Operating 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.