase, televisions become larger, and more of life’s transactions move onto the internet. Not all of the changes are appreciated by all people, but they occur regardless of who welcomes them and who does not.

Read More

Process Alarm Management Best Practices

process-alarm-mgmt-best-practicesThe purpose of process control alarms is to use automation to assist human operators as they monitor and control processes, and alert them to abnormal situations. Incoming process signals are continuously monitored, and if the value of a given signal moves into an abnormal range, a visual and/or audio alarm notifies the operator of that condition.

This seems like a simple concept, almost not worthy of a second thought, and unfortunately, sometimes the configuration of alarms in a control system doesn’t receive the second thought it deserves. Configuring and maintaining alarms properly requires careful planning and has a significant impact on the overall effectiveness of a control system.

Read More

Guidelines for Effective Schematic HMI Design

Guidelines for Effective HMI DesignMost modern manufacturing processes are controlled and monitored by computer based control and data acquisition systems. This means that one of the primary ways that an operator interacts with a process is through computer display screens. These screens may simply passively display information, or they may be interactive, allowing an operator to select an object and make a change which will be then be relayed to the actual process. This interface where a person interacts with a display, and consequently the process, is called a Human-Machine Interface, or HMI.
Read More

Human-Machine Interfaces for Process Industries

hmiOperating and troubleshooting a modern automated manufacturing process requires seeing and acting on hundreds or thousands of individual pieces of data. Digital control systems and plant-wide information systems have given us the ability to bring all of the data regarding plant status and performance to a single location. The challenge then is to create effective visual displays that allow the consumers of this information to easily understand and interact with the data.

In the world of digital controls, the visual portion of the human-machine interface, or HMI, is typically a configurable, electronic flat panel display. The challenge is to design graphics for these screens which “best” convey the status of the process to the operators.
Read More